Looking for Housing? Where Should I Live? On-Campus or Out-Of-Campus?

Are you wondering
what the best location for you to live is? There are many housing options
around Urbana Champaign. The best location for you will all depend on your
needs and budget. Are you moving to
Champaign with your family and children
or are you coming by yourself? Are you a graduate
student or an undergraduate student? Do you prefer living in a high-energy
lively place or in a quieter and family-oriented neighborhood? Will you have an
automobile or you will use public transportation? How long are you staying? Are
you on a budget or are you willing
to pay what it takes to live where you want?  

If you are a graduate student and are coming
to the US with your family, and prefer a family-oriented community to live, we
would recommend that before you make up your mind on the best location for you,
also consider school options for your

 School Options: 

If you are moving
to Champaign and need to enroll your children in public schools in the United
States, it is a good idea to check the school options before you decide where
to live. Usually, your children’s school placement usually will depend on where
you live. In Champaign, Elementary and Middle Schools follow the School of
Choice process (where Parents provide a list of 5 schools of their preferences
to the District) and receive a notification from the school regarding where their
children will be placed.

In Savoy, Carrie
Busey Elementary School, is part of Champaign, District 4. For more information
on that, please, read our next Blog postings.

In Urbana,
children’s placement on grades K through 5, is based on where you live. If your
child is in grades 6, 7 and 8, they will attend Urbana Middle School. If they
are enrolled in grades 9 through 12 they will attend Urbana High School.

If you decide to
live at the Orchard Downs Apartments,
which is one of the University housing options, your children will attend
school in Urbana school District (E.g. *Martin Luther King Elementary (most
likely) or Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr Elementary, Leal Elementary, Thomas Paine
Elementary, Wiley Elementary, Yankee Ridge Elementary; Urbana Middle School
(6-8) and the historic Urbana High School(9-12).

If you decide to live
at Ashton Woods, also one of the
University housing options, your children will attend one of the Champaign
School District. It is a good idea to always double check with the school
district for the most current boundaries.

For more
information related to Urbana district boundaries, visit the website.

 For the
cities of Champaign and Savoy, as long as you live within the city limits, you
can take part in the “School of Choice” program for elementary
education, so you do not have to live in the neighborhood of the school you
intend to enroll your children. However, to reserve a place in one of the local
High schools you must be living within the school district. For more
information on the Champaign and Savoy school district areas, visit the website

Check housing
options around the Champaign Public Library. They are off-campus, but very
close to campus and downtown. I lived there for a couple of years and I liked
it. Also, there are some
private homes owned by local landlords that are divided into duplex/or
triplexes. That might be a great option if you want to have more space, and have
the feeling of living in a house while pay less for it. My husband and I own rental
properties in this area. They are great options and rent very fast!

Savoy is also a
great option. It is located on the south side of Champaign. They have a variety
of apartment complexes and rental homes to choose from. There is a very good
elementary school in the neighborhood and many stores and business around. You
will need a car if you want to live in Savoy. Even though there is public
transportation available, sometimes it takes a long time to get to campus and
the buses are not available in all areas.

There are some
housing options in downtown Champaign as well. 
Many young couples or young professionals live in downtown. Most
apartments are walking distance from the restaurants and bars. You can also
bike to campus or take the bus from the terminal – which is also located in
downtown Champaign.


If you are an undergraduate or a single
student and prefer to live in a lively neighborhood, campus town, the nearby neighborhood,
Champaign Downtown, might be a good fit for you.

You will find many
housing options on campus. The rent might be a little higher than off-campus
housing options.  The good thing a about
living on campus is the convenience. You might be within walking distance from
your building. However, it might be a little loud mainly because most of the
undergraduate students live on campus. 

aware that some Real Estate companies that have properties on campus list the
cost for a single bedroom (and not for the whole apartment). Make sure to check
what option is offered to you before you sign the lease. Also make sure to ask
if the price includes any utilities (e.g. water, gas, energy- Internet, sewer,
garbage, etc.). When you are comparing prices, make sure you are taking
everything into consideration.

are some privately owned houses on campus too. Some of them are divide into
duplex/or triplexes. Some of them could be a good fit for you.

may also want to rent a house or an apartment in the neighborhood near campus. There
are several options to choose from. The cost of rent is more reasonable and the neighborhood less busy. Check
housing options around the Champaign Public Library. They are off-campus, but
very close to campus and downtown. I lived there for couple of years and I
liked it.

also has some student housing options, but Champaign-Downtown has more dining
and entertainment options.

You can choose to
live on campus, off-campus, in Champaign downtown, and in Savoy. If you are coming
to the U.S. with your family, I’d first decide the school you would like to
enroll your children, then define the area you want to live. After that, I’d
contact a real estate agent and provide them with 3 options based on your
criteria and schedule a visit if possible. I’d also request a sample lease, so
you can read and understand it, and make sure you agree with everything or need
to ask for changes.

Good Luck choosing
a place to live!


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