After two mandatory years of on-campus living, more juniors and seniors at the University of South Dakota have been exploring alternative housing options Vermillion has to offer.
This is seen by the 72 percent of undergraduates living off-campus, in comparison to 68 percent in 2011-12, according to Institutional Research’s Common Data Set.
Junior Brandon Gronseth chose to live off-campus during his junior year, but learned the pieces don’t necessarily always fall into place immediately.
Gronseth knew he no longer wanted to live in the dorms, but had a difficulty finding a needed third roommate.
“We couldn’t find a place we liked,” Gronseth said. “We found a house we liked, and finally signed the lease on the last day of the semester.”
Gronseth found an abundance of renting options, but realized he had to wade through them in order to find a location and a level of quality he liked.
“There are a lot of houses that aren’t nice houses,” Gronseth said.
Vermillion has a population of 10,706, according to an estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, up 1.3 percent from 10,571 in the 2010 census and the city contains 4,043 housing units.
Millie Boppert, owner of Vermillion Apartments, recommends students begin their search for an apartment early.
“Don’t wait for the last minute, look often for something you like,” Boppert said. “When you find something you like, contact the landlord as soon as possible so someone else doesn’t take it.”
Gronseth agrees with Boppert’s advice and experienced what happens when students wait to research their options.
“Start looking in early January,” Gronseth said.
Vermillion has renting options from $250 to $1,300 a month and houses and apartments across the street from the university to eight miles away, according to Vermillion Apartments.
However, the option of living off-campus does not always appeal to students.
First-year Leah Banks chose to stay on-campus after originally eyeing her off-campus options.
“I was just going to wait until my senior year to live off-campus. There’s really no reason to rush into getting a house,” Banks said. “I can live in McFadden for two years, and see how I do there, and just get accustomed to living independently for a while.”
Banks said she has found living on-campus prepared her for how to live off it.
“It teaches you responsibility. I mean, when you live in the dorms, (Coyote Village) or McFadden, you don’t really need to worry about when or how you’re going to get money to pay your monthly rent,” Banks said. “I don’t want to get out of college and not know how to live in my own house or apartment.”