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Student accommodation myths

Student accommodation mythsWhere you live will be a big part of your university experience. Avoid these myths to make sure you make the right choice.

Living in halls is always cheaper

It might seem obvious that university-run accommodation should work out cheaper than housing that's being rented out for a profit, but it's not always the case. There are lots of reasons that renting privately can be cheaper:

  • There's a wider choice of property to rent and locations to live in
  • In halls, you might have to pay for things like catering even if you don't want to
  • The university might have focused on renovating rooms or improving security rather than on rents
  • If you want to stay through the holidays, you might have to pay extra in halls

Of course, halls can be cheaper in some cases, and there are other things to consider when choosing where to live. The important thing is to do your research before you make a decision.

You'll definitely get a place in halls

Most (but not all) universities guarantee first years a place in university-run accommodation. However, it's important to check what your university offers and understand exactly what any guarantee involves. Conditions might include:

  • Making the university your firm choice
  • Applying for accommodation before a certain date
  • Confirming your place at the university before a certain date

At some universities, you might be offered a place in third-party accommodation if the university runs out of space.

Students can never get housing benefit

In most cases, it's true that students don't qualify for housing benefit. However, there are exceptions. You may be able to claim housing benefit if any of the following apply:

  • You are studying part-time
  • You are a lone parent
  • You have a disability
  • You have left your course temporarily because you are ill or have caring responsibilities
  • You are claiming income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income- related employment and support allowance

Whether you can claim still depends on your income, and your loans and grants will be counted as income for this.

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