Students Find Places to Live Off Campus

Posted: August 17, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

As the fall semester approaches, countless George Mason University students are scrambling to find housing for the next six or more months. While Mason provides on-campus housing for thousands of students and is building more, many students are seeking places to stay off campus but nearby.

Mason provides an off-campus housing web site where people who have housing to rent can list their offerings. The site also includes bulletin boards where students can find roommates and furnishings. George Mason’s Law School also provides a web site where students are able to search listings for housing and roommates.

Dana Hill is a junior majoring in sociology. She is also the desk manager at Mason’s Office of Housing and Residence Life. Hill has a list of recommendations for students looking for off-campus housing.

“Visit the Johnson Center as well as the Student Unions and look at the bulletin boards,” says Hill. She also recommends visiting web sites such as and and suggests calling realtors in Fairfax City, Fairfax, Burke, Centreville and Manassas.

Mason students also find their housing through a network of friends and acquaintances, and most have suggestions for fellow students searching for places to rent. “I found my current housing through friends; they told me about it,” says Lino Cassimo, a senior majoring in finance. He advises students to search for several different housing options.

“Don’t settle for the first place you find, even though it might be cheap, because you might find bad roommates or insect infestations.”

Mary Wilson advertised a friend’s two-bedroom condo in Burke on Mason’s off-campus housing web site. Her advertisement received several responses from students after posting the advertisement for three weeks.

“Students typically need a place to stay this time of year. It wasn’t a place to put a family, so you can most likely find a single person such as a student,” says Wilson.

Jillian Ferguson, a senior majoring in art history, found her housing through friends. “My friend found an advertisement for a place that was close to work, close to campus and reasonably priced. Plus, it has a yard, so I can eventually have a dog,” says Ferguson.

It takes Ferguson five minutes to walk to the center of Mason’s Fairfax Campus. She likes being in close proximity to campus as well as being close to family and friends.

Ferguson advises students seeking off-campus housing to research potential roommates to make sure they are compatible. “Make sure you like the people you are living with and always make sure people clean the kitchen when they’re done using it.”

Diana McKeever, an information specialist at the Prince William Campus, says she constantly receives inquiries from students seeking off-campus housing, and she has a listing of real estate agents and apartments that she refers students to.

George Mason’s student newspaper, Broadside, posts housing advertisements in its classified section. The first issue of the new academic year will be published on Monday, Aug. 28. Printed copies are distributed throughout Mason’s Fairfax Campus, and an online edition can be found at

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