Coliving vs. Student Housing - What is the difference?

Coliving vs. Student Housing - What is the difference?

5 min read

As our cities become increasingly crowded and the cost of living continues to soar, finding affordable and comfortable housing has become a top priority for many young people. Two housing options have emerged as popular choices for students and young professionals: coliving and student housing. In this article, we'll explore the differences between these two housing options, weighing the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Coliving: A New Way of Living Together

Coliving is a relatively new concept that brings together individuals with similar values, interests, and lifestyle preferences. This modern approach to communal living fosters community and collaboration while providing residents with private living spaces. Coliving facilities are typically fully furnished and offer a range of shared amenities, such as kitchens, living rooms, coworking spaces, and recreational areas. These spaces are purpose-built to encourage social interaction, networking, and collaboration among residents.

Student Housing: A Time-Tested Solution for Students

On the other hand, student housing has been a long-standing solution for students needing accommodation while attending university or college. These accommodations can range from on-campus dormitories to off-campus shared apartments or houses. Student housing is specifically tailored to the needs of students, often providing access to academic resources, study areas, and communal spaces for socializing.

Differences Between Coliving and Student Housing

Target Audience

The primary difference between coliving and student housing lies in their target audience. Coliving spaces are designed for a broader demographic, including young professionals, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, artists, and students. This diverse community can provide valuable networking opportunities and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Student housing, however, is specifically designed for students attending a particular college or university. As a result, the residents in student housing are usually at a similar stage in their educational journey, which can create a strong sense of camaraderie and shared experiences.

Lease Flexibility

Coliving spaces typically offer more flexible lease terms than traditional student housing. Many coliving facilities allow residents to sign short-term leases, ranging from a few weeks to several months. This flexibility can be desirable to those unsure of their long-term plans or who may need to relocate for internships, job opportunities, or other personal reasons.

Conversely, student housing often requires residents to commit to a full academic year, which can disadvantage students who need more flexibility in their living arrangements.

Amenities and Services

Coliving spaces generally offer a wide range of amenities and services that cater to the diverse needs of their residents. These may include coworking spaces, gyms, cafes, laundry facilities, and community events. In addition, coliving facilities often provide housekeeping services and all-inclusive utility packages, which can simplify the living experience for residents.

Student housing amenities tend to focus more on academic needs, with study spaces, computer labs, and access to campus resources taking precedence over other lifestyle amenities. While some upscale student housing developments may offer additional amenities, such as gyms and recreation areas, these are generally not as comprehensive as those found in coliving spaces.

Living Spaces and Privacy

Regarding living spaces, student housing options vary greatly, ranging from single dormitory rooms to shared apartments or houses. Privacy levels can also differ, with some students being required to share bedrooms and bathrooms with roommates.

Coliving spaces, on the other hand, often provide private bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, ensuring a greater degree of personal space and privacy for residents. Shared living areas, such as kitchens and lounges, are designed to be comfortable and inviting, promoting social interaction and community building among residents.


Regarding cost, both coliving and student housing can offer more affordable options than traditional rental apartments. However, the cost difference between the two can vary depending on the location, amenities, and level of service provided.

Coliving spaces often have all-inclusive pricing, meaning utilities, Wi-Fi, housekeeping, and access to shared amenities are bundled into a single monthly fee. This can simplify budgeting and eliminate the need to manage multiple bills.

On the other hand, student housing may or may not include utilities in the rental price. Additionally, amenities and services can vary significantly between student housing options, with some being more budget-friendly than others.

Community and Networking Opportunities

One of the main selling points of coliving is the sense of community it fosters among residents. Coliving facilities encourage social interaction and collaboration, providing residents ample opportunities to network, socialize, and make lasting connections. In addition, coliving spaces often host regular community events, workshops, and skill-sharing sessions, further promoting a sense of belonging and personal growth.

While student housing can also foster a sense of community, the focus is typically more on academic and campus life. As a result, networking opportunities in student housing may be more limited to interactions with fellow students than the diverse mix of professionals and creatives in coliving spaces.

In summary, the choice between coliving and student housing largely depends on your needs, preferences, and priorities. For example, coliving spaces can offer a more diverse community, flexible lease terms, and an all-inclusive living experience, making them an attractive option for students, young professionals, and digital nomads alike. On the other hand, student housing is explicitly tailored to the needs of students and may be more convenient for those who want to be immersed in the campus environment.

When deciding which housing option is right for you, consider your budget, desired level of privacy, flexibility, and the importance of community and networking opportunities. By weighing the pros and cons of coliving and student housing, you can decide which option best aligns with your personal goals and lifestyle.

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