New York City is home to some of the finest colleges in America; Columbia, NYU, and Fordham University to name a few. Every year new students flock to the city, excited to make their dreams come true in the Big Apple! But one thing New York City is known for is its competitive rental market. If you choose to live off-campus rather than in a dorm, it can feel overwhelming to try and find affordable student housing that is also near your school.

Say no more! We've got you covered. Here are some great tips to help you find the best student housing in NYC.

Where can I find student housing in NYC?

NYC has five boroughs and about 250 neighborhoods! Finding a suitable off-campus apartment that fits your needs can be difficult in this metropolis. Your best bet is to start researching a month or two before moving to the city. We have compiled ten housing websites to speed up your search:

Many of these websites allow you to search for rent-stabilized apartments, which are only allowed to increase in rent price by a small percentage as determined by the Rent Guidelines Board.

Tip: If your search process becomes overwhelming, you can find a real estate broker to help you. They typically charge a broker's fee but are very efficient at finding you a suitable apartment.

Sharing Rent and Finding Roommates

Your rent will vary depending on the neighborhood and type of apartment you are renting. Your average monthly rent for a studio or one-bedroom apartment could range from $2000 to $3000. Make sure to check if your rent includes utilities too. You may have to account for the costs of certain utilities if your landlord excludes them from your rent.

It's cheaper to rent an individual or a shared room, which is very common for college students on a budget. A great way to find roommates is to post an ad in your university or use these websites: **DiggzListings ProjectRoomieMatchRoomi, and Reddit.**

Student-Friendly Neighborhoods in NYC

When you live off-campus, having a student community can improve up your social life and nightlife! Finding student housing around NYC depends on the school you're attending. These neighborhoods also provide affordable student housing!

Location, affordability, and easy subway access are three crucial factors you should consider when looking for a room.

Here's a list of neighborhoods with affordable student housing!

  • Columbia University: Morningside Heights, Upper Manhattan Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan

  • NYU: Lower Manhattan Union Square, Manhattan Long Island City, Queens Bushwick, Brooklyn Astoria, Queens (Great neighborhood if you live near the right subway station)

  • Barnard College: Morningside Heights, Upper Manhattan; Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan

  • Fordham University: Fordham Heights, Bronx; University Heights, Bronx; Concourse, Bronx

  • City University of New York: Murray Hill, Manhattan; Long Island City, Queens Astoria, Queens; Bushwick, Brooklyn

  • Yeshiva University: Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan; University Heights, Bronx; Fordham Heights, Bronx

Related: What are the best student housing areas in New York?

When do I start looking for apartments?

New York City has a notoriously competitive rental market, and when college semesters begin, the competition for student housing is even greater. You may not find a suitable apartment if you wait too long, or you may end up paying extra for the increased demand during summer.

Ideally, it would be best if you started looking for a home six weeks to a month before your courses or internships begin. It's easier to find better rates during winter as fewer people move to the city, and you can strike an excellent deal with your landlord.

Get a Lease Guarantor

A guarantor takes financial responsibility for your rent or lease of your student housing. They are not required to pay your rent but they will take responsibility for all the terms of your agreement if you cannot pay your rent. A guarantor is often a parent or guardian, but there is an increasing number of services like The Guarantors that will take on this responsibility!

If you are an international student, you'll need a guarantor to co-sign your documents. They charge a fee and sign a letter of guarantee.

Prepare Your Documents

When you finally move to NYC, keep all your documents ready that you need to submit to your landlord. Your landlord may ask for some or all of these documents:

  • Completed rental application

  • Passport, ID, or Driver's License

  • Your acceptance letter from your college

  • Any letter of employment if you work on-campus

  • Scholarships/Funding documents from your college or external organization

  • Previous month's bank statement

  • Letter of recommendation

With this student housing guide, you'll be ready to take on the city that never sleeps!