Did you know that you're not required to live on-campus as a UF freshman? That's right. Over 80% of University of Florida students, including freshmen, choose off-campus housing options as their home base. In fact, a search for off-campus housing near UF can be a great option if you're on the UF housing waiting list. Gainesville has perfect apartments for UF freshmen that will help you start your college career in comfort and style. There are amenities that will even set you up for success (more on that later!). While you may be excited to choose the first apartment you see or are tantalized by daydreams of resort-style pools and gator game-days close to campus, let Swamp Rentals help guide you in your apartment search to find the perfect place for freshman housing at UF.
Tips for Searching for Apartments for UF Freshman
Location, Location, Location
You're a UF freshman which means you'll be navigating new independence, a new schedule, and new responsibilities, including your commute to and from campus. An apartment three miles from UF may not sound far until you realize you only own a skateboard, or the bus route isn't convenient. We recommend determining what your transportation options will be (we have a great guide to the RTS bus system
by the way!) and begin to home in your radius of options a convenient distance to campus. Convenience is relative so you may be comfortable a bit further away if you'll have a car versus walking or biking to campus daily.
Roommates for Freshmen
Roommates can really enhance your college experience. While not required, starting your freshman year with roommates can be incredibly rewarding. You'll meet new people, make lifelong friends, keep boredom at bay, and enjoy a host of other benefits. If you don't already have roommates to sign a lease with, many off-campus apartments near UF offer roommate matching
services that help set you up with compatible companions.
Best Lease Types for UF Freshmen
As you evaluate apartment options, you'll learn that there are typically two lease types you can sign – individual and joint. Individual leases
are common in student apartment communities of 3+ bedrooms. This type of lease will allow each roommate to sign their own lease and retain responsibility for only their portion of the rent. In other words, if one roommate doesn't pay, no one else is responsible. Joint leases are more common in non-student housing, but everyone is responsible if one of the roommates doesn't pay. Another must-know for UF freshman – as a student you may need a guarantor or co-signor for your lease indicating that you have someone who is willing to assume the cost of your rent should you be unable to pay.
Features and Amenities
Many apartments offer incredible amenities that incoming UF freshmen should pay attention to. First and foremost, really get a feel for the floor plan and location of your apartment. If you need quiet space to study, see if you can sign a lease for an apartment on a corner or upper floor, or further away from street noise or common areas. If you love to cook and plan on making meals at home, a fully equipped kitchen will pay off and many apartments will offer a full appliance packag including stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and disposal. You'll also want to inquire if your apartment offers a washer and dryer or hookups for appliances. Many communities offer bright and clean laundry rooms near to common spaces perfect for studying or socializing in-between loads. Finally, check out common areas and study zones. If your apartment or roommates are a distraction, you can avoid a trip to Library West by heading to your apartment's computer lab or study zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to live on campus at UF my freshman year?
No! In fact, nearly 80% of UF students live in off-campus housing, including freshman! In fact, once UF residence halls fill up, a waitlist is implemented so housing on-campus isn't guaranteed. Use this page to discover great off-campus apartments perfect for your freshman year and beyond.
How do I find roommates for my apartment freshman year at UF?
It's entirely possible you may already be coming to school with friends or acquaintances who you've agreed to rent an apartment with but that isn't always the case. Don't worry. Many apartment communities you'll be considering as a freshman offer roommate matching services to help place you with compatible roommates. Methods vary but typically, you'll complete a profile and be matched with roommates who share similar interests and habits. We've heard plenty of stories of students meeting lifelong friends so keep and open mind and get ready to have fun!
What additional expenses should I consider for my freshman apartment at UF?
While off-campus living comes with many positives, there are some important considerations for upfront and ongoing living expenses you should consider before making this decision. Living in an apartment means you'll need more furnishings than you would in a dorm room. This goes beyond a bed and couch. You'll need to obtain some cookware, dishes, and possibly small kitchen appliances as you'll likely be preparing some meals at home. You'll also need to factor in expenses like electric, water, and internet. There are definitely options for all-inclusive and/or furnished apartment homes which can help provide and/or cover some of these items on your list by either eliminating the need to purchase them or by lumping them into an easy to pay monthly bill. Additionally, living within walking or biking distance can cut down on your gas bill for a car (not to mention the cost of a parking decal!) or check out our guide to the RTS bus system which is a great way to get to and from campus.
Is it common for UF Freshmen to live off campus?
Absolutely. There are a limited number of UF dorms, so literally thousands of freshmen at the University of Florida rent off-campus apartments. Don't worry about the apartment environment in Gainesville… most student apartments for UF freshmen are close to campus.