Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to Georgia Tech and you’re moving to Midtown Atlanta this fall. Now that you’re officially a Yellow Jacket, it’s time to decide where you’re going to live for your freshman year.
Finding housing at Georgia Tech can be difficult, especially if you are a first-year student who is not familiar with the student housing market in Midtown.
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At Whistler, we have helped hundreds of students find their home for the school year, so we understand how overwhelming the search for housing can be. To outline the important steps you should take when looking for a place to live, we have written this guide on finding housing as a first-year student at Georgia Tech.
We will answer our most-asked questions, including:
- What types of housing are available to first-year students?
- When should I start looking for housing?
- How much does it cost to live near Georgia Tech?
- How do I find roommates as a first-year at Georgia Tech?
- What are the next steps?
Ultimate Guide to Finding Housing near Georgia Tech as a First-Year Student
What types of housing are available to first-year students?
With so many housing options to choose from in the Midtown area, one of the first steps is deciding what type of housing you’re interested in. At Georgia Tech, first-year students are not required to live on campus, meaning you have an even greater variety of housing to choose from.
Read Next: Where Do Students Live Near Georgia Tech
On-Campus Housing versus Off-Campus Housing
The most popular types of housing available for first-year students both on- and off-campus include:
- On-campus residence halls
- Off-campus student apartments
- Off-campus traditional apartments
On-campus housing is limited to residence halls owned and operated by Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life. To encourage students to live on-campus their first year, Georgia Tech offers the First-Year Experience Program. This program is designed to introduce students to the college lifestyle through traditional means with on-campus dorms, GT dining meal plan, community bathrooms and amenities, and Resident Assistant (RA’s) to help freshmen transition to the college lifestyle.
On-campus dorms are set up so that, typically, you and one other person will share a room. In some cases, there are triples and quads available where you might share a room with two or three other students. You will most likely have a community bathroom, however, some dorms on west campus have suite style bathrooms shared between you and three other roommates.
On-campus housing is located in two main areas on east campus and west campus. Deciding which side of campus you want to live on is a big part of the selection process when picking your dorm. East campus is closer to Greek Life, the football stadium and Tech Square, while west campus is quieter, closer to the CRC and other west campus buildings.
Off-campus apartments give you more freedom to choose where you live, who you live with, what type of lease you want to sign, which amenities you want access to, and more. You can opt to live in the newer luxury student apartments just steps from campus or in larger traditional apartments throughout the Midtown area. These apartments feature more amenities, more space for yourself (including your private bedrooms and private bathrooms), and more location options.
The biggest differences between on- and off-campus housing are the length of the leases and the meal plan.
On-campus housing offers nine-month leases, meaning if you want to stay on-campus over the summer for classes, research, or an internship, you will have to find a new place to live for these months.
Off-campus housing typically offers year-long leases, giving you greater flexibility when making your summer plans. If you do decide you don’t want to stay on campus, you may choose to sublet your apartment for these months.
The next major difference is the meal plan. When you opt into the Freshman Experience Program, you are required to be on the GT Dining meal plan. In an off-campus apartment, you’ll have your own kitchen where you can cook your own meals.
For a more in-depth comparison of each of these housing options, be sure to read our article on the types of housing available to Georgia Tech students so you can decide which type of housing is best for you.
Which is Right For Me?
If you are looking forward to the traditional freshman experience, on-campus housing and the First-Year Experience Program are designed for just that. The program is for students who do not mind sharing a room with roommate(s), want to be on the GT dining meal plan, and want to be surrounded by other freshmen in their Residence Halls.
If you are someone who would prefer to live in a newer building, have your own bedroom and bathroom, have your own kitchen to cook your meals, and have access to newer and trendier amenities, off-campus housing might be the better option for you.
When should I start looking for housing?
If you have been accepted to Georgia Tech, you should start looking for housing now!
Your chances of getting the dorm or apartment you want greatly increase when you sign early. Both on- and off-campus housing options can go quickly, so the sooner you can start your search for housing, the better.
