While it may feel like you just dropped your student off, as early as October you may begin to hear them talk about where to live in Fall of 2016. Here's what you need to know.
Near to campus housing in Ann Arbor is at a premium. The city has an ordinance stating a landlord cannot lease a property for next year until 70 days into the current lease period. Some students may feel pressured by peers to lock down off-campus housing for 2016 once those first 70 days of 2015 expire. It's okay to encourage them to take their time in the search process.
Student Life has a lot of resources to help your student make the best choices. And as a parent, you have an important role to play. Here are some conversation topics to consider:
- What type of living environment will help them be successful?
- Do they understand what it means to sign a legally binding lease?
- What do they see as the pros and cons of living in university housing vs. off campus?
- Have they thoroughly reviewed the lease? What questions do they have? (Student Legal Services can review contracts with your student.)
- Have they visited the property in person? Talked with previous tenants about their experiences?
You can also encourage students to attend the Off-Campus Housing Fair on November 4, 2015 from 11-2 in the Michigan Union. The fair is sponsored by Beyond the Diag, the Dean of Students' Off-Campus Housing program and will provide attendees with lots of information and housing options. Beyond the Diag also provides a listing of privately owned local apartments and houses, as well as neighborhood descriptions and roommate finding services.
And of course, your student is definitely welcome to consider University Housing — about half of first-year students return for their sophomore year. Students don’t need to express interest in on-campus housing until after the start of winter term. During housing sign up, students are assigned a time slot and browse each residence hall for available rooms. If they see something they like, they can reserve it and a sign a contract shortly afterwards; if not, there’s no obligation to stay on campus, and they can continue considering off-campus housing.
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