Frequently Asked Questions
Listed on this page are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding Off-Campus Housing. It is a handy resource for those who are entertaining the idea of living off-campus or who have residency-related concerns.
Is there enough housing in Mankato for students?
Yes, there is enough housing in Mankato. Property managers note that there is plenty of space for occupants. Granted, some spaces may fill more quickly than others, but there are enough properties to meet the demand of the students attending all of Mankato’s colleges and universities. We suggest that students make a decision about where they will live in March or April of the Spring before they would move in.
Can I use my financial aid to pay for off-campus housing?
Yes, you can! When you fill out your FAFSA, you indicate whether you intend to live on or off campus. Either way, there is a housing cost figured into your cost of attendance. Your award amounts may be slightly different based upon which of these you select. If you live on campus, your housing bill is paid directly out of your financial aid. When you live off campus, you become a middle agent and are responsible for making sure that the rent gets paid. After your tuition and fees are deducted from your financial aid, the balance will be sent to you via a check or direct deposit. You may want to consider paying your portion of rent all at one time. You may be required to pay your first and/or last month’s rent ahead of time. If you plan to use financial aid funds to pay rent, you may need to save enough to cover a month or two of rent prior to moving in since private property managers don't wait for financial aid.
I don't have a roommate, yet? Can you find one for me?
This is what we can do: We don’t make the match for you, but we provide a couple of resources that can help! If you have a place rented, and if there is an open room that you’d like to fill, you can click on the Advertise With Us link and fill out the form for a vacancy in a shared unit. We can then post that for you in our online database. If you do not have a place or a roommate, and if you’re looking for one, check out our searchable database. You can also check with the property managers at the various complexes, as several of them maintain lists of tenants looking for roommates. Some students will use other online resources, as well.
I am an international student; I don't have the SSN some property managers require. What can I do?
This is what you can do: This can present a problem if you don’t plan for it ahead of time. Some property managers may not require a Social Security Number, but many property managers will do a credit check to verify that prospective tenants are able to pay their bills. If you do not have a Social Security Number, you may be required to have a co-signer on your lease who does, or you may be required to make an additional month’s rent payment up front as a deposit. Some property managers may refuse tenants without a valid Social Security Number, but most of those who advertise with us do not.
Is there security at off-campus housing properties?
Many of the apartment complexes near campus hire private security officers or firms to patrol or to respond to issues. You will want to ask your leasing agent about this to get the specifics about what each complex offers. If you live in a smaller, privately owned property, or if your complex does not have on-site security, you may always contact Mankato police by calling 911.
Is transportation available between off-campus housing sites and the university? What can I do?
This is what you can do: Of course there is! Walking or biking is a cost-effective option for most, but buses are also an option. Many, but not all of the apartment complexes and other rental properties near campus are on regular bus routes. Some complexes have dedicated stops on university routes (Express Routes 1 and 8). Students may purchase a semester-long “U-Pass” at the cashier’s office in the Wigley Administration Building. This pass allows for unlimited rides on all city and university bus routes and is very reasonably priced. Information regarding bus and shuttle services is available on the university’s Parking Services website.
Should I have renter's insurance?
It’s not required. It’s not required, but it’s a wise investment of about $12 per month. Thankfully, most people don’t ever have to use it, but those who do are thankful for having had it. Sometimes, parents’ homeowners insurance will provide coverage for dependents living away from home, so it is advisable to check that policy. If not, most companies that provide car insurance also provide renters’ policies, so look into what it would cost to add that on, and decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth it. A member of our university community has pointed this site out as a place for helpful info!
Are on-campus meal plans available for off-campus students? What can I do?
This is what you can do: You bet! Check the University Dining Services website for convenient options. At various times throughout the year, dining services may offer specials on Flex Dollars.
What if my roommate and I don't get along? Can I switch apartments?
This is what you can do: You will need to try to work out disagreements with your roommate. Property managers are not obligated to make arrangements for you because you can’t get along with others any longer. It is unlikely that a property manager/owner will let you out of a lease because of this. Part of growing up is learning to overcome our differences, and this is a great exercise in doing so. If you try to work things out and find that there is an escalation of the problem, document what you tried, and see if that helps your case with the property manager.
I'm graduating in December, but my landlord won't let me sign a short lease. What can I do?
This is what you can do: Fortunately, because you’re graduating, but unfortunately, because you’ve got to find a solution, this happens frequently. Most leases in town are 11 ½ -12 months, and, although they can, property managers do not have to make exceptions for graduates. Occasionally, you may be allowed to get out of a lease if you find someone to take over the terms. Going in and asking to get out of your lease without someone to take your place increases the likelihood that you won’t be let out of the lease. Check with your landlord about this possibility.
I moved out three months ago, but I haven't seen my deposit, yet. What can I do?
This is what you can do: The landlord must refund your deposit or provide you with written documentation as to why it is not being returned within 21 days of the end of your residency. Patience is good, so if it’s close to that timeframe, give it a little extra. Call the property manager, and ask about where the deposit may be. If you do not get a satisfactory response, you may seek legal assistance or go directly to court.
I've been reporting my clogged toilet for a week, but nothing has been done about it. What can I do?
This is what you can do: Depending on the time of year, your complex’s maintenance department may be significantly backed up. Calls are not always handled in the order they’re received. They must be prioritized. Safety comes first, followed by minimizing damage. Your flooding bathtub will be fixed before the nail hole in your neighbor’s bedroom wall, regardless of when the call is made about them. As a matter of fact, the landlord may not even fix the nail hole in your neighbor’s wall. When you make requests, document each one, noting the date and time, as well as the name of the person who receives your complaint. If a maintenance issues is affecting the liveability of the apartment, make that clear, and ask for a committed time of completion. If major repairs go unmade, you may have legal recourse. Seek the advice of an attorney.