University is a big step in life. It’s because of this, institutions such as the University of Waterloo offer transition tips on their websites (https://uwaterloo.ca/housing/first-year/parents-guide/transition-tips).
One thing they don’t mention is when a student is taking up residence off-campus.
With parents often acting as co-signer, guarantor, or outright single payer when it comes to student housing, it only makes sense that they want to ensure they are getting the best deal for their dollar. With choices about higher education can be a big decision, and then adding in choosing student housing, both parents and students can begin to feel a bit overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the TOP 5 THINGS parents look for in student housing.
1) Security and Safety For most students, University or College is the first time they will be living away from home. And while this comes with a unique set of challenges for the kids, it also provides some for the parents. One of these is feeling that your child is safe while no longer residing under the familial roof. That’s why parents rank Security and Safety as number one concerns when it comes to selecting student housing. Good locks, proper security features and a location in a safe, reputable neighbourhood are all key when the time arrives to make a housing selection.
2) Community As mentioned, University or College is often the first-time students will be on their own. It’s because of this that parents often look at the community aspect when choosing housing. Having friends and peers in the same community as the housing prospect can help alleviate some of the jitters and feelings of isolation which come with being away from home for the first time and allow for the student to focus on their education. The right community not only leans towards Safety and Security but also provides an on-hand social network for students to explore and on which to rely.
3) Reputable Landlords and Maintenance No one, especially students, has the time or the want to deal with absentee or disreputable landlords. Parents pay for their child’s education, not to sit around and wait for something to be fixed or to cope with the absence of a working light fixture or hot water. That’s why having a reputable landlord and high turn-around time on maintenance repairs is so important.
4) Privacy Everyone needs a space of their own. That’s why parents look for student housing which provides a private bedroom and whenever possible, a private bathroom. Not only does it give a sense of independence, but also helps avoid interruptions in routine which can disrupt their study or sleep.
5) Utilities If there is one thing that can break a person’s will to live, it’s a slow or spotty internet connection. Especially if you are a student and rely on having quick, reliable internet to research, collaborate or in some cases, attend class. Having utilities included in the cost of rent also helps parents manage the bills takes some of the financial worries out of paying for student housing.
Choices about higher education can be a big decision, and when adding in choosing student housing, both parents and students can begin to feel a bit overwhelmed. But if you keep the above 5 Points in mind, you’ll be well on the way to finding the right student housing for your child.