Are you headed to UK and debating the important decision of whether to live on campus or off campus? Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to both. Let’s explore some of them together!



You may think that living off campus is more expensive, but the opposite is usually true! Living on campus at UK is not cheap. Just how expensive is university housing? See the rates for yourself at the UK Campus Housing website:

UK housing rates invariably rise each year. One can almost guarantee a price increase while living on campus! On the other hand, rates for off-campus apartments tend to hold steady over time. Off-campus housing simply has more rate flexibility and is more in tune with the housing needs of students.

Most of the time, students find better and more affordable options off campus such as those offered by Bluegrass Rentals, the UKMVP of student housing:

The only instance that comes to mind when on-campus living through the university might be a better financial choice is when a student loan cannot be applied towards an off-campus apartment. Some student loans, however, come with no such restrictions regarding where you live. So, be sure to check with your student loan company!



Sometimes, there are housing options “off campus” that are actually on the footprint of campus like several student apartments offered by Bluegrass Rentals. Some off-campus apartments, in fact, are more conveniently located to one’s specific college major than university-assigned housing.


On Campus

Most of the time on-campus living includes utilities. So, when signing a lease off campus be sure to ask about the utility structure. Chances are your options are still going to be MUCH cheaper off campus! When thinking about living on campus, parking is a HUGE consideration. Don’t think for a second that UK is going to give you a free parking pass and miss the opportunity to make some extra dollars! Parking around campus is always expensive and most of the time inconvenient to where you want to be. University housing does not usually come with a parking pass close to your dorm! Is on-campus living really worth it if every time you need to use your vehicle you have to walk more than a mile to get it? Of course, if you do not have a vehicle, then the limited and costly parking offered by UK is of no concern. In addition to the parking hardship, other cons relative to University housing on campus are:

  • Mandatory dining plan purchase
    • Students living in undergraduate residence halls are required to purchase a university dining plan
  • University-assigned housing
    • Contract does NOT guarantee a student will be assigned to a specific:
      • Residence Hall, or
      • Particular room type, or
      • Particular area of campus
    • UK reserves the right to make assignments; reassignments in the interest of order, discipline, health, safety, security, public health event, pandemic, consolidation, or assignments to temporary or overflow housing to achieve optimal utilization of University housing
  • University-assigned roommates
  • University-assigned arrivals and departures
    • There is little to no flexibility on move in & move-out dates. UK designates the date on which students may move into the Housing Facility it assigns them and the date by which students must vacate their Assigned Housing Facility.
  • Visitor restrictions
  • No visitor parking
  • Housing contract for the full academic year does NOT include the summer semester
  • Academic Breaks
    • Students often cannot occupy university housing during the academic breaks of Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Spring Break
    • Most Residence Halls are closed during academic recesses
      • Students who require housing during any break must request permission to stay and pay additional boarding fees


Off Campus

Students living off campus distance themselves from all the hustle and bustle inherent to university housing and are able to focus more on their studies. With off-campus living, landlords can offer greater assistance on the things that matter most. There is a broad range of off-campus housing options around UK. Bigger isn’t always better and the countless amenities offered by some large apartment communities don’t always yield happiness. A landlord’s support of its residents and its willingness to work with them are a far greater value than the high-priced amenities a lot of students pay for but rarely use! When searching for housing, be sure to talk to residents already living at the apartment you are considering and ask management: “Why should I pick you?” If the answer given is simply a laundry list of amenities rather than an explanation of how management listens to the concerns of its residents and takes action to meet their needs, then buyer beware!