How much do student halls cost and what are they like?
From the moment you arrive at your new university, you want to feel right at home. Not only that, you want to have the ability to live how you want and make new friends along the way. Renting a room in student halls of residence remains a very popular choice, particularly for first-year students. If you are wondering how much student halls cost, you won’t be surprised to hear they aren’t cheap, particularly for the living space you get for your money.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of halls are comfortable and safe, making the transition from living at home to studying at university that little bit easier. The most expensive student halls tend to be those that offer furnished accommodation, with shared kitchens and lounge areas with private en-suite bathrooms. It’s great to have your own bathroom; it’s that extra layer of privacy that can make you feel at home and less anxious. Catered or part-catered halls of residence will naturally be more expensive than self-catered options, given that your accommodation will provide hot meals each day.
Aside from university-owned student halls, there are a growing number of privately-owned halls of residence which are also situated nearby the university campus. Most of these are self-catered, so if you really can’t cook or you like the idea of socialising with your flatmates over an evening meal every day, you might prefer to consider one of the university-operated halls.
If you’re looking for an app or website that lists all available student accommodation around your university, be sure to register for our app that’s geared towards simple student living. With SPCE you get access to all available university-owned and private halls, as well as private houses – complete with prices per week and ratings by your fellow students – at the touch of a button!
Student halls fees – let’s get down to the figures
On average, typical student halls will cost £6-7,000 per year on average, covering the standard 39-week educational programme. This amounts to £170 per week. It’s a similar story when it comes to private sector housing for students, with average rents tending to be at the top end of the £7,000 per year bracket.
However, it’s important to note that living costs will vary depending on the university and region of the UK you’re living in. For instance, Cambridge University estimates its students should budget for £8,960 for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year. If you’re wondering how much student halls cost in London, they’re unlikely to be far off the cost of living in Cambridge.
The importance of reading the small print of your student halls contract
Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to read carefully through the small print of your proposed student halls contract. This will specify the size of deposit you may be required to make, items included as part of the contract i.e. cleaning, utilities and access to on-site leisure facilities. Student halls fees are normally inclusive of electricity and gas costs, but car parking tends to be an additional cost that you’ll have to factor in.
Finally, it’s important to check whether you’re able to keep your belongings in your halls room between terms. Some university-owned halls of residence will stipulate that you move out your things at the end of each term as they rent out the rooms to tourists during the holiday period. Make sure you check for this in your contract to avoid any nasty surprises!
What type of student halls is right for you?
Choosing the right student halls can be difficult with so many blocks and buildings to choose from, each offering their own location advantages, on-site benefits and prices. Ultimately, your decision may come down to just how sociable you want to be. Catered halls of residence tend to be more social with more people living on each floor, while self-catered halls offer a little more privacy, with 4-10 people sharing a communal kitchen.
University-owned halls are in demand most with students that want the added safety net of living within the university campus itself. Meanwhile privately-owned halls and private housing tends to serve best those wishing to be at the very forefront of nightlife and student activities.
Compare all available student halls for your chosen university by registering for our new app. With reliable ratings and reviews that you can trust from former students who’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt, as well as intuitive chat functionality with prospective landlords, SPCE connects students to landlords simply, safely and quickly.