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8 Tips to Saving Money on Student Housing Apartments in Columbus, Ohio

By Bella

If you’re a student at The Ohio State University, you’re likely familiar with the appeal of living near campus. There are several student apartments in the vicinity that attract students due to their modern amenities and proximity to classes, High Street, and other popular spots in Columbus. In recent times, the market for student housing in Columbus has grown more competitive. Consequently, developers are introducing new apartments with top-notch amenities – with corresponding, higher costs.

Read Next: What Types of Housing Are Available for OSU Students? 

While it’s true that student apartments near campus tend to be a bit pricier compared to those farther away, there are many ways to make living near Ohio State affordable. At Rambler, we understand the importance of providing reasonably priced housing options for students. To assist you in finding high-quality student housing that fits your budget, we’ve put together a list of eight money-saving tips for student apartments near OSU.

2 girls browsing in the book loft near osu

8 Ways to Save Money on Student Apartments  Near OSU

1. Shared Bedrooms

In most cases, the more the square footage of your apartment, the greater the monthly rent. An excellent approach to optimizing your available space is by choosing to share a bedroom. Similar to the setup of dorms, double occupancy bedrooms in student apartments are generally more spacious than the typical on-campus housing. Opting for a shared bedroom in a student housing apartment can grant you and your roommate access to a luxurious range of amenities at a cost-effective rate.

If you’re interested in a dorm-style living arrangement or sharing a room with a friend, double occupancy is a fantastic choice to explore.

2. Shared Bathrooms

If you prefer not to have a roommate but still aim to reduce your monthly expenses, you can choose to have a shared bathroom instead. This arrangement allows you to maintain a private bedroom for your personal space while also enjoying savings. Several apartments in the vicinity of Columbus provide floor plans featuring shared bathrooms, like 4x3s, 4x2s, 3x2s, and more.

3. Bigger Floor Plans 

Usually, the greater the number of roommates you share your apartment with, the lower the monthly rental cost per roommate. For instance, a 6×6 apartment typically offers a lower per-person rental rate compared to a 1×1 or 2×2 configuration. This is due to the fact that when you have more roommates, the available square footage per person tends to be smaller.

See Rambler’s 6×6 floorplan options.

4. Lease Early 

In Columbus, particularly for the new apartments, the most effective method to secure the lowest rental rates and parking fees without compromising on space or amenities is to commit to a lease well in advance.

Most properties in proximity to OSU start their leasing process approximately 11 months before the scheduled move-in date. In cases of developments with exceptionally high demand, students typically finalize their lease agreements no later than nine to 10 months ahead of time. This approach offers you the advantage of having your choice of available units.

As leases are signed and demand increases, the pricing for these apartments will also typically increase each month. Outside of flash sales and promos, leasing early will usually get you the best rates for your apartment.

If you’re aiming to secure the most favorable deals at apartment complexes in the Columbus area, it’s crucial to commit to your lease well in advance to lock in a lower rate.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease in Columbus

girl shaking her head in ethly and tank near OSU

5. Look for Extras

At student apartments in Columbus, what’s included in your monthly rental rate can vary from one apartment to another.

Read Next: 9 Additional Costs to Consider When Looking for an Apartment near OSU

To maximize your value, seek rental rates that include additional perks rather than extras offered at an additional cost. These added benefits might include services like Wi-Fi or television packages, as well as features like window views or balcony access.

It’s advisable to speak with the leasing team about the differences between these add-ons among various units within each apartment building.

6. Pick a Less Popular Unit

Although having a picturesque view out of our window is something we all want, if you’re aiming to be budget-conscious, it’s wise to opt for more modest features. One effective cost-cutting strategy is to select a less popular unit.

A simple method to identify these units is to focus on the lower levels of the apartment building since they typically lack the sought-after views of Columbus that come with pricier units. Also, they may be noisier, particularly if amenities like the lobby or gym are situated nearby.

Regardless of your chosen floor, not every unit offers scenic views. If you don’t mind a less attractive view, such as a courtyard or alleyway, consider selecting a floor plan that includes these perspectives, as it could lead to significant monthly savings.

7. Limit Additional Costs

Before we get into how you can limit extra costs, here’s a list of some common ones:

  • Application/admin fees
  • Rental insurance
  • Trash fees
  • Moving costs
  • Parking fees
  • Pet fees
  • Late fees

One approach to reducing extra expenses is to leave your car at home. By living near campus, you can easily walk to classes, campus meetings and events.

Another method to eliminate an added financial burden is to not have a pet until after you graduate. While many apartments are pet-friendly, they typically require a pet deposit, and some also require a monthly pet fee on top of that.

Lastly, it’s essential to make all your payments on time to prevent any late fees that might be assessed for delayed payments. An effective way to ensure timely payments is to establish automatic payments, a service often provided by most student housing apartments in the Athens area.

8. Minimize Furniture Costs

While expressing your creativity through furnishing your apartment on your own is enjoyable, it can become expensive if you’re not careful. Despite the fact that many decorative items are optional, essential furniture like a bed or couch is a must in any apartment.

An effective strategy for limiting these expenses is to opt for a fully furnished unit. The great news is that most student apartments in the Columbus area come complete with furnishings! These apartments not only save you the hassle of selecting, purchasing, and moving furniture but also eliminate the need for a storage unit if you study abroad or take an internship in another city.

If you prefer to furnish your apartment yourself, there are cost-saving options for students. You might consider shopping at discount furniture stores, consignment shops, or attending garage sales to secure budget-friendly household items. Often, you can repurpose inexpensive or older pieces to meet your needs.

As you can see, there are many ways to save when it comes to student housing near Ohio State. Before you dismiss the idea of residing close to North Campus, be sure to check out the wide range of options available to make the most of the excellent student housing offers near campus.

3 girls at the Mandrake Rooftop in Columbus Ohio

Curious about the overall costs of student living near OSU? Gain a deeper understanding of what to expect financially with our detailed guide, How Much Does it Cost to Live near The Ohio State University?

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our leasing team!


Bella is the Leasing & Marketing Team Leader at Rambler Columbus. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University. She is a lover of concerts and iced matcha lattes from Daydreamer!

May 27, 2024


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