Student Handbook - HousingProbably one of the first things that you will want to do is find some place to call your own. Come early, since orientation week is a busy time to look for housing. First, get a good map of St. Louis, talk to your classmates who are also looking for some place to live, talk to upperclassmen who can give you some hints, check bulletin boards and start looking.
Rents in St. Louis are reasonable. Last year students paid an average of $250-$350 per month sharing an apartment or $400-$600 for a single apartment.
How close to school do you need to be? If you do not have a car you will need to be close enough to walk, to ride the Campus Bus (Billiken Bus), or to walk to a MetroLink station. St. Louis has bus service, but it would be difficult to depend on it to get to class.
If you drive, you have to park. Off-street parking is a nice plus to any living quarters. Otherwise, you will need to investigate the availability of street parking including the street cleaning schedules.
Often the hidden costs in renting an apartment or house are the gas, oil, or electric bills. Find out all you can about the unit when you see it. Gas or oil heat are less expensive than electric heat, but beware; many students have been unpleasantly surprised by their winter gas bills, which can be more than $100 per month.
Storm windows and insulation also help keep utility costs down. August and September can get pretty hot and humid in St. Louis, so air conditioning is almost a required luxury. Older buildings have a certain charm, but you often pay extra for this in high utility bills. If you are not used to the humidity, do not try and “rough it.”
Check to see how far it is to grocery stores, gas stations and other regularly frequented retail stores.
Many landlords require references from previous landlords along with proof of financial support. It may be necessary for your parents to cosign your lease. Many renters require a full one-year lease. Be sure to ask about a nine-month lease, or a month-by-month arrangement. Be very careful before signing a lease. Make certain that you understand fully what is involved.
In general the area of the city south of I-44 is your best bet for apartments and houses. The areas along South Grand Boulevard, Shaw Boulevard, and around Tower Grove Park are very popular with the medical students and are relatively inexpensive.
Some students live with a roommate while others live alone. Susan Aslin in the Office of Student Affairs will have a list available for incoming students to choose a roommate from or to include your own name on.
Housing information is included in this packet. For more information log on to: www.apartmentguide.com or www.stltoday.com/realestate.
One final note! SEE IT BEFORE YOU SIGN! In past years, some students have signed agreements before viewing the property. Come to St. Louis, take the time required to find the right place for you.
Phi Chi is a co-ed medical fraternity located on Russell Blvd, about a five-minute walk from campus. Included in the rent are cable, electricity, gas, phone (except long distance), and breakfast foods. Living at Phi Chi can be a great way to make friends and establish valuable contacts with other students. You don’t have to rush. The fraternity will send more information to you.
St. Louis County
The County is a large semicircular shaped area that fans out west from St. Louis City. It is a fine alternative to city dwelling and offers numerous apartments and houses to choose from. Two major freeways (I-44, I-40) leading from the city are close to the medical school and therefore offer the most readily accessible transit from the city to your suburban abode. If you choose a residence within 10 to 15 minutes from school and time your departures carefully you can avoid time-consuming waits in rush-hour traffic.