Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start looking for housing off campus? 

Some of the larger apartment complexes will start pre-leasing as early as October for the following academic year (example: sign a lease in October 2010 for the 2011-2012 academic year). Many students will continue to look at housing well into the Spring semester. OCSS offers an off campus housing fair in March to provide students a convenient way to inquire about housing off campus.

How do I find housing off campus? 

OCSS provides students, faculty and staff with a convenient website that lists available apartments and houses for rent and sale in Greenville and the surrounding area. The site is very user-friendly and provides information such as location, pricing, floor plans, and amenities about each listing.

Should I live off campus? 

If you are a first year student, OCSS highly recommends that you live on campus your first academic year.  Living off campus comes with more responsibilities as well as certain freedoms than can sometimes limit your success in making the transition to college life. About 74% of students at the University live off campus and OCSS is here to assist them in finding housing as well as making the adjustment to living on their own.

What if I'm a college freshman and I want to live off campus?

All first year students are not required to live on campus for their first academic year (two semesters), but OCSS highly recommends that all first year students live on campus to aid in making the transition to college life.  Please visit their website for more information.

Can OCSS recommend a place to live off campus? 

Off-Campus Student Services can provide students, faculty, staff and students' family members with resources to find off campus housing and the education necessary to locate the right housing. We do not recommend housing or make referrals for housing off campus. It is important to determine your budget and needs for housing off campus including location, amenities, etc in order for you to determine the right off campus housing fit.

How do I know where certain apartments or houses are located?

OCSS has provided descriptions of the locations listed on the off campus housing website and there is a housing map to better assist you in your search.

Do I have to visit Greenville to search for housing?

It is never recommended that you sign a lease before seeing the property in person. New students are encouraged to look for housing while they are in town for Orientation. If you have to make a separate trip to Greenville it may be well worth the trip in order to physically see the property you are thinking about renting/buying.

Are the off campus housing properties affiliated with the University?

No, currently all off campus properties are owned independently and are not affiliated with the University.

Can I use my financial aid to pay for my off campus housing?

In some cases students may be able to use their financial aid to pay for off campus housing, but it cannot be paid the same as if they were living on campus. Once students apply their financial aid to pay their fees, the remaining balance of aid will be reimbursed to them. It is then up to the student to responsibly manage that lump sum and pay their bills each month. For more information on applying fees please visit  

How much is rent and what else do I have to pay?

Rent in Greenville and the surrounding area can vary greatly. The average rent is likely somewhere between $320-$700 per person per month. Some rent payments will cover everything from utilities to high-speed Internet to lawn services while others may cover none of those. It is important when looking for a place to live to clarify with the landlord what the rent payment covers.

Do I have to sign a 12 month lease?

The lease terms will indicate how long your lease is good for. Most apartments/houses will require a 12 month lease while others may allow you to sign a shorter term such as 6-9 months. Many students who do not plan on staying the entire summer will look for some to take over their lease for the remaining months of the term (sublease). For more help in understanding leases contact Student Legal Services,

What is an individual lease? 

An individual lease means that your name is the only one on your lease (and perhaps your guarantor) and you are only responsible for your portion of the total rent. For example, if you live in a four bedroom apartment that offers individual leases, you only pay your portion and your roommates pay their portion separately. If a roommate moves out, you still are only responsible for your portion if you have an individual lease. For more help in understanding leases please contact

Can I purchase a meal plan if I live off campus?

East Carolina University Dining Services does offer special meal plans to commuter students. Please visit their website,  for information on pricing and availability.

Where can commuter students park on campus?

Commuter students have some options for parking on campus - commuter parking lots or street/meter parking. All on campus parking lots require specific parking permits. There is more information about parking at

What if I don't have a car?

There are ECU Transit buses that provide transportation to and from many apartments complexes during set hours.  For more information on student transportation schedules and routes visit their website at   

What if I don't know anyone and need to find a roommate? 

OCSS does not have a roommate matching system. We do offer message boards on the off-campus housing website specific to finding a roommate. You may post on there if you have a place and need a roommate or if you need a place and a roommate. The message boards are used daily and get a decent amount of traffic. Some apartment complexes will assist in the roommate matching process, please contact individual complexes to find out about their services. Most of the complexes that offer individual leases will provide roommate matching.

What if I have a conflict with my roommate?

You are encouraged to try to work all conflicts out before seeking outside sources. If this is not possible, the Office of Student Legal Services, offers Mediation Services.

Does the Student Code of Conduct apply to me if I'm off campus?

Yes, the Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in the University regardless of institutional or program affiliation. This applies to all students whether the event occurs on or off campus. If you are enrolled and engage in student misconduct off campus, you may be held accountable through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities,

How can I set up a carpool with people in my area?

OCSS offers a message board solely for carpooling on the off-campus housing website. You are encouraged to use this board to help with setting up a carpool to and from campus.

How do I know if there is an emergency on campus?

All individuals are encouraged to sign up for ECU Alert System .  You may choose to receive information via text message, telephone or email by signing up through ECU Alert. The University is also utilizes a tone system that can be heard on campus as well as in the downtown Greenville area. For more information concerning campus safety, please visit the ECU Police website at

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