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When and how to find student accommodation – 2024 Guide

Once the huge hurdle of applying to universities has been leaped, the next big question is, where will you live? There are a multitude of options available for students while they are at university and it can be tricky to know what is best for you. 

Here at Future Generation we provide next-level accommodation with premium touches and thought out spaces. We are all about the student experience whilst living with us which means we are always going above and beyond ensuring the students are happy, entertained and enjoying living with us. 

We put on a range of events throughout each year, making sure each and every event is fun and captivating, they also have the option for guests to come and enjoy the event with them. We love creating relationships with our students as well, getting to know them through our events… if it’s through music and them performing or even a little sit down decorating cupcakes or a little arts and crafts session. 

This article is part of our new series aiming to provide students with everything they need to know to make their university experience the best it can be.

How to find student accommodation

There are many different options when it comes to student accommodation, the one that will potentially seem the most obvious, at least for your first year of studies, is living in a university owned hall of residence. While this is a great way to immerse yourself in ‘student-life’, it may not be for you. Whilst living at university you can also stay living at home, though obviously this depends on the distance that you are travelling. There is also another option available to you – private accommodation. There are many companies, including Future Generation, that offer student only housing that may be better suited to you. 

Searching for student accommodation

You don’t have to wait to know which university you will be studying at to start searching for accommodation. You can even include the accommodation in part of your selection process before you apply for the universities. You can research the university halls on each university website or research private companies in each city you have applied to. We have stunning accommodation options available in Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Colchester and Guildford. 

Types of student accommodation

Student accommodation types include: student halls, private student accommodations, renting a room in a shared house.

Within each type of accommodation there are a variety of options that you’ll need to consider, for example university halls may have larger shared halls available or smaller house-style halls, though you may not always have control over what you get if you apply for accommodation through the university. Within the private sector of accommodation, there is a huge variety of types of housing, for example in Loughborough alone we have a wide selection, including 2-3 bedroom townhouses, ensuite rooms in a larger residence, and studio apartments, among other options. 

“I lived at Guilden Village throughout my uni life in Guildford, they held so many fun activities for everyone to socialise and make new friends. The accommodation is clean, tidy and modern. The staff are so helpful, kind and provide a safe environment for all the students. They provide the best freshers events with freebies. I absolutely loved my stay here!” 

Guildford university student

Cost of student accommodation

This can vary depending on area and type of accommodation, in many places it is best to apply as soon as you find somewhere you like as they can often be priced in tiers and applying later can mean higher fees. With student accommodation, the amenities that come within the price can vary. In some places they are like any other rental agreement in that all the bills are added on top of the rental price. 

In all the  Future Generation properties, all the utility bills are included, as well as a huge variety of perks depending on the building this could include, air conditioning, free wifi, property maintenance, CCTV, and cleaners. Our premium properties also include amenities such as gyms, laundry rooms, bike storage, cinema rooms, built in study areas and content insurance, all of which are included in the weekly price.  

Student accommodation cost comparison

Note: these are estimations and will vary largely depending on location. The following were based on data from the locations we serve (Nottingham, Loughborough, Sheffield, Colchester and Guildford. )

When to apply for student accommodation

If you are a first year student, most universities in the UK will offer you the option of applying for halls of residence, if this is the route you want to take, you should apply as soon as possible as they are generally allocated on a first come, first served basis. Generally, full-time students in the UK in their second year (or above) are encouraged to find housing in private accommodation. Some universities have spaces open in halls of residence specifically for post-graduate students, but this won’t be the case everywhere so it is worth researching to see if you would need to book private accommodation.

At all our properties we cater to all students of all years and courses, our main demographic is first or foundation year but for the students who are third, fourth or even masters then our studios are perfect as they are private, more intimate space for them to live with the bonus of the kitchen being in the room. This then means they aren’t sharing a communal kitchen space or being involved in the flat with all the students. 

When should I start booking student accommodation?

If you would prefer to go down the route of private student accommodation, this is also something that you should book as soon as possible. If you are interested in any of our studio apartments, they tend to go first as they are so desirable and can be completely booked up by February. 

How to pay for student accommodation

There are many ways that you can pay for your accommodation, the options can include maintenance loans, university bursaries, scholarships, savings or part-time jobs.

Do loans cover student accommodation?

Full-time students in the UK can apply for maintenance loans, this is a repayable loan but you are able to spend it how you wish, including on your accommodation. For some students the maintenance loan does not cover the full amount of your chosen accommodation due to the loan calculated on your parents annual income as well as where you decide to study. 

The payment options we offer at our properties are paying in full, 3, 4 or 10 instalments. If you wish to pay in instalments then you would be required to provide a UK based Guarantor. Your Guarantor can be parents, family, friends even colleagues. We can do a deferred payment on 3 instalments so that it matches up with the date of when your maintenance loan comes through. 

A note from the Future Generation team

If the world of student accommodation is overwhelming to you, the best thing to do is research and give yourself as much information as possible to help make an informed decision. If you are aiming to attend university at any of the cities that Future Generation has properties, you can find FAQs on all sites on our website to help steer you in the right direction for you.