Colleges with the Most Affordable Housing Options

Colleges with the Most Affordable Housing Options - featured image

Did you know that room and board can account for 30% of your annual budget as an undergraduate student? To reduce your total cost of attendance, affordable on-campus housing options are the way to go!

We must emphasize that the universities featured here are regionally accredited public institutions. It means that the in-state tuition and other fees are among the most affordable in the United States. 

Title IV institutions process federal financial aid on behalf of their on-campus and online students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. File your FAFSA form with complete, accurate and updated information. Submit it on time to the proper channel to maximize your chances for federal financial and defray your housing costs.

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Colleges with the Most Affordable Housing Options - fact

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Between $1,064 and $4,779 per semester (AY 2024-2025)

Tuition and Fees: $6,381 (in-state); $28,658 (out-of-state)

Students choose from 27 residence halls, including Beaty Towers, Broward Hall and Fletcher Hall. These residence halls offer a wide range of accommodations, too, with different room sizes, capacities and features, including:

  • Tradition single, double, triple, large triple and quad
  • Suite single, double and large double
  • Apartment double

Meal plans are separate from the housing plans, and their prices start at $1.845 per semester.

Students can also choose to live in the Living Learning Communities (LLCs). There are also on-campus housing options for graduate students and students with families.

Texas A&M University- College Station

Bryan, TX


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $2,293 per semester for residence halls (Fall/Spring) (AY 2023-2024)

Tuition and Fees: $12,413 (in-state); $40,607 (out-of-state)

TAMU has such a warm, welcoming and exciting on-campus life that more than 11,000 students live in on-campus housing every year! Students must communicate with the Department of Residence Life for their housing options.

Every residence hall has live-in staff that provide academic and non-academic support services as well as study spaces. The Keathley Hall, Schuhmacher Hall, and Moses Hall are among the 25 residence halls.

Other housing areas are the Corps of Cadets Housing, the Gardens Apartments, and the Living Learning Communities.

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $2,470 per semester (AY 2024-2025) (Fall/Spring only; Summer rates are different)

Tuition and Fees: $6,368 (in-state); $22,467 (out-of-state)

Students can choose from different agreements:

  • The Academic Year Agreement covers the fall and spring semesters, and first-year students usually choose it.
  • The Towers Agreement covers the fall, spring and summer C periods with students living at the Knights Plaza, where apartments usually have four bedrooms, a full kitchen and a furnished living room.
  • The Northview Agreement is also a three-semester agreement with students living in a UCF-managed off-campus property that features fully furnished, spacious apartments.

Students may or may not purchase UCF Dining Memberships.

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $6,684 per year (AY 2023-2024)

Tuition and Fees: $12,051 (in-state); $32,193 (out-of-state)

All first-year Sun Devils must live in on-campus housing since it will contribute to their academic success and community integration. Students must consult with University Housing when choosing their housing assignment.

ASU has a wide range of housing options, too! Students can choose from its multiple campuses in Downtown Phoenix, Lake Havasu, Polytechnic, Tempe, and West Valley.

Students can choose between once-per-semester billing and once-per-academic-year billing under the License Agreement. ASU also allows room and board payments either under the installment ASU Payment Plan or the one-payment-per-semester plan.

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Between $3,650 and $4,800 per semester (AY 2024-2025)

Tuition and Fees: $9,105 (in-state); $31,976 (out-of-state)

NC State offers its students 21 residence halls with different styles. Each delivers an affordable cost, quality facilities and amenities, and satisfactory safety and security systems.

  • Traditional hall-style buildings feature furnished rooms with air-conditioning, inclusive laundry and utilities, and a micro-fridge.
  • Suite-style buildings provide students with more private amenities for 8-12 students per suite.
  • University towers feature double-room suites with a shared bathroom.
  • Hotel-style buildings provide two students with a shared room and an ensuite bathroom.

There are also on-campus apartments, including the Wolf Ridge Apartments, Wolf Village Apartments, and E.S. King Village Apartments.

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $7,581 per academic year (AY 2023-2024)

Tuition and Fees: $13,494 (in-state); $35,664 (out-of-state)

Students must choose a dining plan in addition to their housing plan. These are billed and paid for separately, with dining plans starting at $2,880 per academic year. OSU also charges students for missing and damaged items, such as cabinets and drawers, clothes poles, and mattresses.

Most first-year students are in the 16 residence halls with single, double and triple rooms. Second-year students who live in on-campus facilities save $1,200 per year. Halsell Hall is reserved for upperclassmen.

