12 Perks of Living On Campus as an Upperclassman

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You’ve barely even signed your housing contract for your first year and you already have to start thinking about your second year?

Crazy, we know, but once you get on campus you will have to start considering your options. Most housing contracts and off campus leases are signed by October so you will want to start weighing the pros and cons of each now. So we’ve pulled together a little list of some of the perks that come with deciding to live on campus a second year:

1. Signing a Upperclass Housing Contract gives you more time to find a roommate. If you choose to live off campus you have to select your roommates when you sign your apartment contract, no matter how early in the year it is. If you decide to live on campus you have until the spring to choose since Online Room Selection doesn’t take place until March. The more time you have to get to know your future roommates the better.

2. You don't have to worry about setting up and managing utility accounts. If you move off campus someone in your apartment will have to open and manage the utility accounts for the entire apartment. If you live on campus it’s all included in your housing fee.

3. Say you don't end up getting along with your roommate. If you live off campus you can't change your roommate as easily as you can if you live on campus. Our office has a process in place that makes changing rooms much easier. 

4. You can wake up 15 minutes before your class and still make it on time. No off campus housing facility offers a better location than living on campus itself does. I mean, who wants to wake up, get ready, walk to your car, drive to campus, fight to find a parking space and then walk all the way to class (not to mention, how far that will be once you finally find a parking spot). 

5. Housekeepers to keep common areas clean. On campus you also have a wonderful housekeeper to keep the hallways, public bathrooms and common spaces clean. Your new neighbors in an apartment complex may not be as tidy as you'd like them to be.

6. When you live on campus you don't have to plan meals, grocery shop, cook and then clean up. Having a meal plan covers all of that work. Plus, who can compete with JMU’s food variety and our Princeton Review Ranking of 6th out of 376 colleges in the nation? 

7. Signing a Upperclass Housing Contract sooner rather than later gives you a better lottery number during Online Room Selection. Online Room Selection is a process in which students select their bedspace for the following year.

8. You have an RA whose job is to help you. Seriously, your RA looks out for you and helps you with whatever questions/issues you may have. A landlord will not care if you need tips on joining a club or finding a tutor to help with Biology.

9. Your neighbors will always be fellow JMU students. Off campus apartment complexes mix JMU students with other members of the Harrisonburg community who may not be students at all. The sense of JMU community is much stronger on campus. 

10. If you like your room, you can keep it for more than one year. We recently introduced a program called room retention that allows current upperclass students that are currently living in the Apartments on Grace, Ashby, Chandler, Converse, Dogwood, Shenandoah B section and White to return to their same room next year if the meet a few requirememts. Learn more about room retention under the Online Room Selection FAQ's

11. The resources provided for free on campus can't be beat by any apartment complex. Living on campus puts you within walking distance of UREC (which will be even better once the expansion is complete), two libraries, The Writing Center, the brand new Student Success Center which includes the University Health Center, Career and Academic Planning, Registrar and Business Office. 

12. Lastly, have you seen the Apartments on Grace? Our newest apartment style building houses 500 students in a combination of 1 and 2 bedroom units with 2 residents per bedroom. Apartments come with a kitchen, fully furnished living room and bedroom(s), and 1 bathroom for every pair of residents. All units are wifi and cable ready, and all utilities are included in your room rent! Learn more about the Apartments on Grace here.

After taking all of that into consideration it makes it the decision to move off campus that much tougher, so here’s a little information about Upperclass Housing Contracts: 

The Upperclass Housing Contract is offered only to incoming first year students and is a contract for the second year which guarantees the student a space on campus for their second academic year.

This is an optional contract and should only be signed by students who are 100% sure they want to be in a residence hall during their second year. The contract is binding and you cannot cancel it at a later date. If you sign the Upperclass Housing contract you will have a space on campus next year and will be billed for residential housing and a resident meal plan.

Have any other questions or concerns? Check our Returning Student Housing page on our website or give us a call at (540) 568-HOME.

By Megan Bourne (’11)

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2018

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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