Category Archives: College Life

7 Practical College Budgeting Tips

College is already a stressful enough time without having to sweat about every little expense. The biggest thing you can do to make sure you’re not stressed out about money every month is to set up a budget.

Here are 7 tips for setting up a budget in college:

Tip #1: Be Honest With Yourself

Sometimes the hardest part about figuring out your budget is telling yourself the honest truth. Maybe you have the tendency to splurge on something that you probably shouldn’t. Calculate that in because you can tell yourself that you aren’t gonna go for it next time but you can never be certain. It’s best to just know how your budget looks with that expense. If you’re feeling really ambitious, calculate your budget both ways.

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College Students and the COVID Thanksgiving Break Dilemma
College Pads surveyed students at campuses nationwide to see what will happen after Thanksgiving break.

Prior to popup testing centers, business closures, and mask mandates – one of the most pivotal changes to occur in response to the coronavirus pandemic was universities transitioning to remote learning late in the Spring 2020 semester. Many students held out hope that the coronavirus would be gone by the following semester and things would go back to normal. 

Things did not go back to normal.

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5 Reasons Thanksgiving Is The Actual Worst

For some students, Thanksgiving break is thought to be a time to enjoy family, catch up with old friends, and enjoy some free food. While the idea of going home to celebrate the holiday with family sounds like a good idea at first, with the way everything is nowadays, it may be a good idea to skip traveling and have a small Thanksgiving feast with your roommates.

If you need another reason to stay home this year other than the pandemic, here are 5 reasons that Thanksgiving break is the actual worst.

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Moving Tips For New Or Experienced Renters

Whether it’s your first time, or you’ve done it like a thousand times before (no judgment), you should know that it’s totally normal to not know what you’re doing. Sure, you may have a general idea of what’s supposed to go where, but if you aren’t careful, everyone involved is going to end up tired, sweaty, and disappointed.

Lucky for you, we have just the tips to help make your next move easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Without further adieu, here are our tips for things you can do to make moving into your place easier (*if you don’t have one yet, check out this post about what to look for in your first apartment).

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First apartment checklist. List includes first apartment essentials you'll need at your apartments by category. Categories include: kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, general cleaning supplies, and uncategorized necessities. First Apartment Checklist For New Renters

When you move into your first apartment, there are so many items to remember that you are bound to forget something small or large, yet essential. A good way to avoid having to head back to the store three or four times that first weekend you move in? Make a new apartment checklist. Or, just use ours! Our first apartment checklist has everything you need, sorted out by the rooms you’ll need to be populating with new stuff.

Download our first apartment checklist image above and print it out when you head to the store this August.

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The Most Expensive And Most Affordable Colleges

Congrats; you did it! You’ve been accepted to more than one college, but now comes the hard part. Choosing where you’re going to go attend college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, and choosing where you’re going to live during those unforgettable four (maybe five) years comes in at a close second. While a lot of freshmen go for the dorm life their first year, the majority of students who have done their time living on campus anxiously anticipate the day when they can live in their very first off-campus apartment or house. Sure, staying on campus has its (slim) advantages, but a place off-campus comes with some unbeatable perks and, for the most part, is cheaper than living on campus in the dorms. Time to say goodbye to restrictions and rules and hello to your new-found freedom!

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Student’s Choice: Top 10 Rated Student Housing Companies

Off-campus student housing isn’t quite like it used to be, and these top ten companies on our list are prime examples of how this growing industry is taking off-campus student living to a whole new level. Hundreds of luxurious off-campus student oases have been popping up at college campuses nationwide over the years. These extravagant student abodes often draw in their residents with impressive amenities, like high-end furnished apartments with utilities, rooftop resort-style pools, cyber study lounges equipped with Macbooks, indoor and outdoor sports courts, movie theaters, and beyond! 

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How to Survive Your First Off-Campus Living Experience

If you’re coming off your freshman year, chances are you’ve learned how to survive the communal living experience (nightmare) they call the dorms. From loud neighbors, clingy roommates, and overcrowded bathrooms, you’ll have some of your best and worst times in the dorms.

Hopefully you’ve made it past that and you’re ready for your first taste of freedom living off campus. Whatever year you’re in, keep in mind the struggle is still real when you live off campus… it’s just different. You’ll have to learn how to fend for yourself for things like food, laundry, and there’s no longer staff to clean your bathroom. We at College Pads have lived it all, from dorms to dingy houses and even “high class” student apartments, so we put together some tips on how to survive your first year living off campus.

