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Are you interested in learning more about aspects of living off-campus?  Off-Campus Life hosts events that help students to learn ways to budget while living off campus, to learn about the lease signing process, to find housing in the area, including short-term housing options, and to meet potential roommates.  Events are also provided that discuss cooking and shopping on a budget, UDAP, and subleasing.  Details about each of our events are provided on this page, including upcoming dates and what to expect when attending.

Off-Campus Life values providing students living off-campus the opportunity to connect with other off-campus students and stay connected with the JMU on-campus community.  To help with this endeavor, Commuter Student Breakfasts were created to provide an opportunity for off-campus students to come together in an on-campus space and connect with each other as well as learn more information about Off-Campus Life.  Off-Campus Life provides information about our services and FREE FOOD and helps these students stay connected to campus and each other.

2021-2022 Dates

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
10:30 AM ‑ 1:00 PM
Festival Highlands Room

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
10:30 AM ‑ 1:00 PM
Festival Highlands Room

If you needed to replace a missing button on your shirt, could you do it? Do you understand what someone is talking about when they’re worried their APR is too high? When, if ever, have you checked your tire pressure on your car? Do you know how?

Start your week off learning a new life skill. Every Monday from 3:00-5:00 PM, at The Kitchen by OCL in Festival, we’ll provide you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills, while munching on a cookie and enjoying a pint of milk or a cup of coffee.

To stay informed on upcoming “adulting” topics, follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Have a specific topic you would like to see covered? Let us know!

*These in-person events have been postponed. Follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram for information pertaining to these topics each week!*

Check out this semester’s offerings:

* January 27th: Stain Lab and Laundry 101

* February 3rd: Meal Prepping 101

* February 10th: The Importance of Gratitude: How to make a Thank you card

* February 17th: Easy Microwave meals- Come Celebrate National Sticky Bun Day!

* February 24th: National Skip the Straw Day and Other tips on how to live a greener college life

* March 2nd: Is a credit card right for me? Understanding APR and much more!

* March 16th: How adding plants can make your apartment feel cozier

* March 23rd: How to Sew a Button

* March 30th: Auto Care Basics

* April 6th: Couponing and How to Save Money on a College Budget

* April 13th: Understanding Taxes and how to do them

* April 20th: How to build a Resume

* April 27th: Mindfulness with Bella: How to help reduce stress

Housing Fairs are large scale events that the Off-Campus Life office hosts twice yearly.  These events allow area student housing providers to advertise to all JMU students what they have to offer in housing.  It is important to note that inclusion in the event does not constitute an endorsement of these properties by the university. They are also a place for students to be educated about off campus living options.  Any JMU student can attend these events to learn about housing options in Harrisonburg, to meet property managers and discuss leasing policies, and to receive information from Off-Campus Life about what to consider in off campus housing and how to get help with any part of this process.  It’s essentially a one-stop shop experience for available student housing. These events are held in the winter and spring, and students will receive emails and other information informing them of the events.

Housing Fair Information for Spring 2022:

When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 11:00AM-2:00PM 

Where: Festival Grand Ballroom 


Leasing 101 is a workshop for any student who wants or needs to learn more about the leasing process before signing a lease for off campus housing.  Our office recommends that those students who will be signing a lease for the first time, or students signing a lease with a new property manager or landlord attend this event to be sure to know their responsibilities and rights as a tenant prior to lease signing.

During this workshop, students in attendance will learn what a lease is, common types of leases and the benefits and disadvantages to signing them, the legal responsibility involved when signing a lease, and ways Off-Campus Life can help with the leasing process.  These attendees will also hear important information on second year on-campus housing contracts and be encouraged to take their time before they sign a lease, until they’re fully comfortable and ready to commit to a housing situation.

Spring 2022 Workshops:

  • Thursday, Jan. 27th, 5:30-6:30 PM: The Union, Room 206 (Taylor Hall)
  • Monday, Feb. 21st, 5:30-6:30 PM: Festival, Allegheny Room


Budgeting Basics for College Students is an event hosted by Off-Campus Life several times each academic year.  This budget workshop is designed to help students living off campus, or students preparing to live off campus, to create a working budget to help in managing expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation.  This workshop provides students with information on how to create a basic budget, including how to budget for savings, pay back debt, and incorporate their personal values in the budgeting process.  Students in attendance will also have the opportunity to get assistance in creating their basic budget during and after the program.

Spring 2022 Workshops

  • Thursday, February 24, 5:30-6:30 PM – The Union, Taylor 306
  • Monday, March 7th, 5:30-6:30 PM – The Union, Taylor 306


The Sublease Mixer is an event hosted yearly by Off-Campus Life to help students in need of finding a short-term housing option like a sublet or in need of getting someone to sublet their current apartment.  At this mixer, students are provided with information about the subleasing process and the importance of a sublease agreement is discussed.  Students are also given time to meet and greet with other students that may either have a sublease or want to sublease.

*Though the mixer is a great way to meet others, there is no guarantee that someone will find a sublettor or find a sublease.

Roommate Mixers are a combination of a social and educational event hosted by Off-Campus Life several times each year.  These mixers educate those students in attendance about what to look for in a roommate to live with off campus, ways to be a good roommate, and the importance of signing a roommate agreement should conflicts arise at some time in the future.  The mixers also allow students, through some structured icebreakers, games, and “speed dating,” to socialize with other students they could potentially room with off campus.  Students looking for another roommate to fill a townhome or apartment, or students just needing to meet others to live with off campus are encouraged to attend.  * Though these mixers are designed to connect students with potential roommates, there is no guarantee that the mixer will provide the student with roommates.

There are no roommate mixers currently scheduled for this semester. 

UDAP Awareness Week is an annual event that provides students with information about the Utility Deposit Assistance Program, and connecting the utilities of water and sewer, electricity, and gas.

The Utility Deposit Assistance Program assists with the deposit for connections of utilities in off-campus houses or apartments that do not already include them in the rent payments. The purchase of a UDAP eliminates the up-front deposit fees for activating water, gas, and electricity, and allows the university to act as your guarantor on payments up to specified limits. Cable and internet are not included in the UDAP program.

For more information, check out the UDAP website, or download our UDAP Brochure.

Look for us around campus April 6-10, 2020, or stop by the OCL office any time we’re open.

Are you a member of a fraternity, sorority, or JMU-affiliated club or organization?  In need of educational programs or events to offer to your members?

Let Off-Campus Life assist you with these needs.  We have student liaison employees prepared to provide our programs off-campus to groups and organizations.  Any of the events you see on this page can be provided and even tailored to the specific needs of your audience.  Contact the Assistant Director of Off-Campus Life via email at for more details.

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