Choosing a dorm is one of the most important decisions you make each year at college. Let’s face it. A dorm is so much more than just a building you live in–it is your home away from home. Choosing a dorm is choosing the backdrop of budding friendships, stimulating conversations, and lifelong memories. Therefore, it’s a critical decision that deserves some thought. Check out this list of 10 factors to consider when choosing a college dorm.

1.) Location, Location, Location

The location of a dorm on campus is perhaps the most crucial element to consider when making your selection. With that in mind, think about the size of the campus. Consider how much walking you’ll do to get to the dining commons, your academic buildings, and the gym or recreation center.

2.) Parking

When it comes to dorms, parking accessibility is something you might not traditionally think about, but finding a dorm near a parking lot can be a lifesaver when you’re in a hurry. If possible, choose a dorm with a parking lot close!

3.) Freshmen vs. All-Class Dorms

Most schools, there are dorms on campus that are designated for freshmen or underclassmen, but at Grace, we avoid segregating by age. A well-rounded community invites the nervous freshman to do life with the career-ready senior. That’s why in all of our traditional residence halls, we have a good mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. .

4.) Novelty

Do you value having new bathrooms, the best air conditioning units, and ultra-clean carpets? Maybe you should prioritize your dorm choice based on how new it is. At Grace, we have several dorms that were built within the last 10 years. 


5.) Bathrooms

The bathroom situation has proven to be a large factor to consider. While some dorms have individual bathrooms, most require you to share with others. “Suite-style”, also known as “Jack and Jill” bathrooms, are shared between two dorm rooms. “Community-style” bathrooms are shared among all of the residents in a hall.

Westminister Hall used to be a hotel back in the day. Therefore every room has its own bathroom attached–quite the commodity!

6.) Personality

Every dorm has a personality of its own. It’s important to know what that personality is to ensure that it’s a good match for you! When you’re on campus tours, ask students what their opinion of the dorm is that you’re considering. Some dorms are known for being loud and vibrant, while others can be known for being quieter and more peaceful. 

7.) Amenities

Not all dorm rooms are created equal. Certain dorms on campus have nicer amenities or newer furniture. Think about things like closet space, carpeting vs. hard flooring, air conditioning, heating, lighting, in-room sinks, and any other personal features you’re looking for when making your decision.

8.) Lobbies

Lobbies are a great space to socialize, do homework, and have fun with others that live in your dorm. Some dorms have spacious lobbies to hang out with large groups of friends, others have games like ping-pong or foosball. When considering a dorm, check out the lobby spaces and find out if they’re a place students enjoy spending time.

9.) Size & Layout

Do you have a specific vision for the shape and size of your room? Are you looking for a particular feel? Do you want to live in a big dorm where you have endless opportunities to socialize? Or do you prefer a small dorm where you know all of your fellow residents? All of these things are important to consider. 

10.) Number of Roommates

If you are someone that absolutely values their alone time, we recommend that you choose a dorm with two-man rooms. This will give you some time to enjoy your room by yourself. But if you are an incoming freshman and eager to meet new people, maybe a four-man is the perfect choice for you!