Your halls of residence will be where you make your first uni mates, brew your first of many cuppas and make your new home away from home. Despite the chaos post-Results Day, you don’t want to rush this decision!
Here’s out checklist of what to consider when applying for accommodation during Clearing.
Check your options with your new university
Give someone in your new university of choice’s accommodation department a call. They may have some spaces for students who make a last minute decision to join them, and be able to help you out.
If not there are a number of other options including private halls and shared housing.
Make a list of what’s important to you
Is it having an en-suite bathroom? Somewhere close to campus, or the the city centre? A studio with its own kitchen, or somewhere with a big social space?
If you have a good idea of what you want from your accommodation, it will make the process of looking for a new home a lot easier. Note what preferences you wouldn’t be too picky about losing either – competition for rooms may be tough and you might have to compromise.
Look into the pros and cons of different accommodation
If the university halls are full and your options are between shared housing and private halls, think about the benefits (and disadvantages) of both.
Shared housing can mean you choose who you live with, but you’ll be in charge of sorting out your own bills and you’ll most likely go through an estate agent which could cost your a lot more than just a deposit when moving in.
Private halls have all the perks of university accommodation (all-inclusive bills in your rent, social spaces and, if you’re living at a village, on-site events) and many have spaces available for students going through Clearing. You’ll also have the option to stay on for your next year at many halls if you like them, meaning there’s no hassle to rush and find a house share!
Location, location, location!
Since you might be unfamiliar with where you’re going to study, look up your new university and do some research. Where do most students tend to live – on campus, in a student village, in the city? Take a look at how long it will take you to get to university from different options, too. You might not fancy a half an hour journey to lectures after snoozing your alarm four times!
Check your budget
See what you can afford for your budget, and remember that rent is usually paid in termly instalments when planning your finances. A student budget calculator can make it easy to figure out your budget depending on your student loan and other income.
Chat to other students
Head over to sites like The Student Room to see what other students in your position are up to. You might get some good tips on where to stay in your new town or city, or even find a potential flatmates or two!