DePaul University Career Center's Blog

5 Chicago Apartment Searching Tips

By: Samantha Mallett, Peer Financial Advisor

Are you interested in getting an apartment for the upcoming school year, but don’t know where to begin? Jumpstart your off-campus apartment search with these 5 tips!

1. Do A Bit of Self-Reflection –

Take some time to think about what you value when it comes to a living space. Ask yourself thought-provoking questions like: Do I enjoy living with others or do I prefer solitude? Do I value having easy access to public transportation? How important is it for me to be near campus? Once you’ve gathered a bit of clarity on your ideal living situation, you can begin determining neighborhood preferences.

2. Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

Financial Fitness has a great infographic that highlights some neighborhoods that are popular with DePaul students. Average rents can range from $675-$1,850 per room. Do some research on various websites such as Zumper and Zillow to compare prices in neighborhoods that catch your eye.

3. Take Advantage of Summer

Summer is a great time to relax and have fun with friends, but it’s also a great time to plan for the year. Talk with someone in Financial Fitness to figure out how much money you have to spend on an apartment. You can also use this time to meet with a Career Advisor to help you land a job or internship and earn some extra cash during the year.

4. Financial Aid May Cover Some of Your Expenses

If your financial aid package covers all of your tuition costs and you have extra scholarships, grants, or loans available, you may be eligible to receive a refund. Scholarships and grants are free money that have no strings attached if refunded. Loans, however, have to be repaid (their principal amount plus interest) so do not accept more in your award package than what you estimate needing for the school year. For help on understanding your financial aid package, contact DePaul’s Financial Fitness team at

5. Join the DePaul Off-Campus Housing Facebook Group

This Facebook group is incredibly useful for students seeking roommates, furniture, sublets, and more. There are some unbeatable deals, especially when students are moving out at the end of the school year. If you plan on moving out of your apartment within the next couple of years, a used couch may be more reasonable than a brand new one. Just remember to be careful when utilizing this group and always be cautious if you go inside someone’s home for any reason, travel in pairs!



Now that you know more about planning for your first apartment, you can officially begin your search. If you still have questions or concerns, visit DePaul’s Off Campus Housing website.

Good luck and have fun apartment hunting!

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