When deciding where to live it can sometimes be stressful. Depending on which major you are there will be certain classes that will all either be downtown or in Allendale (main campus) here are some pros and cons to living in both. This will give you good insight on which direction is right for you.
1. DT CON:Cost Of Housing
When choosing to live on campus, the housing in Allendale main campus is actually a wider variety as well as offers cheaper rates. Pew Campus is more expensive due to the housing option being 1 person 1 room or 2 person 2 room. While Allendale is cheaper because you can fit 4 people in 2 bedrooms and save. If price is a large determinant on where you live then recommendation wise it is good to stick with Allendale. The most cost-effective places to rent downtown are the houses on the outskirts, while in Allendale the GVA apartments will run you about $440 a month and unlimited utilities(not that bad).
2. DT PRO: Life of the Party
Living Downtown can give you access to walking distance to the best that Grand Rapids has to offer. From a variety of restaurants to breweries and coffee shops, the possibilities are truly endless. Unfortunately on the flip side, you aren’t to close to a major grocery store about a 10-15 min drive. Buying from a small grocer can get expensive and the campus dining hours for Pew/Siedman Campus are VERY limited. Usually they only stay open from 11am-3pm weekdays. Keep this in mind!
3. DT PRO: Jobs
Attaining an internship/job worth talking about will usually be in the downtown area though there are surrounding areas such as Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville and Comstock Park that offer a lot of opportunity as well. If you live in Allendale, the chances of getting a good internships is basically down to the school or some of the off campus apartments. So if you decide to work in DT but live in Allendale give yourself about 20-40 min depending on traffic.
4. Allendale PRO: Making friends
Allendale campus is where a majority of students have their classes (unless you’re a business student or engineering). This campus will also be the location where most fun outside of school networking activities happen(especially in Kirkoff). If you decide to live on or off campus, Allendale is the place to get to know people. Especially if you live in a dorm, everyone on your floor/building basically knows each other and you’ll make new friends during welcome week. Living at Pew Campus is more of an independent environment.
4. Allendale PRO: Classes
Most classes will be on this campus due to the fact that the campus is larger and older. From communication to fine arts to marketing, you will be able to sign up for most of your classes on this campus. Another great thing about this is if you happen to work on campus and you live there/live near there, it isn’t a large span of distance that Allendale is, which means it is a short drive to wherever you need to go.
6. Allendale Con: You are near NOTHING
Not everyone has a license or brings their car/owns a car, which means they either need to have a meal plan through GVSU, or hitch with friends/roommates/take the bus. This can be very annoying because the closest place to get food is Meijer which is a 10 min bus ride or Family Fare which is a 4 mile walk(not happening). There are the small restaurants that scatter the Allendale area such as Biggby, Mcdonald’s and Country Inn but there is more variety downtown.
Now that you know about 6 different pros and cons between living on Allendale or Pew Campus this will give you an idea on what to expect. Overall living in both places are great in their own way. You will most likely visit both, it just depends on what factors mean the most to your individual style. Don’t hesitate to ask higher up students on advice to get a more in-depth answer. Happy apartment searching!