The ‘Who’ and ‘Where’ of Graduate Living

This post is for Alice – and for all you other AU ’12 MAccers out there who were too shy to ask about finding a roomie!

Finding a roomie can be a tough task, especially when you’re new to campus.  You’re so excited to start the MAcc program and there are a lot of other things to think about, so finding that perfect roommate that you’ll be living with for an entire year and finding that perfect apartment can just add to the rush of it all.  Well, take comfort in knowing that the whole purpose of this post is to help you figure allllll of that out!

Let’s start with location:  Alice asked where most Fisher grad students live, and I’m not sure there’s really a great “here” answer.  What I can do though, is provide some insight on popular areas and why they are popular!  To begin, Fisher grad students have access to Fisher Commons, which are some really nice university-affiliated apartments on the corner of Lane Ave and Kenny Rd (this will make perfect sense once you’re familiar with the area).  These apartments are close to campus, but not necessarily walking distance.

Anything that’s on “North Campus” is very convenient for Fisher students.  This area is what is north of Lane Avenue, and includes streets such as Norwich, Northwood, and Oakland.  You’ll find a combination of apartments and houses for rent in these areas, all of which are close enough to Fisher that you can walk to and from class every day.  There are fun restaurants north of campus, too, which makes going out with friends easy and convenient.  Check out the Blue Danube, for instance.

South Campus is less convenient, but offers a totally different experience than North Campus.  On South Campus, you’ll have a good 15+ minute walk to class everyday, but I’ve been doing it for the past three years and have never had any trouble with it.  I wouldn’t recommend living further south than 8th Avenue, unless you skip a few streets and go into what is considered Victorian Village.  I’ve found that a lot of the apartments and houses on South Campus tend to be nicer in terms of upkeep, but sometimes are more expensive for this reason.  I’ve always felt incredibly safe on South Campus, too.  A huge bonus of South Campus is that you’re right by the South Campus Gateway, which has restaurants, bars, and a movie theater, as well as the campus Barnes and Noble.  You’re also pretty darn close to the Short North and downtown Columbus, so a night out is easy access.

For both North and South campus, you’ll want to check out what some of the area landlords have to offer.  I’d recommend Inn Town Homes and Apartments, and some others that I’ve heard of are Buckeye Real Estate and Pella.

Be sure to check out a few prior posts on housing to get other perspectives too!  Here are a few…

The Key to Graduate Housing

Fisher Commons – No Left Turn!

The Pros and Cons of South Campus Living

Village, District, Whatever the Name, They’re All Great!

Now – on to roomies.  Alice specifically mentioned finding roomies that are also prospective MAcc students, but note that you don’t have to live with someone from your program.  There’s a chance you’ll take MBA classes, so living with MBAs might not be a bad idea!  Just something to consider.

One of the best ways to find a roommate is to join and/or create a group for MAcc 2012-2013 students on Facebook.  In the admitted student gateway you can see the names and profiles of admitted students – go ahead and creep to find them on Facebook, then invite them to the group!  (And if you haven’t already uploaded your profile to the “Admitted MAcc Profiles” section of the gateway website, be sure you do so!) You’ll all be looking for roommates, so this will give you a place to talk and figure out if you’re roomie-material.

Speaking of the admitted student gateway, there is always a bulletin board in the gateway that is dedicated to helping students find roommates.  Be sure to take advantage of this!  Some MAccers won’t have a Facebook, or might join the group a little late.  Every MAcc student should be looking at the bulletin boards immediately though, so this might be a faster and more reliable method to find your roomie.  There will also be a Google Group that is dedicated to housing available through the gateway – take advantage of this resource too!

My biggest piece of advice is to simply not be shy.  Get on the gateway, find some other AU ’12 MAcc students and send them an email.  Go grab lunch to get to know each other – if things go well, you’ve found a roommate.  If things aren’t great, you’ve at least met a classmate which will still be extremely helpful in the very near future!  Don’t be hesitant to look at multiple apartments or houses when you call a leasing office – the first one you find probably won’t be your favorite.  There are a lot of great living spaces in the area, but there are some nasty ones too.  Take your time to make a good decision, because you’ll be there for a year.

Good luck!

The Pros and Cons of South Campus Living

Gerlach Hall, home of the Fisher graduate programs, is basically as far north as you can get on Ohio State’s campus.  I’m sure you know its located on Lane, which is essentially campus’s northern bound.  A lot of grad students thus decide to live up north, or at the beautiful Fisher Commons.  Some students even live as far north as Clintonville (a mile or two off campus)!

However, there are a few of us crazy enough to live on south campus.  As in one + mile south of Fisher.  Why, you might ask?  What could possibly drive us to live so far away?  Here is a list of the pros and cons of living on south.  And you can trust my advice – I lived there for my undergraduate years, too.

Let’s get the cons over with first…

  • If you want to live on south and stay west of High (which I would recommend…east is where a lot of Greek Life is), the closest you can get is 10th Avenue.  This will require a roughly 0.8 mile walk to Gerlach on a daily basis.  That’s not exactly short, so you’ll need to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to make the trek.
  • You will need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes.  And boots.  The walking shoes will be necessary in Autumn and Spring Quarter, when its nice out.  Often, sandals won’t make the cut.  In the winter, when there’s snow galore, you’ll want a really nice pair of boots to keep your feet warm and dry during your walk.
  • Once you leave for the day, you’re gone.  It often doesn’t make sense to walk to and from your apartment throughout the day, so when you leave for class in the morning, take food/homework/etc to keep you moving all day.  That way, you only have to hike it once.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Let’s talk pros!

