Houses vs. Apartments vs. Dorms

As a college student, finding the type of housing that fits for you can be difficult and it’s not uncommon to have a lot of questions. Are houses cheaper than dorms? Do I have to mow the lawn of the apartment complex? We may not be able to answer all the questions you have, but like making any kind of decision, we made a pros and cons list for it all.


For some people, their ideal apartment would be like Monica’s from the show Friends. However, that isn’t the reality of having an apartment. There’s way more to it! 


·      Muncie has a lot of unique complexes to fit your needs

·      Some complexes will allow you to have pets

·      Many complexes include amenities such as a pool or gyms at no extra cost

·      In some complexes, parking, Wi-Fi and other utilities are included in your monthly rent

·      Many complexes come already furnished


·      The less rooms in an apartment, the more expensive rent can be

·      You could be liable for damages that you didn’t even create

·      You could have neighbors all around you

·      There could be a slow turnaround on maintenance requests as complexes are dealing with everyone’s requests


Houses are something a vast majority of students are comfortable with. Especially since you moved from your house into a dorm. That’s a big change! Luckily, there are some options for renting a house off-campus. 


·      You have more privacy, and you won’t need to worry about bothering the upstairs or downstairs neighbors

·      You can have as many or as few roommates as you want

·      Some cost less than the monthly rent at some apartments

·      Some houses are walkable distance from campus

·      You have more freedom to decorate your house


·      You may have to do renovations/repairs that you can’t afford

·      There are no extra amenities

·      Houses are less likely to be furnished than apartments


Dorms are one of the things that first come to mind when people think of college. You may have heard your older cousins or parents talk about living in a dorm. 


·      They are right on campus

·      Meal swipes are included

·      Living-learning communities (LLCs) are created for each dorm

·      They are fully furnished and laundry rooms are in every dorm hall

·      They have other amenities such as a kitchen or media room


·      Dorms aren’t very cheap[M6]  and prices vary for what dorm size you want. According to the Ball State House & Residence Life website, a two-person dorm room will range from $5,000 to $6,000 a year for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

·     Have to share bathrooms with many people

·      Noisy neighbors

·      Location may not be convenient for your class schedule

·      Have to live with a roommate unless you pay extra for a single room

As you can see, there are many positives to each option and there may be some considerable negatives. It all depends on your individual preferences and what you want in a living space. Check out the Ball State Daily Housing Guide website to see some of the options here in Muncie, and try to see which ones match your needs.

The listing of rental units on The Roost Housing Guide is a service to local rental property owners and Ball State University students, faculty, and staff. Rental property owners are responsible for reporting information fairly and accurately, and Ball State Daily and Ball State University cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of such information. Inclusion of any property or rental unit on this website does not constitute, and shall not be construed or reported as (1) an endorsement or approval by Ball State Daily or Ball State University of the landlord, its properties, or its business practices, or (2) a warranty or representation by Ball State Daily or Ball State University as to the quality, safety or other features of such property and/or its owners or management agent(s). Ball State Daily and Ball State University expressly disclaim any and all responsibility for any problems that may arise with regard to such property or rental units or with regard to disputes between landlords and tenants concerning such property or rental units. All prospective tenants are encouraged to exercise their own good judgment when evaluating a prospective rental unit or landlord and use trusted resources such as the Better Business Bureau ( and Ball State University’s Student Legal Services (


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