Off-Campus Student Services Helps Appalachian Students Make Good Housing Choices!
By late in the fall semester, students are beginning to think about where they will be living during the next academic year (2019-20). Close to 12,000 Appalachian State students live off-campus in rental houses and apartments around Boone and throughout Watauga County. Because of the established leasing schedule in Boone, students often sign leases long before they will actually be moving into their off-campus rentals. Many students sign leases in January, February, and March for rentals that will begin in August. But some make housing commitments as early as November – or even October! -- for the following year! This timeline means it’s very important to begin educating students during fall semester about what to look for in a rental and how to read and understand a lease. Off-Campus Student Services does this in a number of ways.
Electronic Signboard Public Service Announcements:
Parent and Family Services Newsletter
Off-Campus Student Services makes sure to keep parents and families informed about issues related to off-campus housing and about how their students can get more information. The Parent and Family Services newsletter Appalachian Connections goes out to more than 17,000 email addresses every month. Parents pay attention and are often the ones to clue their students into programs and other resources!
Individual Lease Review
Students can review a lease through the Student Legal Clinic. A lease review involves going through the document section by section – explaining what each section means and answering students’ questions. Consultations are free and confidential. Over the past few years, more students have been taking advantage of this service (many because their parents “strongly suggest” it!).
Off-Campus Housing 101 Programs
Off-Campus Housing 101 is aimed at students currently living on-campus who are considering or planning to move off-campus for the following academic year. In 2018-19, we will be offering the program on four different dates, two near the end of fall semester, and two in January after students return from winter break. We promote the program in partnership with University Housing and also advertise through the Parent and Family newsletter, our websites, and social media.
Housing presentations upon request
Off-Campus Students Services is always looking for opportunities to provide off-campus housing information to student groups, classes, or residence halls. This fall, we will be presenting to SSS and ACCESS students, the Transfer RLC, and several groups of incoming transfers at T-POP. Please get in touch if you would like to schedule a presentation for students! This information is relevant now and into the early part of spring semester.
Websites and Social Media
Our websites offcampus.appstate.edu and offcampushousing.appstate.edu have lots of resources for finding off-campus housing. We also use the websites to advertise our educational programming and remind students about the importance of reading and understanding their lease before they sign. Facebook is a great way to get information out to students about off-campus resources, presentations, events, and issues. In addition to keeping our Facebook page Appstate Off-Campus Student Services up-to-date, we frequently cross-post on “App State Classifieds” and “Appalachian State Transfers” to reach as many students as possible!
Through all of these efforts, our message to students is to be active and engaged in their housing search, to understand their options, and to make housing choices that meet their needs and are a good fit for them!