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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Dorm

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.

Situated at the heart of campus, Indiana Hall is a great pick if you’re looking for a central location and short walks to class!

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!

The Lancer Loft residents have a great parking situation. With parking spots that line the front entrance, you’ll never have to worry about a long walk to your dorm!

3.) Freshmen vs. All-Class Dorms

At 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. 

Alpha Hall is infamous for its ability to retain female students from their freshman year to their senior year.

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. 

The newest dorm at Grace is Omega Hall, the only dorm on campus with a movie theatre to enjoy with your friends!

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. 

Beta Hall is known to have a big personality. From their tagline “Beta is Best” to their ability to endure the summer without AC, Beta boys have quite a reputation on campus.

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.

Kent Hall, one of our apartment-style dorms, provides a washer and dryer in every single apartment.

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.

The Lodge lobby will make you feel like you’re at a cabin in the forest. It is complete with large windows overlooking the woods and a fireplace!

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. 

Kauffman Hall is a male dorm that feels like a house. If you’re looking for something small with a comfortable, homey environment, Kauffman is for you!

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!

At Grace, we have rooms for 2, 3, and 4 people to ensure that you have options!


At the end of the day, choosing a dorm comes down to your personal preferences. We can’t speak for every school, but at Grace, you truly cannot go wrong. You will find that regardless of which dorm you choose, you’ll be surrounded by people who love Christ. 

That is the biggest factor of all.

To see our dorms for yourself, schedule a visit to campus! And until then, take a look at our virtual tour from home!