4 Things to Know Before Moving Off Campus at the University of Alabama

By Rafael Henriquez | January 26, 2018

Going off to college is a milestone, not only in your academic career but your personal life, as well. It’s a chance to be independent and autonomous, free to take risks and experience new things. This is particularly true if you’re living off campus. However, as exciting as it is, moving off campus can also be intimidating, even overwhelming. Here are a few things to know about living off campus while attending the University of Alabama.


1. Look for Crimson Choice Properties

The University of Alabama operates the Crimson Choice program to help students find suitable off-campus residences. Property owners volunteer to participate in the program, which involves an annual inspection by Crimson Choice property inspectors. The inspectors use over 50 criteria to evaluate the property’s security and cleanliness. Properties that meet the standards are listed on the Crimson Choice website. You can also ask property owners if they are officially Crimson Choice-designated. One of the most significant concerns parents and students have about living off campus is security. Crimson Choice is a university-sanctified way to ensure you or your student are living in a safe place.

2. Obey City Ordinances

Living off campus affords you quite a bit of freedom. However, even though you don’t have to obey all university rules in your off-campus residence, you’re still subject to city and state laws and ordinances. Besides the obvious laws, such as no driving under the influence or vandalizing property, you also need to familiarize yourself with lesser-known ordinances. These include mandates such as how many unrelated people can live in a single-family home, not using other people’s trash and recycling bins, and not parking on your lawn. Read the full list of Tuscaloosa ordinances here.


3. Use the Shuttle Service

Some apartment complexes near the university provide shuttle services to and from campus. Typically, the shuttles are owned and operated by the apartment complex, and hours of operation vary. Taking the shuttle service gives you the opportunity to save money on gas and parking fare on your daily commute to and from school. As of June 2017 (the latest the list was updated), complexes offering this service are Alpha, Boardwalk at Brittain Landing, The Grand at Rum Creek, The Greens, and The Links. If you don’t live in one of these complexes, check out the Crimson Ride for other shuttle options to and from campus.

4. Grab a Bite at These Local Spots

Whether you need to grab a bite before class or a place to hang out after a long week, there are a few local eateries students swear by. According to Spoon University, the first of these is The Ferguson Center, a.k.a. The Ferg. Located on campus, it’s a compound filled with joints like Panda Express and Auntie Annes, as well as the university’s largest Starbucks. Next on the list is Rock N Roll Sushi, Pieology, Juice Bar, and Denny Dogs. All of these eateries cater specifically to students regarding affordability and taste. A little further from campus, you’ll find local favorites like Mugshots Bar & Grill, Five Bar, Chuck’s Fish, and Krispy Kreme, all of which are worth the trek.

Are you ready to "roll" off campus?

Living on campus may be easier, but the advantages of living off campus may be well worth the trouble, as long as you’re prepared. So go ahead and find your home in Alabama.


Do you live off campus, or have you in the past? Share your experiences and opinions with others in the comment section!


About Rafael Henriquez: Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for ForRent.com, CorporateHousing.com, After55.com, and ForRentUniversity.com. He helps create, edit, and plan content that connects current and potential renters with apartment and property managers and owners. When Raf isn’t busy writing, he spends a great deal of his time performing sketch and improv comedy, hanging out at the beach, and looking at memes on the Internet.

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