Housing & Utilities

INITIAL LIVING EXPENSES – DEPOSITS AND START-UP COSTS

Students and scholars should be aware that the greatest expenses will be incurred during their first weeks in the United States.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING AND INITIAL EXPENSES
Students living on-campus in a residence hall or in an on-campus apartment must be prepared to pay the full amount of their full semester on-campus housing and meal plan plus dining dollars at the start of each semester.

On-campus housing and meal plans are billed for the full semester and cannot be billed monthly.

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING AND INITIAL LIVING EXPENSES
Students and scholars planning to live off-campus in an apartment or house should make a budget and prepare to bring money to cover their start-up expenses they will have upon arrival.

Also, before you sign any lease, please make sure to review UA’s Off-Campus Housing Resources and Before You Sign Info.

Your expenses at the time you sign your lease and during the first week in your apartment or house may be equal to 3 months of your monthly budget for the year.  We recommend students and scholars to bring or have available $2000 – $4000 for start up expenses during your first weeks.

Even those who are on scholarship or will receive stipends or payroll must keep in mind that your first stipend payment or paycheck may not come until several weeks after the start of the semester or after you begin on-campus work.

Off-campus housing and initial start-up expenses include:

  • Rental fees and deposits for off-campus apartments
    • First and Last month of rent paid at time of move-in (i.e. 2 months of rent).
    • Security deposits may also be required and can be equal to 1 – 6 months of rent depending on whether or not you have a co-signer or have established credit in the U.S.
    • Most apartments require other fees, including application fees, cleaning fees, and pet fees if you have a dog or cat.
  • Utility deposits may be required for services that are not included with your property rental.  Check with your apartment to see what services are included with your rental and which services you will need to set up separately.  These utility services may include:
  • Small purchases for bedding, utensils, cookware, etc.
  • Large purchases such as furniture, computer, tv, etc.
  • Initial groceries, toiletries, and supplies
  • Transportation (whether purchasing a car, using public transportation, or using rideshares such as Uber or Lyft)

Temporary Housing

Hotels & Rentals

Furnished Apartments with No Lease (extended stay hotels)

On-Campus Housing Options

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING FOR STUDENTS
On-campus housing for new and incoming undergraduate and graduate students is provided by Housing & Residential Communities.  Information for new students who wish to apply for on-campus housing can be found here: https://housing.sa.ua.edu/incoming-students/apply/.

A list of The University of Alabama’s residence halls, including pictures and videos can be found at: https://housing.sa.ua.edu/halls/.

Of particular focus at The University of Alabama are the many Living Learning Communities, which include housing with specific foci, including academic disciplines, international communities and language-specific communities (The German House): https://housing.sa.ua.edu/living-learning-communities/academic-llcs/.

The Rotary International House – International students are especially encouraged to consider living in The Rotary International House. The Rotary International House is an on-campus, coed living community open to any domestic or international student who likes learning about different cultures, making friends, and having a social and inclusive living experience. The house has the capacity to hold fifteen to seventeen residents, contains its own kitchen and laundry facility, and is conveniently located on the east side of UA’s campus. Those interested should contact Obi Bruno at odasilvandubueze@crimson.ua.edu and complete an Rotary International House interest form.  For more information, visit https://housing.sa.ua.edu/living-learning-communities/shared-interest-communities/.

Be aware that UA policy states that first-year undergraduate students (Freshmen) must live on-campus.  First year undergraduate students enrolled as full-time students, as defined in the University of Alabama Undergraduate Catalog, will be required to live in campus residence halls. Students first enrolling in the summer are required to live in the residence halls during the Summer, Fall, and Spring Semesters. Students first enrolling in the fall are required to live in the residence halls during the Fall and Spring Semesters. Students first enrolling in the spring are required to live in the residence halls during the Spring Semester. (from H&RC site: https://housing.sa.ua.edu/incoming-students/freshman-residency/).

Off-Campus Housing

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING – FOR STUDENTS, SCHOLARS, FACULTY, & STAFF – http://offcampushousing.ua.edu
Finding off-campus housing can be difficult when you first arrive.  Most apartments require long-term leases of at least one-year.  It is common for most landlords to require you to pay a deposit which is equal to one month’s rent when you sign a lease for an apartment or house as well as the first and last month of rent upon move-in.  Be sure to read through the terms of your lease carefully before signing.  By signing a lease, you are promising to pay the landlord for the entire time listed on the lease.  Ending a lease early or violating the lease agreement can cost you the rental deposit.

For help understanding everything you need to know about renting an apartment or house, please visit Off-Campus Housing’s resources for renters: https://offcampushousing.sa.ua.edu/resources/.

The websites linked below are non-University websites. The University of Alabama International Student and Scholar Services provides links to this and other, third-party sites solely as a convenience to the user. The information available at such sites is furnished by others. The University of Alabama does not sponsor, maintain, warrant or endorse any of these sites and is not responsible for their accuracy or content.


TEMPORARY HOUSING (Furnished Apartments with No Lease)

Furniture

While some apartment complexes offer furnished apartment options, most apartments and rental houses are unfurnished. Unfurnished apartments are usually cheaper and are much more available.

You must anticipate the need to purchase or rent furniture for any apartment or home you find.

You can either buy new furniture from a furniture company, or look for used furniture from places like a thrift store, checking the newspaper, Craigslist or at garage sales.

Furniture Rental

There are two rental companies which may be helpful for those who do not wish to purchase new or used furniture:

Utilities

Utility services such as electricity and water service require that you make a deposit when setting up an account.  Deposits usually equal the cost of 1 month to 2 months of service.  Some apartments provide utilities included with the cost of rent.  Check with your apartment complex or landlord’s office to see what utilities are necessary and which utility providers you must use.

Electricity- Alabama Power
To have your electric service turned on, contact Alabama Power at 1-800-245-2244, or visit Alabama Power’s website at http://www.alabamapower.com/. You will need to provide the following info:

• Your complete name, address, and telephone number
• The kind of service you are requesting and when you would like the service connected
• Additionally, you may have to provide either a Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or CWID number

Natural Gas Service- Spire Energy
To have your natural gas service turned on, contact Spire at 1-800-292-4008, or visit Spire’s website at https://www.spireenergy.com/.  You will need to provide the following info:

• Your complete name, address, and telephone number
• The kind of service you are requesting and when you would like the service connected
• Additionally, you may have to provide either a Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or CWID number

Water Service- Tuscaloosa or Northport
Your water service depends on where your residence is located.  For Tuscaloosa city addresses, contact City of Tuscaloosa Water – http://www.tuscaloosa.com/onlineservices  or 205-248-5500.  For Northport residents, contact Northport Water – http://www.cityofnorthport.org/contact.php or 205-339-7000. You will need to provide the following info:

• Your complete name, address, and telephone number
• When you would like the service connected
• Additionally, you may have to provide either a Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or CWID number

Telephone & Internet Services (and limited TV services)
To order telephone service, contact AT&T at 1-888-757-6500 or visit http://www.att.com/shop/home-phone/. You will need to provide the following info:

• Your complete name and address
• The kind of service you are requesting and how you would like your directory listing to appear
• Your previous address and telephone number (if you are changing addresses)
• Other credit information that will be kept strictly confidential

Cable Television & Internet Services (also offer digital phone services)
To obtain service, contact Comcast at 205-345-0424 or http://www.comcast.com/.  You will need to provide the following info:

• Your complete name, address, and telephone number
• The kind of service you are requesting
• If you have had or are transferring Comcast service, the representative will need your previous address