Guide to student accommodation - clearing 2018
Whilst most students would ideally have been able to book their student accommodation well in advance, those who have been allocated a place through the clearing system may be thrown into accommodation panic. Given all of the other considerations they have to deal with regarding courses and finance they will probably be facing brain overload!
Clearing students will need to adopt a strategic approach to the important matter of accommodation, given that there has been a rise of over 65,000 unconditional offers this year, and many of the options are already taken.
The first consideration is what type of accommodation they would prefer-
- Whilst University accommodation is usually the top choice for those in their first year, it is often not an option for students going through clearing. Because it is owned and managed by the University they will probably have no control over who they are placed with or the cost.
- Private housing with student share is an option for those with a lower budget who would like the independence to choose their housemates. This would offer them a room with shared communal facilities.
- Private halls are usually owned and managed by a company with a similar arrangement to the university owned system, but they tend to have more facilities such as ensuite rooms; cinema; gym; laundry facilities and private entry systems. They might be a little more expensive but offer good value for money given they are usually modern and well run.
- Homestays or lodgings within a family home or with a landlord on site may offer a little more support with the homeowners offering additional help with meals, transport or laundry.
It is important to start looking at the options as soon as possible to get the best of the remaining availability, all of the clearance student will now be searching the options, and they will let very quickly.
It may be best to avoid high street agents as they do not concentrate on students as much as they do sales and lettings, and may have a more negative approach to student lettings.
Rather, it is advisable to choose a student specific website which would offer students a lot of additional information relevant to their search, along with appropriate support and guidance.
Obviously location should also be a key factor. The nearest properties may be full, but distances and transport options are available online. They should not be influenced by advertisers claiming property is within a popular student area without checking themselves. Contacting the university itself may be a good point of reference for this.