Law School Discussion

Off-Campus Housing Camden/Philly Area

Off-Campus Housing Camden/Philly Area
« on: June 16, 2009, 10:14:57 AM »
I know I'm double posting, but the Rutgers-Camden board is pretty dead, so I figured to give General a shot.

I missed out on the whole off-campus living aspect of undergrad; I was an RA for three years on a campus that has 80% of its students in dorms. Karma for all those busts has finally kicked in and I find myself oh-so-woefully unprepared for a renter's life. To paraphrase, I have absolutely no idea what to do now. I don't know what I'm looking for, but would like to avoid on campus housing again because its time to grow up (so to speak).

What has me nervous -- other than the greater than zero possiblity of getting shanked in Camden -- is the rent. Rutgers offers $14,000 in maximum aid to cover room and board. This is particularly frustrating, as the rent of where "all the cool kids go" is about $1k a month plus some utilities. If their estimate/maximums only include the academic year, it doesn't seem so bad. On the other hand then, I would have to come up with that money over summer when I should be doing my 1L internship. I am terrified of going broke.

That being said, do must 1Ls room with other law students, are do they attempt finding a studio/basement/bonefide hellhole for themselves? For those that have $1k rents, how do you afford it? And for those of you that are familiar with Rutgers, Camden or Philly what would you suggest?


Re: Off-Campus Housing Camden/Philly Area
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 02:01:44 PM »
I don't go to Rutgers-Camden, but I live in Philadelphia and ran into a R-C law student at a coffee shop when I was studying in Philadelphia.  You should definitely check this information, but he said it is only a five minute train ride from Center City Philadelphia, around Broad and Walnut, to the Camden campus.  Philadelphia is a great place to live, that area is totally safe, and you should be able to find something on craigslist for far less than $1k if you are willing to have an apartment-mate and live in an older, non-doorman building.

Re: Off-Campus Housing Camden/Philly Area
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 02:31:46 PM »
You should look into the in-state residency requirements before deciding where to live; a few years ago I worked with a few R-C students who said that it was fairly easy to get in-state tuition, but you do have to live in New Jersey. This could be inaccurate or outdated info, of course, and may not apply to your situation. So Philly might not be the best choice, financially (also, if you work while you're in school, Philadelphia has a really obnoxious wage tax).

If you do decide to live in Philly, as sfmeg said it is quite easy to get from Philly to Camden (taking PATCO). Take a look on Craigslist, and keep in mind that listings usually pop up 1-2 months before they're available; you'll be hard pressed to find much before then. If you can, go to Philly and walk around neighborhoods to get a feel for them and what it would take to get to Camden from there (and see if they have signs out for available apartments).

The school may also be able to provide you with a list of places students tend to live or some other similar resource.