If your student is considering living off campus, encourage them to check out the Virtual Off-Campus Housing Fair on Wednesday, February 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mason’s Official Off-Campus Housing Finder, och.gmu.edu.
The Virtual Off-Campus Housing Fair brings together local apartment complexes, in a digital space, so that students have a one-stop opportunity to learn about several off-campus living options. Additionally, students will have the ability to “live chat” with a representative from the properties in attendance to ask any pressing questions.
Is your student moving off campus? Here are some tips!
If your student has been living on campus or moving out on their own for the first time, the switch to off-campus life can be challenging, exciting, and scary. As a family member, you have the ability to support your student through this transition and use these tips to avoid problems later down the road.
Finding a Roommate
First, students will want to figure out who they want to live with. In Fairfax City and Fairfax County no more than four unrelated individuals can live together. Students can form groups on their own or use the roommate matching system at och.gmu.edu to browse potential roommates. It is strongly recommended that students set up a roommate contract and talk through their expectations of each other. Sometimes leases will outline certain expectations of behavior (i.e. how many nights in a row a guest can stay) that students should understand before they sign the lease.
One of the most important parts of living on your own is understanding how to set up a budget and understanding what happens if you don’t follow through. Budgeting worksheets and apps, such as Mint or Wally, are extremely useful in helping students understand where their money is going each month. Family members can also help students understand the ramifications for failing to pay rent or utilities: eviction, loss of power/lights, and/or a lower credit score. For this reason, we recommend that students get individual leases, when possible, to make sure that their roommates’ failure to follow through on financial responsibilities doesn’t impact them.
If your student is unable to attend the fair and would like to speak with a staff member from Contemporary Student Services, they can make an appointment at contemporary.gmu.edu or contact our Off-Campus Advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-993-6563.
Finally, remember that och.gmu.edu is the official Mason Off-Campus Housing Finder. Mason does not recommend or partner with any other websites or services.
Contemporary Student Services
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