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Where Do OSU Students Live in Columbus?

By Kylie

As the home of the Ohio State University, it’s no surprise that over 46,000 students live in Columbus each year. Due to the large student population and OSU’s substantial presence, Columbus offers many areas for OSU students to live on or near campus.

At Rambler, we have helped hundreds of students with their student housing search, and we know it can be overwhelming to decide which area and type of housing would be the right fit for you.

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

For this reason, we’ve created this article to explain the popular areas for students living around OSU and compare the benefits of living in each area.

Where Do Students Live Near OSU?: A Guide to On- and Off-Campus Student Housing

On-Campus Living at the Ohio State University

The Ohio State University 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. Students may also live with parents or close relatives or in an approved fraternity or sorority as a means of meeting the residency requirement”  OSU has over 40 residence halls on campus, offering many options to fit your personal needs.

Every residence hall provides distinct amenities and designs, ranging from conventional to apartment-style accommodations. These are the five typical housing arrangements that each of the housing areas includes:

  • One room for two people with community baths
  • Two-person super-double suite
  • 2-person suite in a four-suite cluster
  • Two-bedroom, four-person apartment

Dorms follow the OSU academic calendar, so your lease will typically be for the nine-month school year. Residence halls cost $4,062 to $4,829 per semester, depending on the style of living and the number of roommates you choose. This comes out to around $8,124 to $9,658 for the academic year.

These rates do not include your meal plan but do include internet service, study rooms, laundry access, mail services, and all dorms come fully furnished. Additionally, most dorms have communal kitchens and lounges, so you aren’t confined to your living space. If you choose to live on campus, meal plans range from $494 to $2,730 per semester depending on which plan you select. For more information about dining services and FAQs, visit the OSU Columbus Campus Dining Plans page.

Keep in mind that residence halls at Ohio State University are closed during school breaks, so you will not be able to stay in your dorm during winter, spring or summer breaks. If you are planning to stay in Columbus during these times, you will need to find off-campus housing.

Read Next: 8 Steps to Finding a Student Apartment Near OSU Campus

Off-Campus Housing Near OSU

one girl and boy in front of ethyl and thank near osu in game day gear

The majority of OSU students do not live on campus following their sophomore year, so there are ample options when it comes to off-campus housing. However, most students wish to be within walking distance from campus to avoid finding parking or taking the bus.

Read Next: Where to Live Near OSU if You Don’t Want to Live On Campus

Students living close to campus typically live in one of these three areas:

  • North Campus
  • Central Campus/University District
  • South Campus

Off-Campus: North Campus

Popular housing: Student Apartments and Traditional Housing

Location: Perry St to Summit St, Lane Ave to Patterson Ave.

One of the most highly sought-after areas for students to live is North Campus. This is due to the proximity to campus and access to all that this area in Columbus has to offer. North Campus is adjacent to Lane Avenue, a bustling street located near OSU. Lined with a variety of shops, restaurants and bars, it’s a popular spot for Buckeyes and locals alike to gather, socialize, and enjoy all that Columbus has to offer. It is a place where you can find something for everyone, whether you are a student, faculty member, visitor, or resident.

North Campus has many student apartments that offer luxury amenities like rooftop pool decks, saunas, gyms, and much more. These apartments, like Rambler, were built with the OSU student lifestyle in mind, which is why many offer private study rooms and group workspaces.

Other off-campus living options in this area primarily include traditional houses. Aside from easy access to restaurants, shops, and bars, Lane Avenue runs along many academic buildings on North Campus, including those by students in the Fisher College of Business and the College of Engineering, making it easily accessible to students, faculty, and visitors.

Apartments located on North Campus generally range in price depending mainly on their location and amenities. However, since they are a popular option, you can find apartments near OSU at a variety of price ranges. The overall determinant of price per apartment in this area will depend on your number of roommates and floor plan you select.

Read Next: How Much Does it Cost to Live Near OSU?

