5 reasons you might prefer community-style living in college

People walk down stairs next to a window with "Welcome Home Rams" painted on it.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. The college journey is full of them, and we’re here to help. Choosing which residence halls to apply for might have your head flooded with questions. Do you want to live in a community-style hall and share bathroom facilities with your floor-mates? Or would you prefer a suite-style hall where everything you need is contained in your own room with suite-mates? We asked a student to write about how choosing community-style living helped her make friends, save money, and make the most of her Colorado State experience. 

#1. It’s friendlier

Two students laugh together in a dorm room.

In community-style residence halls, everyone who was willing to socialize or hang out left their doors open while they were home, which is what I picture when I think back on living in the residence halls. Being able to walk down the hall and ask all my friends about their day was something that I cherished about being a first-year student. I knew everyone on my hall on a first-name basis, and today I call some of them my very best friends. The people I know who lived suite style can not always say the same.

#2. It can be cleaner

In our community-style halls, the communal bathrooms get cleaned every single day. This includes vacuuming the hall, cleaning the showers, restocking the toilet paper and all of that good stuff. (Since moving off campus, I have learned that not having to buy my own toilet paper was something I took for granted.) This also means that there is no arguing with your suite-mates about who is going to clean the bathroom and who left the shower dirty.

#3. It’s cheaper

A student writes in a notebook while using a calculator.

You can save over $1,000 during your first year by living community style instead of suite style. Even our least-expensive suite-style residence halls are still $1,000 more per year than our community-style residence halls. I don’t know about you, but I consider going to college one of the biggest investments of my life, and I try to save wherever I can. 

#4. The rooms feel larger

A student uses their computer while sitting on their bed in a dorm room.

Although our community-style and suite-style residence halls have almost exactly the same dimensions, our community-style rooms feel larger. When you walk into a suite-style room, you are presented with the sink/bathroom area to your right, the closets to your left, and the beds in the back with very little open floor space. When you walk into a community-style room, the closets are on the wall on either side of the door and the room is entirely open, with only the beds in the room. This leaves tons of open floor space, making it feel much larger. 

#5. There are more options

A tour guide points at features of a residence hall common space.

CSU has seven community-style residence halls for freshmen and only three suite-style residence hall options for freshmen. When you apply for housing after you are admitted, you get to make a list of your top five residence hall choices. Because I was looking to live community-style, the top five choices on my application were for community-style residence halls, meaning no matter which option I got, it would be the style I wanted.

Next up: the roommate search


Sylvia is a fourth-year student from Aurora, Colorado studying Human Dimensions of Natural Resources with a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. She has worked as an Admissions Ambassador since Fall of 2018.