For on-campus dorms, Room Selection order is determined by when you sign and complete the GT Housing Application. This application opens in January and will require you to pay a housing deposit of $600 and sign both the Housing Contract and the Meal Plan Contract to complete. With there being few recently renovated dorms on campus, room selection in on-campus dorms is very competitive. To have a better chance of getting the dorm you want, you should be prepared to fill out this application soon after it is released.
For off-campus housing you’ll also want to make a decision soon after you commit to Georgia Tech. Leasing for off-campus apartments can begin as early as Fall the year prior to move-in for second-years and upper classmen, so spots may be limited at popular apartment complexes. Be proactive and start your research early so you can start your leasing process while there are still spots available.
How much does it cost to live near Georgia Tech?
Upon publication, living on-campus as a part of the First-Year Experience Program costs $6,900 per year for housing and the meal plan costs an additional $5,400 per year for both in-state and out-of-state students. Since the contracts are nine-month leases instead of 12-month leases, this means your monthly rate is around $1,366 per month for your meal plan and housing.
Living off-campus in student apartments can range anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 per person, per month depending on location, amenities, and the floor plan you select.
Pricing for traditional apartments off-campus can range anywhere from $700 to over $3,000 per person, per month. This cost will also vary based on location, year built, size of apartment, and area of Midtown.
How do I find roommates as a first-year at Georgia Tech?
The roommates you choose can make a huge impact on your freshman experience, unless you opt for a one-bedroom or studio apartment (which come at the higher end of the price range).
The space you share with your roommates is dictated by the type of housing you live in and what floor plan you have.
As previously stated, most on-campus dorms will be set up as one room with two beds, so you would have one roommate that you share a room with (unless you opt into a quad, triple, or a dorm with suite style connecting bathrooms.)
In off-campus housing, you will share an apartment with anywhere from one to five roommates. Everyone will typically have their own bedroom and bathroom with a shared kitchen and living space, unless you opt for a floor plan with double occupancy or shared bathrooms. Off-campus apartments also have the option of one-bedrooms and studios if you do not want to live with any roommates.
For both on- and off-campus housing options, you’ll have the ability to select your own roommates. For first-years, finding roommates can be hard, especially if you do not know anyone else at the school yet. Luckily, there are plenty of Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and other resources to help freshmen find roommates. You can find more information on these resources in our article, How to Find Roommates at Georgia Tech.
Another option is to allow the dorm or apartment to match you with a random roommate. In your GT My Housing Portal for on-campus dorms, you’ll fill out a roommate questionnaire that will match you with a roommate based on your preferences. This process is similar for off-campus apartments. Many apartments will have roommate surveys and their own matching processes to ensure they find you a good match.
What are the next steps?
After determining what type of housing you are interested in, it’s time to start your leasing process!
As previously stated, for on-campus housing, you’ll fill out the Georgia Tech Housing Application through the My Housing Portal to secure your spot in line for room selection. The sooner you complete the application, the higher you’ll be on the waitlist, so you’ll have a better chance at getting your preferred dorm. To help make this process quicker, you can familiarize yourself with the application process ahead of time with this step-by-step guide from Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life.
For off-campus housing, you’ll want to make a list of apartments you’re interested in and start booking tours at these locations. The leasing staff will provide more information on rates, amenities and availability. If you are out-of-state or not able to actually tour in person, most leasing teams are accommodating and will do a virtual tour or call to answer any questions you may have about the property. You’ll then complete an application and, once approved, sign a lease for your apartment!
If you are curious as to what we recommend bringing to Midtown for the ultimate college experience, we invite you to download our college packing list for GA Tech students.
For more information on the leasing process for off-campus housing, check out our article on How to Sign a Lease at an Off-Campus Apartment Near Georgia Tech.
We hope this guide gave you a good overview of your options for housing as a first-year at Georgia Tech. If you have further questions about student housing in Atlanta or would like to learn more about leasing at Whistler, feel free to reach out to our leasing team. We are more than happy to assist you in your housing search.