  • South campus offers some great deals on apartments.  For being on campus, I have a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a room that’s bigger than my room at home, and my own bathroom (I have three other roommates, so this is awesome)!  Further, I really don’t pay all that much more than a lot of my friends that live north or east of High.
  • South Campus Gateway and the Short North:  I live right down the street from the South Campus Gateway, which is awesome.  A lot of Fisher grad students will end up spending time here and in the Short North, so while getting to class is rough, getting to social activities is a breeze.  The South Campus Gateway is filled with restaurants, bars, and a movie theatre, and the Short North has fantastic restaurants, bars, and a monthly gallery hop.
  • When the weather is nice, the walk is awesome.  It’s really relaxing to start your day off with a relatively long walk, and the walk home can be a great way to reflect on everything you did during the day.  Yeah, you can do this when its raining or snowing, but it’s really great when there’s sun out.
  • Access to the Olentangy Bike Trail and the Jessie Owens South:  This could be true for those who live up north (except the Jessie Owens North), but I personally believe that access is still easier on south.  This makes your goal of getting and staying fit much more of a reality!
  • Grocery stores abound!  If you live up north, you’ll probably have to take a bus to the grocery store.  On south, you can still take a bus to Giant Eagle (on Neil, Fifth, North High, or the Market District in Upper Arlington), but you can visit the new and improved Kroger on 7th and High.

In sum, I love love love living on south campus.  Sure, there are times that I wish I lived up north for the convenience of getting to Fisher.  In the end though, I have really loved living on south and would definitely do it again.  Leave some comments if you have questions about living on south – I’m happy to answer!

The Key to Graduate Housing

We are almost finished with spring quarter and I am shocked by how rapidly my first year ended.  With its end, so arrives the end of my apartment lease.  My roommate and I have decided to move.  We get along well, enjoy living together (will for another year), and desire a nicer apartment.  After hunting for a few days, we found our new abode, signed our new lease, and will move at the beginning of July.

The Class of 2011 will soon receive their MBAs and many will depart from Columbus, starting new lives beyond b-school and vacating many apartments.  The new 2013 class of full-time MBAs is slowly but surely gathering on Facebook and has already entered into a variety of discussions.  As I watch passively, I am reminded how clueless they are . . . which is totally normal.  To help them out (as well as any of you considering a full-time program), here’s a quick checklist along with several resources to get you started “apartment hunting”.

1. PROXIMITY: “Location.  Location.  Location!”  To live a happy grad school life, do not underestimate this critical decision.  Be as close to campus as possible – but not so close that you’re surrounded by undergrads.  The closer you live to campus, the easier it is to stop home and grab a bite to eat, change clothes, or take a nap.

Specific to Columbus: This is not Cleveland although it also snows here from November through April.  A “normal” commute from one place to the next is 15-20 minutes; a 30 minute drive is a long commute.

Specific to Fisher: It is easy to find housing within three miles of campus so your door-to-door travel time is approx 15 minutes.  Arriving late to class is a BAD idea.  If you are not a morning person, find a place near Fisher.  If you do not have a car, find a place near High Street or one of the main campus bus routes.

2. COST: Keep things reasonable especially if you will assume student loan debt to pay for b-school.  If you live like you’re rich now, you’ll have to live like you’re poor later.  Want a nicer place?  Get a roommate.

Specific to Columbus: If you live alone, plan to spend around $600/month for a decent place to live.  Any lower than that means you are sacrificing something (i.e. location, amenities, safety, privacy, peace & quiet).  Make sure you know what you are sacrificing.  With a roommate or a shared living arrangement (like a boarding house), you can find reasonable living accommodations for $350/person/month.

Specific to Fisher: If you’re not receiving housing assistance . . . or if you’re not independently wealthy, you’re smart to find a roommate to split expenses.  Use Facebook, the Graduate Housing Google Group, or OSU’s Off-Campus Student Services Roommate Search.

3. COMMUNITY: Do your research and ensure the type of community you live in matches your lifestyle.  You may want a family-friendly community with a yard, an urban landscape, a quiet community, or a communal area crawling with students.  The better the match the happier you will be.

Specific to Columbus: There are areas that cater to each lifestyle choice.  Some research online will help you determine what’s best for you.  One good site to use is  They explain the various communities here and provide a link to the suburbs in case that may interest you.

Specific to Fisher: You will be busy . . . so, unless you like to study at the Library (which incidentally is very nice), figure you will need an atmosphere at home that allows you to study.  Choose wisely and don’t get hung up on a bunch of amenities; there’s no need to pay for a bunch of extras you won’t use.  The RPAC and ARC blow away any apartments’ workout facilities.


Fisher Commons is an option available to Fisher MBAs and is great for camaraderie . . . which means you’ll sacrifice a bit on privacy.  Football tailgates are a norm in season and pre-event festivities are common in the courtyard.  Residents are primarily MBAs but not exclusively, other grad students (law, med, etc) call it home too.  Rent is relatively expensive without housing assistance but moving and commuting are made easy.

OSU Off-Campus Housing Services provides rental information, lease assistance, roommate contracts, roommate search support, and other helpful information to consider when moving to the OSU campus area. is a website that lists various independent rentals available in various areas of town.  It includes a description of communities around the city as well as a link to suburban rentals. is a handy website that scans Craig’s List and other apartment posting sites and displays the results visually on a map.  You can filter the results and easily stay informed of new rental opportunities as they become available.  It’s also offered as an app for your smart phone. is another handy website to peruse before renting in a local apartment community.  Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for – this site helps advise you.  It’s important to realize the audience is self-selected.  The massively disgruntled will find the time to post commentary.  Some fans post reviews as well . . . it’s up to you to filter through the info available and make an informed decision.

My final advice: the shaded areas on this map will be filled with undergrads because they are in walking distance of campus.  As a b-school student, I encourage you to explore the Outside University District areas.

Good luck and see you in the fall!

University Area Map