I chose to live off campus because I already had a house in the Columbus area in the suburb of Worthington. Worthington is located roughly 8 miles north of The Fisher College of Business. In making the decision about where to live, there are several important factors to consider when choosing a housing option.
- How do you want to get to campus? If you’re interested in walking or riding a bicycle to campus, it’s probably not a good idea to live far off campus. The weather in Columbus can sometimes be enough of a deterrent against riding a bicycle, but we do have a nice time frame of fair weather. Something to keep in mind – many students will be in business casual daily, often business professional attire. I don’t want to ruin a suit or cause an excessive increase in my dry-cleaning bill! Parking is easily accessible around the Fisher campus and is pretty reasonable in terms of affordability. Keep in mind that there are also motorcycle parking lots, bicycle racks, etc.
- Class/Group Implications. Nearly every single class within the MBA program in the initial term has some aspect of group work. In addition, most students get involved with student organizations and opportunities for other extracurricular. That being said, if you’re going to travel to campus more than once a day – driving each time can get pricey. If you live far off campus, like me, you may not have a choice. No one wants to be a slave to the gas pump, especially on a student budget.
- Fisher Commons. The Fisher Commons is an apartment complex which is designed primarily for students of the Fisher College of business. Although I do not have the statistics, many students choose to live at Fisher Commons. Arguably the largest attraction – many students/classmates live at Fisher Commons. If you have a homework/study question, it’s just a walk across the hall to a classmate. It’s also a natural social hub for events like tailgate events, parties, etc. There are certainly perks. However, there is a price to pay for the convenience. Fisher Commons is expensive, with many substitutes within the marketplace being 20-30% less.
- Neighborhood Personalities. Many surrounding neighborhoods within the Columbus market have their own flavor and personality.
- Dublin, Powell, Worthington and Westerville comprise the northern portion of the Columbus suburbs. These communities provide great school systems and are very family friendly, generally having a small town feel. The pace slows in the evenings, and these areas are generally quiet all day/night.
- Clintonville, “The Short North”, Italian Village, Victorian Village, and German Village are very popular among young urban dwellers. These neighborhoods have a rich, diverse history and are vibrant in terms of nightlife and dining options.
- Campus Area properties are generally going to have an “undergrad” feel. Although locations may be convenient, the Friday/Saturday parties and traffic congestion may detract for some people. These rentals will often be the most affordable option.
In the end, this is just a snapshot of what options and amenities are available around the Columbus area and is by no means intended to be exhaustive. Where anyone chooses to live is ultimately a personal decision, likely to include consideration of several of the above factors. Do your research and make a decision that’s best for you. In the end, remember that you’ll literally have to live with whatever choice that you make for at least a year.