Off-Campus vs. On-Campus Living Costs

Off-Campus Life has tried to provide a basic calculation for monthly costs of on and off-campus living. Please note that this does not cater itself to any particular situation. Student's costs may be higher or lower depending on needs. Off-campus living can have many up-front costs that cannot be shown below, such as buying furniture, transportation to campus, parking, utility start-up and lease signing costs, unforeseeable situations such as a roommate moving out, and more. Also, most leases off campus are 12 months, which means there is about 4 more months in the calendar year to pay for utilities compared to the roughly 8 month residence hall cycle.

Start with your living situation, and see what is included in your price per month.

per month

Efficiency 1 bdrm 2 bdrm/1 bath 2 bdrm/2 bath 3 bdrm Res Hall Std.*** Res Hall Suite*** Res Hall Summit*** Res Hall Tower 3 room*** Res Hall Academic Village***
Rent* $527 $717 $765 $895 $1074 $1008 $1100 $1159 $1164 $1177
Utilities **(Gas/Electric) $50 $60 $70 $80 $90 incl incl incl incl incl
Cable $58 $58 $58 $58 $58 incl incl incl incl incl
Internet*** $26 $26 $26 $26 $26 incl incl incl incl incl
Food (low-cost) ****  $240 $240 $240 $240 $240  incl  incl  incl  incl  incl
Total $901  $1121  $1179  $1319  $1508  $1008 $1100 $1159  $1164 $1177

Student loans, particularly reward notices from the FAFSA application, budget for living costs, whether on or off campus. When living off campus, these costs are refunded to the student instead of going to pay for on-campus housing.

*RENT prices from Division of Housing Statewide Multifamily Housing Vacancy and Rent Survey 2nd qtr 2009

**Utilities, cable,internet, and phone costs based on yearly apartment rental analysis conducted by community, gathered by Off-Campus Life, using a comparable local apartment. Rates can greatly vary depending on usage by tenants. One-time, start-up fees occur for most utility companies. Utilities fees could be as much around $20-$100 depending on credit and company. Add $15/mo for trash if not included.

***Residence hall calculations made by taking the per-semester cost and dividing it by 4 months, roughly the time per semester a student is allowed to live in the residence halls. Furniture is provided. Utilities, including cable and internet, are also included. Please note that internet in the residence hall provides T3 coverage, and off-campus internet usually provides either a cable or DSL connection based on what service provider you use. These providers do not reach T3 speeds.

**** The "low-cost" food estimate was calculated using the table below from the USDA and averaging the cost between the male and female low-cost estimation. Price listed is per person. Note that this does not include any restaurant meals. Food is included in the residence halls. Rates calculated with the B meal plan. Low-cost food is described as: "Makes most meals from scratch, but buys junk food once in awhile. No microwave meals."

Prices listed are per student for residence hall rooms. Note that for off-campus housing, rent and utilities can be split between roommates if you choose to live with others.

Food costs

  Thrifty Low-Cost Moderate Liberal
Male 200 257 323 396
Female 177 223 276 354

Thrifty: Makes all meals from scratch; makes a list and sticks to it when shopping; on a very tight budget, no junk food.

Low-Cost: Makes most meals from scratch, but buys junk food once in awhile. No microwave meals.

Moderate: Uses convenience foods (i.e., macaroni and cheese) but does not buy very many microwave meals.  Buys a substantial amount of junk food.

Liberal: Buys a lot of microwave meals and a lot of junk food.

Other Rental Listings

Community Liaison Program


 Picking your roommates?

Curious what U+2 means (or could mean) for you?



Moving or Living Off Campus? Find out more!

The City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University are partners in the effort to build community and create a positive environment in neighborhoods where non-student residents and students live in close proximity. The University and City jointly fund the Community Liaison Program position to take the lead on implementing programs to enhance relations between neighbors and students. 

Landlord Tenant Handbook

Need a roommate agreement? Want a good relationship with your landlord? Click here

E Trivia: Test Your Rental Knowledge With Some Off-Campus Trivia

This trivia style power point was designed to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a resident of Fort Collins. Questions are based on ordinances, myths and tips for living off campus. Click here to challenge your rental knowledge.

The Rental World

This is the semi-true story of five students, picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people move off campus and start getting real with renting. They encounter city ordinances, parties, and police officers. However, with the conflict involved, there is always a solution.

Town Gown Network

A website created as a result of numerous interest groups expressing a strong desire to communicate with others working to improve town/gown relations. If you are a student, city or university employee, police or code enforcement office, property manager, neighborhood association member, or someone simply interested in university/city collaboration, please use this website to communicate with people like yourself. The website also allows members to post articles & questions relevant to town/gown relations.

Occupancy Limits

With the changes to the Occupancy Limit Ordinance, we know you probably have questions. You may find yourself asking, "Why is my landlord making me sign a disclosure form?" or "How do I avoid being in violation of the occupancy limit?" Below we've attached links that include answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning the occupancy limit, as well as information about boarding houses and disclaimer forms.

Important Links

ASCSU Roundtable

The ASCSU Department of Community Affairs is hosting its annual City Council roundtable where students will be able to sit down and enjoy free appetizers with each member. Students will have a chance to learn about the important issues facing both the campus and local communities. Six members of Council are scheduled to be in attendance. Only Colorado State students are allowed to attend in an effort to keep the discussions focused on student-related issues.

Possible issues to be discussed include housing, transportation/transit, safety, neighborhood livability and many other issues of concern to students.

Approved Extra-Occupancy Homes

The following apartment complexes are approved for having a maximum of 5 roommates (some may only house 4 even though their approval is higher): Ram’s Crossing, The Loft at Campus West, Ram’s Pointe, Ram’s Village, and Heritage Park Apts.

Also, view a list of housing properties that have been zoned as approved thorughout the city above in the links list. After viewing these links, if you find that you still have questions concerning the occupancy limit, please feel free to call Melissa Emerson, Community Liaison, at 970-491-6707 or 970-224-6047. For general information on the occupancy limit, you may call 970-224-6046.