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As a student, you’re asked to make a lot of choices, from declaring a major to choosing a course schedule. But one of the most critical choices made outside the classroom is where to live while attending Washington State University. While there’s no shortage of WSU student housing in Pullman, WA, there are significant differences between the choices

Here, The Retreat at Pullman lists the most common types of housing to help you better decide where to live this semester and in the future.


WSU Residence Halls

Residence halls are on campus housing provided by the Washington State University Housing and Residence Life office. Each residence hall consists of units called dorms. In most cases, WSU dorms are designed for utility, not luxury. They are modestly furnished with a bed, dresser, and desk, while the bathroom is usually located in the hall and shared by a wing of residents. Since in-dorm kitchens aren’t common, most residents take their meals in dining halls or eat out. Washers and dryers also aren’t included, so clothes washing is usually relegated to a communal facility.

Dorm life is regulated by resident assistants (RAs), which are students who enforce the university’s dorm policies, such as quiet hours. Most residence halls also have gender-specific floors, so men and women rarely live together. As for the question of who lives in residence halls, it’s mostly first-year students who want to acclimate to university life. That residence halls are on campus meaning residents have a short commute to class. However, this works both ways, as dorm residents have to venture off campus to do most of their shopping or attend events in Pullman.

Amenities are sparse to non-existent in residence halls. Students may visit the library to study or the recreation center to exercise, but because these resources are shared by the whole campus, overcrowding can be a concern. The same is true of on campus parking. While complimentary parking spaces are provided near dorms, these can fill up quickly, leaving students to search for other parking. And most university parking spaces require special passes, and parking there without them could result in tickets.

Are the WSU dorms right for you? While their furnishings and location make dorms appealing for first-year students who wish to adjust to university life, many students, including transfer and graduate students, prefer living off campus, where there are fewer restrictions and no RAs.

Off Campus Apartments

While it’s not difficult to find off campus apartments for rent in Pullman closer to WSU, the demand is much higher. If your goal is to live close to campus, your apartment search will quickly become a hunt, and you’ll need to weigh options carefully. One benefit of off campus apartments is they allow for many personal freedoms that residence halls don’t. There are no RAs, for instance, although residents are still subject to the rules in their housing contracts.

Roommates in off campus apartments must sign a housing contract and pay monthly installments together, and if one roommate is short on money or moves early, the others are responsible for late fees or remaining payments. Utilities such as internet and cable aren’t usually provided but rather are installed by the tenants. Trouble sometimes arises when the length of the service agreement doesn’t match the rental contract, in which case tenants who move must either transfer their services or pay early cancellation fees.

Most off campus apartments aren’t furnished. Higher-end units may come semi-furnished with bedroom and living room furniture, and laundry machines, but most apartments in a student’s budget are unfurnished aside from basic kitchen appliances. Laundry is usually performed in a community facility using coins or a rechargeable card.

Off campus apartment renters aren’t necessarily students. While dorm residents live surrounded by peers, renters may live amongst varied demographics, which is worth considering if making friends is your goal. Recreation can also be hard to come by in apartment communities. While some have fitness centers, pools, or both, amenities are more of the exception than the rule.

Off Campus Homes For Rent

Many of the details of off campus apartments are also true for homes for rent in Pullman. One difference is the living environment. While apartment buildings are communal, homes are often separated by yards, fences, or trees, so neighbors may not see one another often. This can be advantageous if you prefer privacy, but it can hinder your ability to make new friends. Landlords also tend to be individual property owners as opposed to property management companies. This can create uncertainty about how the landlord will address maintenance requests or enforce contracts, which creates potential risks if a dispute arises over late fees or similar matters.

Many students prefer the larger square footage and number of bedrooms in homes over apartments because these allow residents to have additional roommates and guests. But if the challenge of furnishing an empty apartment seems daunting, finding enough furniture to make a home livable is even more of a chore. There’s also the headache of figuring out what to do with those beds, couches, and tables when you move.
As for amenities, most homes have none, so if working out is your hobby, you’ll need a gym membership. Location may also be a concern for students. Many homes are farther from the university than students are prepared to commute. Meanwhile, parking can be an issue at home, especially if there’s limited garage space but multiple tenants who drive.

Off Campus Student Housing Near WSU

Dorms, off campus apartments, and rental homes in Pullman each likely have aspects that appeal to you. Maybe you like that dorms are furnished, apartments offer personal freedom, or houses are spacious. However, there may also be features you don’t like, such as RAs, unfurnished units, and longer commutes. But what if you could merge the best qualities of each type of housing all into one community? That’s what The Retreat at Pullman did at our off campus student apartments near WSU.

Our student housing is furnished and ready to be lived in. But rather than incorporate only the basics like WSU dorms, we offer classy features for a modern look that offers exceptional comfort and convenience. We also provide in-unit washers and dryers so you’ll save money at the laundromat.

The Retreat is located conveniently near Washington State University. Similar to residence halls, our residents have a short commute to class. At the same time, they also have the advantage of living near off campus venues, such as shopping areas, restaurants, and nighttime hotspots. And as in apartments, there aren’t any RAs to enforce rules that cramp your style. But there is a professional leasing staff that works on-site and is available after hours for emergencies. Whether you have a maintenance request, get locked out, or need to ask a question, the staff is available for your needs.
The leasing process for student housing is more flexible than for traditional apartments. Rather than sign one lease for the unit, residents each sign an individual contract. This way, if one roommate pays late or leaves early, the others face no liability. Finding roommates is also easier in student housing. Whereas in dorms, administrators arbitrarily pair you with people, and in apartments you have to find roommates yourself, at The Retreat at Pullman our roommate-matching services match you to like-minded individuals with whom you’re more likely to not only get along but build lasting friendships.

If you’ve decided student housing near WSU is the best choice for you, log into our prospect portal to reserve your place at The Retreat at Pullman in time for next semester. And if you still need convincing, contact our leasing office to arrange a tour of our townhomes, amenities, and location today!

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