Whichever way you look at it, student accommodation has over the years been given a bad rap. And it’s not as if it’s all that surprising either as if you were to compare the standards of student accommodation in Newcastle 30 years ago to those of today, the difference would blow your mind…literally!
Having undergone so many incredible changes over the years, it’s easy to understand why there’s a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion in general when it comes to the subject of student accommodation. So in order to clear up just a few of the basics, what follows is a quick introduction to five longstanding myths on the subject of student accommodation and the respective truths behind them:
1 – Halls Are Always Cheaper Than Private Lets
First of all, this is perhaps the single most common misunderstanding of all, despite the fact that it does on the surface appear to make at least some logical sense. Traditionally, halls of residence haven’t been the most desirable of accommodation options having been built to serve a very basic purpose and to maximise space with as many rooms as possible. So you’d of course be forgiven for thinking that halls of residence are always cheaper, but in this day and age, there are so many luxurious and exclusive halls of residence up and down the UK that they can be priced considerably higher than private lets. The key therefore is obvious – never make assumptions as to what is more expensive than what else, but instead check it out for yourself.
2 – Halls of Residence Are Loud, Chaotic and Out of Control
This is another myth with extremely easy to understand roots as for anyone who has ever seen the portrayal of student life in the movies will have been exposed to a completely unrealistic picture of things. Here in the UK, going to university is simply too expensive and too much of a commitment to attract anyone that doesn’t have a strong interest in studying and succeeding. So while there’s much to be said for the parting and socialising that goes on, this represents just one comparatively small area of university life as opposed to something of a 24/7 frenzy.
3 – First-Year Students Are Guaranteed Places in Halls
This isn’t necessarily a myth in the traditional sense as the truth varies in accordance with the university in question. Generally speaking, most universities up and down the United Kingdom do indeed guarantee first-year students a place in their halls of residence, should they choose to take it. However, this isn’t something that is required by law and nor is it something that is practiced universally across the board and without exceptions. As such, it’s of crucial importance not to simply assume that you will be guaranteed a place in the halls of residence of your choosing, but rather to find this out and ensure you reserve your place as early as possible.
4 – Student Accommodation Agency Services Aren’t Worth Paying For
Right now, there are dozens of reputable and long established student accommodation agencies all over the web which specialise in bringing students together with the most fantastic accommodation on the market. Perhaps the single most off-the-mark myth with regard to these services is the one that says it’s simply not worth paying for. Now, this is completely and totally misguided for two reasons – the first of which being that student accommodation services can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to nailing the fantastic opportunities at the lowest possible prices. Secondly, the fact that there isn’t a single reputable student accommodation agency on the web right now that charges so much as a penny to students wishing to use its services completely and utterly quashes this unfounded myth.
5 – Students Cannot Get Housing Benefit
Last but not least, while it’s true to say that most university students during their teenage years may not be eligible for any count of housing benefit, there are several exceptions that apply in other cases. If for example you are disabled, you are a single parent or you are already claiming income support of any kind, there is in fact a chance you may be eligible for housing benefit to help pay for your student accommodation. You’ll need to speak both to your university of choice and the local council in order to assess whether or not you are eligible for any such help, but it is always worth asking as even a little help tends to go a long way when trying to balance the books as a student.