University 101 Programs




Off-Campus Student Services

With the majority of students moving off-campus after their first year, it is imperative that students have the resources needed to make the decision about where they will be living. Most students find themselves having to make this decision in the fall semester for the following year. “Off-Campus Living 101” discusses the off-campus housing search process, including questions to ask and things to consider, understanding a lease, and being a good neighbor.        

Learning Outcomes

The “Off-Campus Living 101” presentation supports University 101 learning outcomes:

III. Prepare Students for Responsible Lives in a Diverse, Interconnected, and Changing World

c. Describe and demonstrate principles of responsible citizenship within and beyond the campus community

Off-campus students are not only members of the USC community but also the community in which they reside. We will educate students about the code of conduct applying to situations off campus. We will also provide tips for students on being a good neighbor so they do not disrupt the lives of those living around them.

d. Describe processes, strategies, and resources, and explain the implications of their decisions, related to their overall wellness

Having a place to live is a basic need. Before students can be successful academically or engage in campus life, they need to find a place to live. This presentation provides students with the tools necessary to make an informed decision. Students will be empowered to ask the right questions to determine whether a living situation is going to be right for them.

As a result of attending this presentation students will:

  • Recognize the pros and cons of living both on and off-campus
  • Understand the process of securing off-campus housing, including searching, signing a lease, putting down a deposit, roommate selection, and moving in
  • Learn that the code of conduct applies to them whether they live on or off-campus

Presentation Outline

  • Introduction/Information Gathering
    • Ask students where they in their decision of living on or off-campus
    • Ask students if they have signed leases (if so, where?)
  • On-Campus Housing
    • Share information about process of requesting on-campus housing
  • Things to consider when deciding where to live off-campus
    • Go through a checklist of questions they need to ask themselves
    • Discuss pros and cons of living off-campus
    • Cost comparison
    • Identify the different types of housing options
  • The Lease
    • Identify the types of leases available
    • Discuss common terms of a lease (length, subleasing, breaking a lease)
    • Provide examples of terminology used in a lease.
  • Being a good neighbor
    • Code of conduct
    • City ordinances
  • Activity
    • Rental scenarios: divided into groups of 2-4 and receive a rental scenario. As a group they need to identify the pros and cons of the apartment/house and identify additional questions they would ask.
    • Discuss each option as a group
  • Overview of what was covered/Final considerations
  • Off-Campus Student Services
    • Overview of services available to students

Presentation Length
50 minutes

Presenter Training
The majority of presenters will be professional staff or Graduate Assistant. The Graduate Assistant will be trained on the information provided and will be required to observe professional staff prior to conducting one on their own. Undergraduate student staff may attend the presentations but will not facilitate the presentation. There will always be a professional staff member or graduate assistant facilitating the majority of the presentation.