Pick the right place

Typical College ApartmentGranted, the typical college housing charm is inevitable to come with almost every student rental unit in existence, but make sure this is the right place for you. We’ve laid it all out in place, so why not set up showings at multiple places? Pick the area you want to live, whether that’s close to campus or within stumbling distance from your favorite bar. Make sure to get a walkthrough and make your decision after you’ve seen a few places that you like. That being said, remember that no place will be perfect… it’s just got to be perfect for you.  

Document everything before you move in

You’ll thank me when you get your security deposit back. Take photos and write down absolutely everything that you don’t want to get charged for when your lease is up. As long as you’ve taken care of this in the beginning, you won’t have to pay for any damage you didn’t create. Also, try not to burn the place down. This might be your apartment for your entire college career, or only a year, but treat it like it’s your own.

Pre-plan with your upcoming roommates

As cool as it may seem to have 4 TVs in the living room, and 3 couches, and 3 coffee tables… space will be limited. Make a checklist (or just use ours) to ensure you have all the appliances and furnishings you need without duplicates. Moving stuff is a hassle, so you should try to only do it once.
For advice on moving, check out our moving tips post.

A clean home is a happy home

Kitchen for College KidsYour parents will probably buy you a ton of cleaning supplies at the beginning of the year, try to actually use those. Keeping a clean house might not be the most fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, but it will minimize the amount of time you spend sick in bed. And make sure you always have a clean pair of underwear.

Find a perfect balance for food in the fridge

Refrigerator full of college student foodBuy food in advance so you’re not overdoing it on Chik-Fil-A and McDonalds every night, sure you might love it now but your body will thank you later. Make several meals at once and freeze them, it’s like the fast food you can keep in your home. Of course, you can’t buy too much and hog all the room in the fridge, so work together with your roommates to find a healthy balance.

Pay your rent on time

Late fees are real, and nobody likes paying extra money the didn’t have to. Same goes for utilities, if you let these slide they will come back and haunt you one day.

Don’t be afraid of the maintenance man

That apartment of yours doesn’t come cheap. Don’t be afraid to call the landlord whenever necessary to make sure everything is in working order.

Keep the peace

Whether you end up liking it or not, you’ll have to live with those roommates of yours until at least the end of the year. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to speak up when you have an issue. Passive aggressive notes will only get you so far and an open line of communication will help make sure everyone is on the same page. Don’t be afraid of conflict, but don’t create it just for fun. Be mindful of your roommates and expect them to be mindful of you.

Be responsible

Those all night ragers are fun, I can’t lie to you. But keep in mind why you’re paying so much money to be in school and live in your totally awesome off campus apartment. Go to class, study hard, take care of your mental and physical health, but remember it’s okay to take breaks, sleep in, and have fun safe and responsibly. You won’t have an RA keeping you in check every night, so enjoy your freedom, but enjoy it wisely.

How Off-Campus Housing Is Changing During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Students are scrambling to find off-campus housing for next semester, more than what you’d usually expect to see over summer break. That’s not because they’ve put off finding housing until the very last minute, but because colleges across the United States have slowly started to announce their plans to reopen campus for the fall semester following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While there are still a ton of universities holding off on officially announcing whether classes will be held on-campus or online next semester until mid-July, it’s safe to assume that most college campuses’ plans to reopen will include adjustments to how many students can attend in-person classes at once and other plans to limit large groups. While the possibility of getting out of their on-campus living requirement may be a welcome change for some students, it will also mean that landlords should be ready for a possible flood of inquiries from potential student renters. 

To get a better feel for what that’s like, we spoke with the Chief Operating Officer of DABCO Property Management near Washington State University to figure out exactly what this pandemic has and will mean for them. 

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How to Avoid Rental Scams

From Telemarketing scams, identity theft, to credit and debit card fraud we’ve all heard horror stories about scams, or even worse, fallen victim. Rental scams are prevalent across the nation and first-time student renters looking for off-campus housing are especially vulnerable to fraudsters because they often communicate with landlords and lack experience when it comes to renting.

College Pads surveyed hundreds of students across campuses nationwide and found that many students have encountered an online rental scam when looking for off-campus housing near their university.

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