Libby McMillan Henson

Deciding whether to live on or off the Clemson University campus is a big decision, and a highly personal one. There's no real right or wrong answer (except financially). Either living arrangement can be great; both have their pros and cons. You just want to make the best decision for you, your Clemson lifestyle and your budget.

Clemson campuses all have nearby apartemtns
Each of Clemson's campuses have appealing apartments near them.

Here's a look at the pros and cons of on-campus housing at Clemson or living in an off-campus apartment.

Living on the Clemson University campus

Living on the campus at Clemson has its pluses. With a Clemson University location, you wouldn't have to drive to school, and you could definitely walk to class, or any special events you want to attend. It would also be easier to be spontaneous, when it comes to inviting someone home.

You will also be far less tempted to eat out in budget-busting restaurants, with the cafeteria and affordable student union dining options so close at hand, if you live within the Clemson zip code of 29631.

You might also feel more a part of the Clemson community if you're staying in Clemson housing, where everyone is a student. When you're in the dorms or an on-campus apartment, you're surrounded by other Clemson fans, and people you have a lot in common with, due to being in school together. This isn't the case at an off-campus apartment (although the town of Clemson is really centered around the university, and it would be surprising to meet a non-student resident who wasn't at least a little bit of a fan).

Living in off-campus apartments near Clemson U

One of the big perks to living in apartments near Clemson University is that you'll be able to set your own rules. Even if you're not a wild one, on occasion, campus rules for dorms or apartments might feel restrictive.

Another plus is just feeling more mature by being able to say you "have your own place off-campus."  It just feels good. You have total independence . . . just off the Clemson campus. Win-win!


Depending on the apartment community you choose, you'll also get to enjoy amenities, like a nice fitness center, a swimming pool, outdoor grills, a common lounge area, walking trails and parties with other residents. This is especially nice when you're entertaining, or you want to meet other people.

If you're a dog person, it may be easier for you to have a dog at an off-campus apartment. Do a little research about campus options, then compare.  Most apartments allow a small pet, and think of all the new dog friends you'll make.

Apartments near the Clemson MBA Campus in Greenville, SC

Clemson's MBA program is situated in beautiful downtown Greenville.  This award-winning downtown has made a lot of national lists, so you'd love living here (or nearby) if your budget allows.  Greenville is a fairly small city, however, and super easy to get around, so even if you choose an apartment a few miles from downtown, you'll be there in no time.

Apartments in Greenville near downtown's Clemson MBA Campus

See all Greenville SC apartments

Apartments near the CU-ICAR Campus in Greenville, SC

Clemson's other campus in Greenville is where engineering students get to study cutting-edge research in a real-world, high-tech, state-of-the-art environment.  The CU-ICAR Campus (Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research) lies just a few miles (and only a few minutes) from downtown, but still near shopping, dining, movies and entertainment.  The county also has plans to extend the area's wildly popular Swamp Rabbit Bicycle Trail to the ICAR campus, via an old rail bed.

Apartments near Clemson's CU-ICAR Campus 

The bottom line

The bottom line is usually about budget. Which option fits your budget?  If both do, THEN you can make the choice based on your lifestyle and preferences.

Do you prefer to be surrounded by students who share your challenges?  Or do you want a little distance now and then, from campus and campus activities?

The last thing to consider is Clemson parking.  Where is the parking for students who live on-campus, versus parking for commuters?

See also: Can you rent an apartment with no credit or bad credit? 

See also:  Do you need a co-signer?




About The Author

A contributing editor and video producer at ApartmentGuide and, Libby McMillan Henson has created award-winning content for radio, tv, print and digital for over two decades. Libby recently authored a book about her home base of Greenville, SC, and has also lived in Austin, San Francisco, Nashville, Boston and Sanibel/Captiva Islands. A lifelong traveler and photographer, Libby loves exploring new places and sharing her finds.