University at Buffalo – SUNY

Buffalo, NY


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Between $7,777.28 and $10,913.28 per academic year (AY 2023-2024)

Tuition and Fees: $10,781 (in-state); $30,571 (out-of-state)

Students can choose from 18 building communities with more than 7,000 beds at SUNY-Buffalo. The amenities and services offered include on-site academic support centers, tutoring, regular check-ins with the RA, and dining and fitness centers.

There are also dedicated housing areas for students, such as first-year students residing at the South Campus Halls in single, double, triple and quad rooms. Second-year students and upperclassmen reside at the Creekside Village Apartments, with a choice between 2-bed and 4-bed apartments.

University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Charlotte, NC


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $3,380 per semester (AY 2023-2024)

Tuition and Fees: $7,214 (in-state); $21,338 (out-of-state)

UNC Charlotte makes it easier for its students to earn their degrees through affordable tuition and housing, too. Students choose from different types, namely:

  • Traditional housing options are usually the most affordable, with students sharing rooms at Sanford Hall, Scott Hall, and Holshouser Hall, among other residence halls.
  • Suite housing offers more privacy and amenities but at higher rates; Hunt Hall, Belk Hall and Holshouser Hall are popular choices.
  • Apartment housing can accommodate between one person and four persons in Levine Hall, among others.

There are also Honors in Residence and Learning Communities available.

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $6,950 per person per academic year (AY 2024-2025)

Tuition and Fees: $12,937 (in-state); $37,355 (out-of-state)

Most students in Arizona live in on-campus housing for at least a year. They have 23 dorms to choose from. The dorms have unique bedroom features, amenities, and services. The popular choices are Kaibab-Huachuca, Arizona-Sonora, and Arbol de la Vida.

There’s a $400 downpayment on the rate, and the housing cost doesn’t cover the meal plans and parking. Note that students with freshman status living in on-campus facilities must have a meal plan.

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH


Cost of On-Campus Housing: Starts at $3,815 per semester

Tuition and Fees: $12,485 (in-state); $36,722 (out-of-state)

Students who have qualified for the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee are guaranteed the same housing rate for four years! The rate for each plan, however, will depend on your residency status and your year of entry. In addition to the room rate, students residing in on-campus housing will also be required to pay the dining plan and the $20/semester Hall Council Program fee.

Ohio State has Business Honors and Future Health Professionals as Living-Learning Communities. Disability accommodations and gender-inclusive policies are in place.

Benefits of On-campus Housing for Students Attending Hybrid Programs

Are you a student attending a hybrid program? Combining on-campus and online attendance delivers affordable on-campus housing benefits:

  • You have convenient access to on-campus resources, including laboratories, libraries and fitness centers.
  • You can explore more extracurricular activities and get to your in-person classes earlier.
  • You manage your time better because there is little to no commuting necessary.
  • You will love the strong sense of community and camaraderie living with your peers.
  • Your stronger engagement will boost your social interactions, classroom collaborations, and personal development.
  • You have easy access to student support and career development services. Academic advising, counseling services, and tutoring services will make a huge difference!
  • You will appreciate the on-campus safety and security system. These are on-site security personnel, key card access, and emergency response systems.
  • Your housing accommodations include Internet access, utilities and maintenance. You don’t have to pay multiple bills. 
  • Most universities don’t require a downpayment, security deposit, and other charges before moving in!

Most importantly, it’s more cost-efficient to live in on-campus housing, particularly in urban areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the cheapest college with dorms?

We have to say that it’s the University of Central Florida with its in-state $6,368 tuition and fees.

What college offers the best residential life?

There’s no right or wrong answer! The definition of “best residential life” depends on your needs, wants, and expectations. Every university on our list offers a wide range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities on and off campus. Students enjoy food and beverage services. They can also join Greek letter societies, student organizations, and sports events.

Which university has the most students living on campus?

Again, it may well be the University of Central Florida. As of Fall 2019, it enrolled 61,456 undergraduates. The majority of the students lived in on-campus housing facilities.

Why is the housing program for college students important?

Housing programs are important for college students. They allow fast, easy, and convenient access to their classes and other campus facilities, amenities and services. They allow students to focus more on their studies and enjoy the college experience. Students get opportunities to build their community while being safe on campus.

Why is affordable housing important for students?

Affordable college housing addresses a student’s financial challenges. If you have financial aid, you can save even more! Affordable on-campus housing also promotes inclusion and equity. You can be around college students from different backgrounds.