On-campus housing needs to be arranged before arriving at Ohio State. Off-campus housing can be arranged before arrival or after arriving at Ohio State.
On-Campus University Housing
- Students seeking housing for themselves: To apply for on-campus housing, mark the box "university residence hall application" on your Ohio State application for admission. If this box is marked, undergraduate students will receive a housing contract soon after the acceptance fee is paid. Sometimes there are more requests than there are rooms and preference goes to first year students (freshmen).
- Students who will have family living with them: To apply for on-campus housing, mark the box "student family housing application" on your Ohio State application for admission. If this box is marked, you may receive a housing lease – if there is space available. There may be a waiting list for some types of housing.
- Scholars seeking on-campus housing: An apartment or a room in the graduate dormitory, while very limited, may sometimes be available for visiting faculty and scholars. Your host department should make arrangements.
For both individual and family housing, contracts are sent after admission has been granted. Applicants for on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to apply early and to contact University Housing prior to arrival. The earlier a student is admitted, the earlier a contract will be sent. The contract must be received by University Housing before a student can be considered for placement on campus. If you are admitted late and do not receive the contract before you leave home, or if the contract is not received by University Housing by the time you arrive, go to University Housing upon arrival to see about the availability of housing. Be aware that single rooms are limited. Most rooms for new students house more than two students.
You will receive your housing contract and other related info via your Ohio State email account. Your Ohio State account can be activated online at my.osu.edu and then select Activate Now. Once you have activated your account you may then look for the housing info.
International students are encouraged to consider on-campus options such as the Engineering Learning Community or the International House Learning Community. The International House (I-House) program may be of particular interest to those undergraduate international students who are looking to live with other students, both American and international. Living in the I-House gives students opportunities to share their own cultures as well as opportunities to learn about other cultures.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you sign the contract, be sure that you read the contract and that you want on-campus housing. The housing contract is for the length of the academic year. If you break your contract, you will be assigned an $800 buy-out fee for each quarter that is remaining on your contract.
The cost of housing varies by the type of room and the meal plan.
For more information
There are many types of housing available near campus and farther away. You may want to talk with other students from your country about their recommendations for housing. A directory of student organizations is posted on the Ohio Union website. Search by "Ethnic/Cultural" to see if your country or region of the world has a nationality club.
Renting an apartment
- Off-campus housing is separate from the university. Apartments off campus are run by private landlords. Some are reputable (trustworthy) and some are not. It is recommended that you have your lease agreement reviewed by the Student Housing Legal Clinic (more information is below) because this housing contract is a binding document.
- Some areas around the campus area are safer than others, so we suggest you do not sign a lease (one-year contract) for an apartment before you have an opportunity to see the area and apartment yourself (or had a friend/relative look at it for you).
- When looking for an apartment, you may wish to check the classified section of The Lantern (Ohio State student newspaper).
- ColumbusRent.com is another resource with Columbus area rental information.
- Neighborhood Services and Collaboration (NSC) is a wonderful resource center which assists students in finding off-campus housing. NSC maintains an online housing search, which allows students to search for housing both within walking distance and driving distance to the Ohio State campus area.
- Neighborhood Services and Collaboration (NSC) is also a great resource for students searching for roommates. NSC hosts quarterly Roommate Fairs, which gives students a chance to meet potential roommates face-to-face.
- NSC is available to assist students when searching for housing, when moving in to an apartment/house, when living off-campus, and even while moving out. The office has safety information, utility company resources and legal referrals. Neighborhood Services and Collaboration (NSC) also provides a video-taping service, to document the condition of the apartment/house when moving in and/or when moving out. NSC provides a wealth of information to assist students in their off-campus living experience.
- Neighborhood Services and Collaboration (NSC) strongly urges students to get alease review by Student Legal Services (SLS) before ever signing a lease! The Student Housing Clinic will go over the lease with the student, explain all clauses and outline any and all unenforceable terms in the lease. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit SLS at their website, call (614) 247-5853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about off-campus housing:
Neighborhood Services and Collaboration (NSC)
3106 Ohio Union
1739 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 292-0100
Fax: (614) 292-4786
Screen Name: OSUOffCampus
Information on Apartments
American Rental Housing "Tips for Tenants"
As a tenant, you have many advantages over homeowners…you don't have to mow the lawn, paint the house, or repave the driveway. It may seem like you haven't any responsibilities above and beyond getting the rent check in on time…but you do. Being a good tenant is as simple as knowing and following a few simple guidelines.
- First, read and understand your lease. This document is the legal description of your relationship with your landlord. It will tell you things like how much your rent is, when and how you should pay it, pet restrictions, and responsibility for maintenance. If you do not understand any of the lease terms, ask for an explanation.
- You should read and understand any community regulations. They may include such things as regulations for using common areas (laundry, exercise facilities, etc.), information about trash/recyclable disposal, noise restrictions, rules about pet behavior, and regulations regarding motor vehicles.
- Pay your rent on time, every time. Your rent is like any other credit obligation and should be paid in full when it is due. If you are going to have trouble one month, talk to your landlord and try to work out a mutually agreeable arrangement ahead of time.
- Be a good neighbor. Nothing can sour your relationship with your landlord faster than calls from neighbors complaining about your loud stereo, unattended dog, or disruptive behavior.
- Keep the apartment clean. This may seem obvious, but many tenants will allow dirty dishes and trash and garbage to pile up to the point where the bugs move in or there is a fire hazard. Have some “house pride,” even in an apartment, and keep things clean.
- Keep an eye out for needed repairs. For the term of your lease you are the custodian of your rental unit. The landlord cannot come in any time he or she wants to make sure everything is in good repair, so the landlord must rely on you. Do a regular inspection and let your landlord know immediately of anything that needs attention.
- If you need to leave before the end of your lease term, make sure to let your landlord know as early as possible so you can work out mutually agreeable terms for early termination. Recognize that breaking a lease can put your landlord in a difficult position financially.
- When you move, make sure you leave the apartment clean. Your landlord may even give you a checklist of things that need to be done before you turn the unit back over to him or her.