James Madison Off-Campus Housing


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Apartments Near JMU

If you’re going to a school that’s named after James Madison, the founding fathers of the US Constitution, you’re going to want to live somewhere that stands up to his reputation. That’s where we come in: College Pads works hard to help students find the best JMU off-campus housing options for rent near campus in Harrisonburg. 

Whether you’re looking for Harrisonburg apartments or houses for rent, College Pads is your number one housing resource. We always make sure to follow up with you and your landlord to prevent any mishaps or issues, and we’ve worked hard to provide extra information under the James Madison off-campus housing apartment guide tab in the navigation bar above in order to help you make the best choice. That’s how we know you’ll find the best apartments near JMU that Harrisonburg has to offer.


James Madison University Off-Campus Housing Guide

Renting JMU Off-Campus Housing

Students at James Madison University don't like to waste any time when it comes to securing an apartment for the following school year. The number of James Madison off-campus housing-related searches rises in mid-September, with most students looking for places and scheduling showings throughout the month of October.

If you're an undergrad looking for a three, four, or five-plus bedroom house or apartment near JMU, you'll definitely want to get started before Halloween. If you have a car and don't mind a short commute or if you're sick of roommates eating all your groceries, you should consider getting a studio or one-bedroom apartment. The search for studios and one-bedroom apartments near JMU doesn’t really get going until after winter break, so you should start your search in December if you want to beat the rush. 

Rent Prices in Harrisonburg, VA

Rent for JMU off-campus housing in Harrisonburg seems to be fairly cheap compared to other college towns in Virginia. You won't have to look too hard to find 2+ bedroom places for under $500 per person, and this number could be even lower depending on the number of roommates you're willing to have.

If you're hoping to live on your own, there isn't a ton of studios available for rent near campus. Fortunately, though, one-bedrooms aren't too outrageously priced.

Here's a breakdown of average rents per person, per bedroom: 









Picture Credit: Alma mater 


Life at James Madison University

Citizens of the Shenandoah Valley need look no further than their own backyard for some quality food and drinks. Downtown Harrisonburg is a culinary hotspot for foodies, which is evident by the nickname its residents have given it: Restaurant Row.

If you don't feel like trekking it all the way downtown, there are a handful of chains and a few locally owned places right off campus, with many offering discounts for JMU students. And luckily, many of the most popular places to eat also become great nighttime joints. Kill two birds with one stone and hang out in one place all night! Here are a few of our favorite places:

  • Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint
  • Clementine Cafe
  • Billy Jack's Wing & Draft Shack
  • Local Chop & Grill House
  • The Artful Dodger


If you're looking to take in some natural beauty, Harrisonburg has you covered. The city and the surrounding Shenandoah Valley are so picturesque that even the highways double as outdoor tourist attractions. The 105-mile Skyline Drive is a popular destination, and you can even stop at Shenandoah National Park for some camping, hiking, and horseback riding along the way.

Similarly, if you want to get involved on campus and would prefer to do it outside, check out the Outdoor Adventure Club, JMU's self-described "hiking, camping, and anything else outdoors club."

Things to Do In Harrisonburg, VA

When they're not hitting the books, students at JMU students like to make the most out their campus and the surrounding area. The Quad seems to be a popular meet-up space, where you can usually find groups of people throwing around footballs, catching some sun, or just enjoying time with their friends. Similarly, students often head downtown on the weekends to attend sporting events and take advantage of the unlimited outdoor potential that Harrisonburg has to offer.

Highlights Include:

  • Hanging out on the Quad
  • Catching a movie at the Grafton Theater
  • Cheering on the Dukes at a JMU football game
  • Visiting the beloved "Puppy Farm" near campus