Gainesville, Florida is home to just over 52,000 students. With such a large student body and a sprawling campus, there are many areas for UF students to live near campus.
At Sweetwater, we have helped hundreds of students with their student housing search, and we know it can be difficult to decide which area would be the right fit for you.
That’s why we’ve created this article to explain the popular areas around UF and compare the benefits of living in each area.
Where Do Students Live Near UF?
On-Campus Living at the University of Florida
On-campus living is a popular choice among freshmen because it enables students to acclimate to college living and find their way around campus.
The only on-campus living option is residence halls, commonly known as dorms. UF has 26 dorms to choose from, and each dorm has its own unique features. Different dorms offer different layouts, including traditional style and suite style. Traditional-style dorms have halls with rooms (typically doubles and triples) and communal bathrooms. Suite-style dorms are more similar to hotel rooms and each room has its own bathroom.
Dorms are offered as 9-month leases. Rates range from $2,278 to $4,125 per semester, which equates to $4,556 to $8,250 for the school year. For more information about dorm rates and billing, see the UF housing and residence life website.
Dorm rates at UF include your room, internet service and access to laundry. They come furnished with a desk and chair, dresser, extra-long twin bed, closet space and shelving. Most dorms also have common spaces with a microwave, kitchenette and lounge space to hang out with friends.
Meal plans are not included in the cost of dorms and vary in cost depending on which plan you choose. Meal plans range from $1,765 to $2,300 per semester, which equates to $3,530 to $4,600 for the year.
One thing to consider when looking at dorms is that they close during school breaks, including winter break, spring break and summer break. So, if you want to stay in Gainesville during these times, you may want to consider looking at off-campus living options.
Read Next: 8 Steps to Finding an Apartment at UF
Off-Campus Living Near UF
Most UF students do not live on campus, so there are plenty of options when it comes to off-campus living. Typically, students want to live close to campus so they can walk to the libraries and get to class on time and avoid the headache of parking near campus or taking public transportation.
Students living close to campus typically live in one of these four areas:
Off-Campus: 13th St.
One of the more popular areas for students to live is along 13th Street, which runs north-south along the east edge of UF’s campus.
Off-campus living options on 13th Street include apartments, traditional houses and Greek houses. Living in housing on 13th St. is convenient for walking to class and going to the nearest grocery store, Publix, which is also on 13th St.
Overall, parking in Gainesville can be tricky, but this area is especially difficult to park in because there are limited parking garages and street parking is always busy. The good news is most places students need to get to are accessible by walking.
Off-Campus: University Ave.
University Avenue runs east-west along the northern edge of UF campus. It runs past the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and intersects with 13th Street near the Warrington College of Business.
University Avenue housing options are suitable for students who value their academics as well as their social lives. Housing options in this area are close to Lib West, a favored library among UF students, and Midtown, a popular area filled with bars and fast-casual restaurants.
Read Next: Top 6 Local Coffee Shops near UF
Parking for students living in housing on University Avenue is somewhat easier than 13th Street parking, but it can still take a few laps before finding an open parking spot. Luckily, this area has Passport parking spots, so guests can park if they find open spots.
Apartments on University Avenue tend to be more expensive than other locations because they are not only close to campus, but also allow for easy access to the restaurants and bars in Midtown.
Off-Campus: Sorority Row
Popular housing: Sorority houses, Lyons Corner, Traditional houses
Sorority Row is known as the home to most of UF’s sorority houses. Sorority Row is east of campus, near 13th Street and Museum Road.
There are about 15 sorority houses in this area, which house about 50 girls each. There are also a number of apartments and traditional houses surrounding the sorority houses, which are great options for students who want to be near their sorority house, but aren’t living in the house that year. Most students who live in this area are social butterflies who love to be around people constantly.
While the name of the area, Sorority Row, might be misleading, don’t be confused; the apartments in this area are not just for sorority girls. The housing options in this area are close to campus, being just a 5-10 minute walk to class, and about a half mile from Depot Park.
Off-Campus: Fraternity Row
Popular housing: Fraternity houses
Fraternity Row is located on the west side of UF campus, just north of Lake Alice. Unlike Sorority Row, Fraternity Row only has fraternity houses, no other housing options. Home to about 15 fraternity houses, this area is only an option for students who are members of a fraternity. Some pros to living in this area are the huge parking lot for fraternity house residents and the park across the street, which is perfect for pick-up soccer games and picnics.
Comparison of Off-Campus Living Options
To summarize the typical offerings of each area near campus, we put together this table to help to compare your options:
|13th St.||University Ave.||Sorority Row||Fraternity Row|
|Proximity to Campus||5-15 minute walk||5-10 minute walk||5-10 minute walk||10-15 minute walk|
|Population||Undergraduate students||Undergraduate students||Undergraduate students; Mostly students in Greek life||Students in Greek life|
As you can see, students have many options when it comes to off-campus living near UF.
The place that you live can have a huge impact on your college experience, so it’s important to look at all of your options and figure out what you value most in your student housing. We hope that this article informs you about where UF students typically live and helps you to determine which area of Gainesville is right for you.