With so many living options in Gainesville, it can be overwhelming to know which type of housing is best for you.
Learning about all of the living options in Gainesville will help you make the most informed decision about where to live, and the more information you know before signing a lease, the more likely you are to be happy with your housing decision.
At Sweetwater, we have helped hundreds of UF students navigate their student housing search, and we understand the importance of knowing all of your options before making a final housing decision.
That’s why we’ve made this article to lay out all of the types of housing available for UF students.
Types of Housing For Students at UF
UF is home to over 50,000 students, and there are many different types of housing for students to choose from.
For undergraduate students, the most popular types of housing are:
Dorms, formally known as residence halls, allow students to live on campus. Typically, freshmen and some sophomores live in dorms, but students at UF are not required to live on campus for their first year. Very few upperclassmen live on campus.
Dorms are set up intentionally to help freshmen transition from high school to college; they have common spaces that provide a place for students to meet new people, they offer meal plans so students don’t need to worry about cooking, and have laundry rooms in the buildings. Dorms typically have residence assistants, also known as RAs, who further help them in their first year of college.
Dorms at UF are offered as nine-month contracts from August to April, aligning with the school year. One thing to consider before signing to live in a dorm is students are not able to stay in the dorms during any extended breaks, including winter break, spring break and summer break. Some halls allow you to sign a contract for housing during the summer session, but these spaces are limited, so if you need to be able to live in Gainesville over summer or other breaks, it’s wise to find an alternative living option.
All dorms at UF include room, laundry, internet and access to all common spaces in the hall. The rooms come partially furnished, including an extra-long twin bed, desk, chair and dresser. Most students buy a mini fridge, lamp and a variety of accessories to make the dorm more fitting for their needs.
There are 27 residence halls at the University of Florida, each with a variety of layouts. Most of the residence halls are traditional dorm-style layouts, offering single, double, triple, and quad occupancy rooms. There are also a few apartment-style and suite-style residence halls at UF, which will fall on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Dorm rates vary greatly depending on which hall you want to live in and what layout you choose. Based on the UF Housing website, dorm rates range from $2,553 per semester for a quad occupancy to $4,505 per semester for a suite single, which equates to $5,106 to $9,010 for the school year.
Meal plans are not included in dorm rental rates. Meal plans vary, and cost is based on which plan you choose, ranging from $1,845 to $2,404 per semester (or $3,690 to $4,808 for the year). To review all of the meal plan options, visit the UF Business Services website.
Student Housing Apartments
Student housing apartments are the most popular type of housing for UF undergraduates. These apartments are located off campus and built specifically for students. They are tailored to meet the wants and needs of UF students, including access to many amenities that are not offered by other housing types.
The most popular areas in Gainesville where UF students rent apartments are University Ave. and 13th Street. For more information on off-campus neighborhoods and a comparison of each area, check out our article: Where to Live Near UF if You Don’t Want to Live on Campus.
There are many student housing apartments available for UF students, but if you are looking to live close to campus, these are a few of the most popular student housing apartments:
- The Standard
- Hub on 3rd
- Hub University
- Social 28
- Stadium House
- Lark Gainesville
- The Row
Student housing apartments are unique in the way that they lease apartments. These apartments are typically offered as year-long individual leases. This means that the apartment is leased by bed, not by unit, and each person signs their own individual lease that makes them responsible for their own room, bathroom and common spaces.
The apartments are usually fully furnished and provide a variety of amenities, including rooftop pool decks, fitness centers and lounges for group gatherings. These amenities are designed to support your lifestyle as a student and optimize your time at UF.
Student housing apartments do not come with meal plans, so remember to factor in the cost of food when determining your budget.
Student housing apartments’ rental rates vary depending on the location to campus and the amenities that they offer. Apartments can range from $700 to $2,000 per person per month. For a more detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Gainesville, check out our article: How Much Does it Cost for Students to Live Near UF?
Another common type of housing in Gainesville is traditional apartments. Traditional apartments are different from student housing apartments because they are less tailored to students, with fewer amenities, and are located farther from campus.
Traditional leases are year-long leases that are signed for an entire unit, rather than by bed. This typically means that one roommate is responsible for paying the total cost of rent each month and collecting each roommate’s portion of the rent and utilities.
Depending on the apartment complex, proximity to campus, and year it was built, traditional apartments can range in price from $500 to $1,800 per person per month.
If you’re interested in apartment-style living but aren’t sure what kind to choose, check out our article: Which Type of Off-Campus Housing is Right for Me? Student Housing vs. Traditional Apartments Near UF.
Greek life makes up for 15% of the student body at UF, so Greek housing is another popular housing option for undergraduate students.
It is fairly common for sophomores and juniors in Greek life to live in their sorority or fraternity house. Each house is controlled by its respective organizations and has house moms/dads that oversee all in-house members.
Most sorority and fraternity houses close for the summer, so they typically offer nine-month leases. The leases include the cost of rent, utilities and a meal plan. Room styles vary greatly, with some sharing bedrooms and bathrooms and others having their own individual rooms.
Some sororities and fraternities have begun to upgrade or completely rebuild their houses, so prices vary greatly depending on the year it was built. Typically, sorority and fraternity houses are priced higher than the average cost of rent in Gainesville, but, because meal plans are included, it can be a better value.
For more information about Greek houses, go to the financial and housing information sections of the Guide to Florida Greeks.
The final housing type available for UF students is traditional houses. Houses are located in neighborhoods behind Midtown, near sorority row, and both east and west of campus down University Avenue. Some houses are privately owned and others are owned by property management companies.
Traditional houses are a popular option for upperclassmen or graduate students. Living in a house provides a much different lifestyle than living in an apartment because there tend to be little-to-no amenities, but there may be more living space and free parking. Houses typically come unfurnished, so the cost of furniture should be factored into your budget.
Most leases for houses are offered as year-long, traditional leases, so, similar to traditional apartments, one roommate pays the rent each month and all roommates set up a system to split the rent and utility bills.
Depending on proximity to campus and the area you want to live in, houses can vary in prices, but they are typically on the low-to-middle end of rental rates. Houses can range from $500 to $1,200 per person per month. Houses located in the Midtown area tend to be more expensive, while houses east down University Avenue tend to be less expensive.
Comparison of Housing Types
To make it easier for you to compare all of the different types of housing in Gainesville, we made this table that lays out all of the housing options discussed in this article:
|Dorms||Student Housing Apartments||Traditional Apartments||Greek Houses||Traditional Houses|
|Affordability||$$||$$ – $$$||$ – $$$||$$||$ – $$$|
|On-Campus or Off-Campus||On||Off||Off||Varies||Off|
As you can see, there are many different housing options in Gainesville, so you are certain to find a housing option that works for your wants and needs.
We hope that this article helped educate you on all of the housing options near UF and compare the types of housing that are offered in the area.
If you would like to learn more about Sweetwater, please visit our amenities and floor plan pages for more information, or contact our leasing staff, who are happy to help answer any questions you may have during your housing search.