The Ultimate Checklist for Finding the Best Dorm

Carmina Bayombong

Moving out?

For some college students, moving out of their family homes into dormitories can present a new and overwhelming sense of adventure. Gaining semi-independence and carrying the responsibility of living with a new group of people for the first time can be both exciting and scary.

If you are one of those students who have been living with your parents your whole life, you may want to create a checklist of the things you need before transitioning into dormitory life. Review these essential items on your list if you are really determined to find the best dorm that’s just right for you.


This should be a no-brainer.
You just gotta!

The right value for your money should always come first. What you have to start with is a list of your prospective dormitories and their respective amenities, rates, and features then cross-check the pros and cons for each one.

Would you prefer a gender-restrictive dorm or something that is more unconventional?

Will you be using all the amenities offered or just a few that could lessen rates if you cross out those you won’t need?

After you have considered all these factors, review your budget and determine which dorms will suit you the best.


After making a shortlist of your potential dorms that fits the budget, spread out a map and drop pins on their respective locations. Review accessible roads and walkways that will lead you the fastest to your class buildings, the library, or food joints.
Check out all the nearby areas and paths!

You have to remember that when in school, time is definitely a commodity. You do not only save time and money when residing in a dorm that’s in close proximity to your school but energy as well. And the more time you spare, the more you have for study and leisure.

While you’re at it, check if the pathways from your dorm to the school remain accessible during inclement weather. Avoid low-lying areas that are prone to flash floods so things would be easier for you when you go to and from school on rainy days.


You wouldn’t want to just stand there looking for a fridge!
The standard dormitory usually has a pantry with a microwave to reheat food, a fridge for food storage, study rooms, and lounge areas for some leisure activities. While not all dorms offer the same amenities, check which ones you need the most on a daily basis to make your living conditions hassle-free.

After all, the whole idea of transferring to a dorm when you can’t live at home is to experience the convenience and make it as close to home as much as you can.

House Rules

If you can’t abide by the house rules, you might want to consider staying at a different dorm.
House rules exactly serve this purpose. Study the rules carefully before you accomplish your sign up form because you have to observe and abide by them throughout your stay. However, don’t just agree to everything in an instant, as some dorms can limit their residents’ rights to amenities or impose some rules that you might not be a fan of.

If you find something that is unclear, ask questions and clarify them. Once you agree to all the terms of the administrators then, by all means, stand by them.


As you enter a new world of new people and responsibilities, you may want to look into what type of community and culture your dorm is encouraging. Some dorms have their own team building activities, get-togethers, and advocacies that can teach you a thing or two about proper socialization.
Think about how you’ll fit in as well!

Review your prospective dorms’ social media accounts and present tenants to find out which community you’ll fit into. Check out the calendar of events, reviews, and attend meetings. This could be a fun way to spend your time, be more productive and even suggest your bright ideas.


Lastly, consider which style of living your dorm is renting out. Dorm suites are definitely more expensive than community-style dorms and both have their own pros and cons.
To make choosing easier, always keep your priorities in mind!
Your usual community-style dorm shares common bathrooms for residents and could be located on a single floor, while suite-style rooms come with a private or semi-private bathroom. While this might be the last thing you would want to consider when choosing a dorm, you must know the difference as sometimes suite-style dormitories entail more responsibilities for its residents than community-style dorms.

For example, suite residents sometimes have to clean their own bathrooms and won’t be provided with toiletries. On the other hand, community-style dorms usually provide residents with a regular ration of soap and paper towels plus hire a utility man to keep the bathrooms clean.

So, which dorm suits you the best? We’ll leave it up to you to make the intelligent choice.

For students who are looking to transition to the dorm life but are low on budget, the country’s leading education loan provider InvestEd also offers financial assistance for dormitory fees. Learn more about their complete programs and services here.