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What Types of Housing Are Available for OSU Students?

By Kylie

With the variety of student housing and living options Columbus has to offer, it can be challenging to know which type of student housing is ideal for you.

Learning about all of the living options available in Columbus can help you make an informed decision about where to live, and you’re more likely to be satisfied with your decision the more knowledge you have before signing a lease.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Living in a New Student Apartment in Columbus Near OSU

At Rambler, we have helped hundreds of OSU students navigate their student housing search, and we know the importance of understanding all of your options before making a final housing decision.

To help you begin your housing search and properly weigh your options, we’ve made this article to lay out all of the types of housing available for OSU students in Columbus.

Types of Housing For Students at OSU

In addition to on-campus residence halls/dorms, there are four main types of off-campus housing for OSU students:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these housing types.

Residence Halls/Dorms

Location: On Campus

3 girls in a dorm room at ohio statePhoto courtesy of The Ohio State University

OSU requires all full-time students within two years of high school graduation to live in a residence hall on campus for their first two years.

All residence halls are convenient for walking to class, socializing, and keeping up-to-date with campus events. OSU has 42 residence halls to choose from with a range of traditional dorms and suite floor plans.

Some undergraduate students choose to live on campus following their freshman year. With suite and apartment-style living options, this can be a good option for those who value being near their classes and don’t want to spend too much time searching for off-campus housing options. The cost of living in a dorm at OSU ranges from $3,815 to $4,899 per semester, or $317 to $408 per month.

OSU closes most of the dorms for holiday breaks, so it is important to double-check with your dorm before signing a contract if you need housing during these times.

Greek Houses

Location: University District/Central Campus

Picture of Greek Houses at OSUPhoto courtesy of The Lantern

Greek Houses are a popular housing option amongst students involved in these organizations, and there are 19 sororities and over 25 fraternities. OSU Greek Life has a large student community on campus, with over 4,000 students, or approximately 10% of the student body, as members of Greek organizations.

Sorority and fraternity houses are located around OSU’s campus, mostly around Central Campus. These houses are still close to campus and High Street, making going to class an easy walk or ride. The large homes can house over 60 residents each.

Greek houses are typically reserved for second-year members, and each house has a limited number of spaces. Each house has its criteria for selecting which members can live in the house, but most houses place a heavy emphasis on GPA. Some houses also require their executive board to live in the house, but this is up to the chapter to decide. Many members who are heavily involved in their organization choose to live in the house to be close to their friends and activities.

Greek houses are maintained by their organization and chapter at OSU, meaning each house sets its rates for rent, meal plan, etc. Additionally, some houses furnish their rooms for members and others do not.

Members living in the house pay for rent, dues, fees, and meal plans. For sororities, The Ohio State Panhellenic Association estimates this number to be around $1,280 per semester. Keep in mind that this price includes sorority dues for the semester, so this will not be an additional cost.

While most Greek houses are privately owned by their organization, many choose to follow the same schedule as residence halls. This means that most homes are closed for the holidays and summer. However, some implement their schedule, which is why you may see fraternities remain open over the summer.

Student Housing Apartments

Location: University District/Central Campus, North Campus, South Campus

Outside rendering of Rambler Columbus

Student housing apartments are a very popular housing choice for OSU students, and you won’t find yourself underwhelmed with how many options there are in Columbus. Most apartments are walkable from campus, and many are close to High Street and the Short North Arts District.

Purpose-built student housing apartments are constructed with the student lifestyle in mind. These apartments are tailor-made to fit the daily needs and wants of OSU students, which is why they come at a higher price range than traditional apartments.

For these apartments to remain competitive, they offer state-of-the-art community amenities such as a fitness center, movie theater, pool deck, game room, and more.

Additionally, these apartments offer individual leases, meaning you are only responsible for your rent, room, and shared living spaces with your roommates. Typically, they also give you the alternative to sublet or relet your room over the summer or semester if you will not be in Columbus.

Read Next: 7 Best Student Apartments in Columbus, Ohio near OSU

Off-campus student apartments close to campus range from around $999 to $2,579 per person, per month depending on location, floorplan, quality, and other factors.

Still looking for a roommate for the following year? Many student apartment leasing offices offer roommate-matching services to help make this decision easier for you.

Read Next: How to Find a College Roommate at Ohio State

Traditional Apartments

Location: University District/Central Campus, North Campus, South Campus

Traditional Apartments in Columbus Ohio called University Village
Photo courtesy of University Village

Traditional apartments are a great option for those who prioritize value over amenity offerings, as they typically fall on the mid-low end of the price range for off-campus housing…

Read Next: How Much Does it Cost to Live near The Ohio State University?

These apartments typically do not have the same elaborate, luxury amenities as student housing options, and will usually offer a significantly smaller amenity package. They tend to be less crowded and quieter than purpose-built student housing apartments.

Traditional apartments offer traditional year-long leases. With a traditional lease, all roommates are equally responsible for rent, utilities, and any damages to the property. Additionally, as opposed to individual or “by the bed” leases, roommates will collect the money amongst themselves and then pay the landlord in one lump sum.

Read Next: Student vs. Traditional Apartments at OSU: Which is Right for Me?

Traditional apartments are located in multiple areas of Columbus, and their monthly rates range from around $450 to $1,800 per month depending on several factors such as amenities, location and floor plan.

Traditional Houses

Location: University District/Central Campus, North Campus, South Campus

3 houses in a row in the off-campus district near Ohio State's CampusPhoto courtesy of The Lantern

Lastly, we will discuss the option of traditional off-campus houses. Houses are popular for upperclassmen who want to live with their friends in a private, relaxed, and big environment.

These houses are located in Central Campus, surrounding OSU’s campus. Traditional houses typically have one or two-year-long leases, and roommates will split and collect rent together to pay the landlord.

These houses tend to be on the older side, require more upkeep than an apartment, and lack the high-end amenities that many new developments in Columbus offer. It is also important to consider the additional cost of furnishing the whole house since most of these houses come unfurnished.

Similar to a lease at a traditional off-campus apartment, there is shared responsibility for all payments and damages. Several real estate firms manage homes available to students, but there are also private owners and investors that supply these homes to students. Monthly rates fall on the low end of the price range for housing, typically between $585 and $1,200 per person, depending on location, size, and other factors.

Comparison of Housing Types

To summarize the typical offerings of each housing type, we have put together this table to help you compare the options we discussed in this article:

Residence Halls Student Housing Apartments Traditional Apartments Greek Houses Traditional Houses
Meal Plan Yes No No Yes No
Roommate Matching Yes Yes No No No
Affordability $$ $$ – $$$ $ – $$ $$ $ – $$
On-Campus or Off-Campus On Off Off Off Off
Furnished Yes Varies No Varies No


Overall, students at Ohio State have a wide array of options for housing. Whatever your preference may be, we hope that you find the place best suited for your living style in Columbus.

We hope that this article helped inform you about all of the housing options near OSU’s campus and compare the types of housing that are offered.

If you would like to learn more about Rambler or Columbus student living in general, please visit our amenities and floor plan pages for more information or contact our leasing staff. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have during your housing search.


Kylie is a Leasing Intern for Rambler Columbus. She is a junior at The Ohio State University, majoring in Finance. Her go-to Daydreamer order is an almond milk latte with vanilla!

March 21, 2024


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