Where to Live Near OSU if You Don’t Want to Live on Campus | Rambler Columbus (2024)

While many agree that the ‘dorm experience’ is an essential part of college life, many students choose to only live on-campus for only the required amount of time. Living off-campus is also an important part of college, it’s the first time you experience leasing your own apartment or home.

Where to Live Near OSU if You Don’t Want to Live on Campus | Rambler Columbus (1)

Living on campus is only a requirement for your first two years at OSU, so after that you will begin looking for housing near the campus instead of on-campus. You probably identify as an upperclassman who is ready for independence. You now have the opportunity to live more affordably and choose from a variety of different housing options.

At Rambler Columbus, we recognize the multitude of reasons behind students opting for off-campus living. This is precisely why we’ve crafted this extensive guide, aiming to assist you in navigating all the choices students have for off-campus living.

Where to Live Off-Campus Near OSU Columbus

North Campus

​​If you’re someone who thrives on staying engaged both on and off campus, North Campus is the perfect spot for you.

Among students engaged in Greek life, athletic teams, and similar organizations, North Campus stands out as the most favored location. It’s also an excellent option for upperclassmen wanting proximity to most academic buildings as their primary consideration, especially for business and engineering students.

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The primary attraction of North Campus lies in its location. Lined with an abundance of popular bars, restaurants, and shopping venues, it’s just a brief stroll to many popular destinations, including your classes!

North Campus is undoubtedly one of the most densely populated neighborhoods among students in Columbus, North Campus offers a diverse range of housing choices, from student apartments to traditional homes.


Complete with premium amenities and fully furnished accommodations, North Campus has numerous complexes providing an upscale living experience. This area is likely to be one of your most desired options.

The majority of North Campus apartments cater specifically to students, constructed and operated with their needs in mind. Being in such a close radius of your peers in a similar stage of life also cultivates a strong sense of community.

While these apartments often come with a higher price tag, there are ample opportunities to tailor the cost to your budget. Whether through opting for floor plans with more roommates, or choosing a bedroom without a window, luxurious living in a North Campus apartment is achievable across various price ranges.


North Campus offers a range of traditional homes close to Lane Ave where most of the popular bars and restaurants are located.

Renting a house appeals to some students seeking more space. For larger groups comprising five, six, or more individuals, finding an apartment that accommodates everyone’s needs can be challenging. Additionally, having a greater number of roommates usually drives down the cost per person in a shared living space as more individuals share common areas.

Though certain parts of North Campus might exceed walking distance from the university, the advantage lies in most houses offering free parking.

However, it’s vital to consider additional expenses tied to maintaining a house, unlike in an apartment where costs like lawn care and certain utilities are typically included in the rental rates. Additionally, renting a house often entails a collective lease among roommates, increasing everyone’s financial responsibility.

Central Campus/University District

Decorated by vibrant murals, bustling bars, and a multitude of restaurants within arm’s reach, Central Campus stands as a highly coveted spot for students seeking off-campus living.

University District is especially favored by students embracing Columbus nightlife and diverse events. Its adjacency to campus makes it a convenient choice for those preferring to walk or bike to class.

Central Campus offers the flexibility to balance engagement both on and off-campus, making it a preferred residential area for many students. Also, living in a University District apartment grants students a sense of independence and accountability, all within proximity to campus and their social circles.


With high-end amenities and fully-furnished apartments, the university district has many apartment complexes that are made to suit your needs as a student at OSU. Students who live in downtown apartments are able to watch movies in the theater room, workout in the gym with friends and pull all-nighters in the study rooms.

These apartments are built with students in mind to try to help balance your social life and academics. Since you are neighbors with your peers, these apartments make it easy to meet new people and feel more connected with the OSU community.

You won’t find yourself underwhelmed with the amount of apartment options on central campus. These apartments, as complexes and individual units above the businesses, will allow you both your academic and social life to thrive.

Some popular apartments for students in the University District are The Wellington, The View on High and Wilson Place.

Read Next: OSU Off-Campus Apartment Review: The Wellington

Greek Houses

In Central Campus, you’ll find numerous fraternity and sorority houses alongside residences or spaces owned by various organizations.

For students involved in Greek life, residing within their organization’s house for at least a year is a common practice. This option tends to be more economical for some compared to renting an apartment, although the cost of living in these houses varies based on the specific organization.

Nonetheless, you can’t walk through the University District without seeing a few of these establishments, so it is beneficial to know that this is a housing choice for many OSU students.

South Campus

If you’re looking for a quieter setting without sacrificing the convenience of living near campus, South Campus might be your perfect fit. Located near the Medical Campus, this area is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students studying in the medical field.

Situated away from the vibrant social hub of North and Central Campus, South Campus, however, presents numerous location-based advantages. Popular among upperclassmen, graduate students, and young professionals, the North Campus area holds its own appeal.

Whether you opt for a house or an apartment, the community-oriented atmosphere in South Campus can offer a slightly more affordable alternative for those seeking traditional off-campus living options.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease in Columbus, Ohio


The lavish amenities and sophisticated finishes commonly seen on North and Central Campus apartments are also present on South Campus. While being located a bit farther from campus, South apartment complexes can be slightly cheaper.

For students, the primary draws of choosing a South Campus apartment are its affordability and location. If commuting via bus, biking, or driving to your destination isn’t an inconvenience, an apartment in South Campus might be a suitable choice for you.

Now that you have an understanding of the neighborhoods near campus, be sure to familiarize yourself with What Types of Housing are Available for OSU Students?

We hope this guide aids in your exploration of off-campus neighborhoods near OSU. If you have any questions while navigating your student housing search, the Rambler Columbus leasing team is here and eager to assist you!

Where to Live Near OSU if You Don’t Want to Live on Campus | Rambler Columbus (2024)
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