Parking in Columbus can be challenging, especially near campus, where limited parking garages and pay-by-day spots are available. However, Ohio State offers a variety of daily, monthly, and annual permits for students, faculty, staff, businesses, university departments, and visitors.  From garage access to surface lot access and daytime to late-night parking, there are permit options for daily, weekly, monthly and annual use. Permits are issued by CampusParc, and you can purchase a permit by visiting the CampusParc website.

Off-Campus: University District/Central Campus

Popular housing: Greek houses, Traditional houses, Student apartments

Location: North of Chittenden Ave to South of Lane Ave, W 11th Ave to W Lane Ave

University District, sometimes referred to as Central Campus, is home to a variety of Greek houses, traditional houses, and student apartments.

Walking around, you will find 19 sorority houses, housing between 30 and 75 girls each. University District is also home to a large number of fraternity houses, making this area a social hub for students involved in Greek Life.

Typically, Greek houses are available for second-year Greek members. However, each chapter has its process for choosing who lives in their house. The cost of living in a sorority house at Ohio State University per semester varies depending on the sorority. However, the average cost is between $1,200 and $1,400 per semester. Keep in mind that this price includes sorority dues and meals for the semester, so this will not be an additional cost.

If you wish to be close to the action but do not want to live in a Greek house, there are numerous traditional houses and student apartments scattered along and around the University District available for students. These houses are popular amongst upperclassmen who wish to live with multiple roommates, close to campus.

Read Next: Where Do Ohio State Students Live: Alternatives to Greek Housing

There are also a few student apartment buildings around Central Campus. Apartments in this area are a great option for underclassmen who choose not to live in their house but still want to be close by and stay involved with their chapter. Apartments in or near this area have a similar price tag to their downtown counterparts, ranging from around $1,000 to $1,600 per person, per month. Being across from Central Campus on High Street, you will see the highest rates of the student apartment options due to the prime location.

Parking around the University District is limited as you have to pay to park. There are several parking garages in the area, and the rates vary depending on the garage and the length of time you want to park there. Also, many traditional homes will have a back lot, driveway, or street parking permit included in the rent. Most student apartments must have a parking option available for tenants at an additional cost.

3 students in The Shoe on Ohio State's Campus

Off-Campus: South Campus

Popular housing: Student apartments, Traditional houses

Location: North of 5th Ave to South of 11th Ave, East of 11th Ave to Neil Ave

South Campus is located just south of the Ohio State University campus, making it a convenient walk, bike ride, or bus ride to class. This is ideal for students who want to minimize their commute time and have more time to focus on their studies and extracurricular activities.

This is a relatively affordable neighborhood, especially when compared to other popular student neighborhoods in Columbus. There are a variety of housing options available, including apartments and traditional houses, so students can find something that fits their budget and needs.

You will still find undergraduate students living in this area, but primarily you will see a majority of graduate and medical students in this neighborhood. This is because the Wexner Medical Center is located on South Campus, and most of the graduate and medical students’ academic buildings are concentrated on South Campus. Also, after your undergraduate years, most young adults will exclusively socialize in the Short North area, and South Campus is closer to this district.

If you are living in this area in either an apartment or a traditional house, you will either have a private lot or parking passes for street access. If you are planning to park on South Campus, it is best to do so early in the day or on a weekday. If you are unable to find a spot on the street, you may want to consider using a public parking garage or parking in a nearby neighborhood.

Comparison of Off-Campus Living Options

To summarize the typical offerings of each area near campus, we put together this table to help compare your options:

North Campus Central Campus/ University District South Campus
Affordability $$-$$$ $$$ $$
Proximity to Campus 5-20 minute walk 5-20 minute walk 10-20 minute walk
Population Undergraduate students, especially Business and Engineering majors Undergraduate students; Mostly students in Greek life Undergraduate, Graduate, and Medical students


As you can see, students have many options when it comes to off-campus living near OSU.

Choosing the right place to live can have a huge impact on your college experience, it’s important to look at all of your options and determine what you value most in your student housing. We hope that this article informs you about the most popular areas for OSU students and helps you determine which neighborhood may be best for you.

If you have any questions during your student housing search, please contact our leasing staff! They would be happy to help you in your hunt for the proper housing.


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!

June 10, 2024


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