Exploring the Benefits of Dorms in Fashion Schools

Fashion schools are not just about creating trendy designs and walking the runway. They also offer housing options for students pursuing their passion for fashion.

Find out about the various housing options at fashion schools, from dorm fees to off-campus apartments, and choose the best choice for you. Let’s explore the world of housing at fashion schools.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fashion schools do offer housing options for students, including on-campus dorms, off-campus apartments, and homestays
  • Living in a dorm at a fashion school has benefits such as convenience and building a strong community, but also drawbacks like lack of privacy and potential noise
  • Before deciding on a housing option, consider the costs associated with each, including dorm fees, off-campus housing expenses, and commuting costs
  • What Are Fashion Schools?

    Fashion schools are institutions which offer majors in the business of fashion, including fashion design, merchandising, management, and marketing. A university or college with a fashion program is called a fashion school. These schools attract talented individuals across a wide spectrum of fashion, from ready-to-wear clothing to high-end luxury goods. On average, these programs take four years to complete, including the basics of visual art studies in the first two years. There are also various short-term, 2-year, or even Ph.D. and doctorate programs available in fashion schools.

    Do Fashion Schools Offer Housing?

    Yes, some fashion schools offer housing or even have campuses that include fashion school dorms. The Institute of Art Design Technology, otherwise known as Miami International University of Art Design & Technology, has four complexes including residential housing for students. The London College of Fashion does not offer housing, but it has partnered with The Student Housing Company to provide students with a place to live while they study at the school.

    What Are the Options for Housing at Fashion Schools?

    Options for housing at fashion schools range from private and university-operated dorms to hotel-like accommodations and homestays. Dorms, or residence halls, are a type of accommodation university-owned or operated that are an increasingly popular student housing option. Speedy Prep, a company that helps students get into college, reports that two-thirds of students live in some type of college-provided housing.

    These are the types of housing options that are generally available near campuses of fashion schools. University residence halls, rooms, and apartments: Often the easiest and most turnkey solution for incoming first-year and exchange students to housing. Much simpler to set up than private accommodations with local landlords.

    Specialized student residences (hostels): These are typically student or educational institutions that offer accommodations to students. The facilities can vary significantly depending on the institutions but may be similar to hotel or military dorms with shared common areas and bathrooms.

    Homestays: Secured via private landlords or family placement services such as the America Homestay Network. Families living close to a campus of a fashion school can offer accommodations to students. Students might be enemy in the home of the family or have separate living arrangements such as an adjacent outbuilding or upper story apartment.

    Are There Dorms at Fashion Schools?

    Yes, there are dorms (halls of residence) at some but not all fashion schools. Most schools in the USA provide dorms, while only a few in Europe do. Since fashion schools are often located in the middle of expensive cities like Paris, Milan, London, Los Angeles, and New York, many fashion students prefer to live on campus rather than pay for an apartment while they study.

    According to the Global Fashion School Database, out of the top 15 fashion schools, only FIDM in Los Angeles does not offer dorms. All others either have dorms or requirements about student housing. Schools in the US typically provide four different types of on-campus buildings.

    • Residence Halls
    • Apartments
    • Suites
    • Fraternities and Sororities

    What Are the Benefits of Living in a Dorm at a Fashion School?

    The benefits of living at a fashion school’s dormitory include the following: on-campus accessibility to academic advisors, health and wellness programs with a gym or fitness center, student clubs, libraries, and writing centers. Dorms also have resident advisors (RAs) who are there to answer questions, as well as provide support and guidance in both personal and scholastic matters. Additionally, most campuses offer a number of activities that can assist and enrich one’s education. Living close to all of these can make participation much easier. Finally, being close to campus may allow a person to sleep a little later in the morning, or be back in their room just a few minutes after a class ends in order to relax and unwind.

    What Are the Drawbacks of Living in a Dorm at a Fashion School?

    The drawbacks of living in a dorm at a fashion school include these non-exhaustive lists of negative aspects of the dorm life experience at US colleges and universities.

    • Setting measures of control between living space and studying space
    • Roommates’ inconsistency in the rules they follow regarding quiet hours and cleaning schedules
    • Shared and limited spaces that can lead to frequent disruptions and lack of privacy, especially in bathrooms and communally shared kitchens

    What Other Housing Options Are Available at Fashion Schools?

    Other housing options available at fashion schools are on-campus non-dorm buildings, off-campus residential apartments, an off-campus hotel, and homestays.

    On-campus non-dorm buildings may function as student villages or high-end integrated communities for university students. They may be considered off-campus complexes belonging to and operated by the school. This means they are strictly for university students.

    One of the best-known and most complete student villages in the US, Cornell West Campus at Cornell University, offers specialized communities for everyone from graduate students to sophomores.

    In contrast, California State University at Long Beach offers apartments for upper-grade students and operates students villages in various parts of the city.

    Off-campus student housing frequently refers to high-end complexes or historic buildings that cater to the housing needs of students. Sometimes these will include specific programs or shuttles to the university. Bryant and Stratton College, a private career school in western New York, uses Student Suite software operated by American Campus Communities which is sold as the premium off-campus housing option. FIT in New York City provides students with a homestay option. They are coordinated through a partnership with 55 John Street Corporate Housing. For those who want an extended stay with a homely touch, but are also under 18, NYC Summer Science offers a 3-week camp course.

    Off-Campus Apartments

    Off-campus apartments and shared housing are the most typical living situations for fashion students who do not reside in dormitories. Off-campus living is not always significantly different from on-campus living. In the United States, many schools have affiliated or school-arranged living situations in near-campus apartment campuses that serve as de-facto dormitories with more self-governing.

    American University in Washington, D.C., shared this typical residence arrangement for fashion students. According to their website, it allowed likeminded students to come together and experience campus living in The Congressional, Glass Pendant, Cassel, Nebraska, Federal, Constitution, Leonard, Constitution, Picasso, Point, Glendenning, The Marquee, Frequency, or Frequency West buildings. Off-Campus Advantage offers more independent fashion school students these benefits and often works with educational institutions to provide tailored services or apartment complexes to house students.

    Some of the amenities he company provides and can be found in apartment buildings include such things as communal kitchens or cafes, study lounges and computer labs, gym access or personal training, and periodic fun and learning events.


    Homestay is a program that places students in the homes of families who live near the campus. These families are often chosen by the school and provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as laundry services. Schools will generally only accept students aged 16-20 into homestay programs for safety, as these programs do not maintain the same level of oversight that they do for a formal secure dorm. Homestays usually only last for a few weeks during student orientations and students transition to apartments or formal dorms afterward.

    Homestay prices and services can vary greatly depending on the location of the school. There are homestay provider organizations that partner with fashion schools, meaning even schools that do not provide homestays can still arrange these at the student’s request. IFS Internships in Italy partners with local homestay providers to find families that will accommodate students.

    Commuting from Home

    Fashion schools typically do not have dorms, and commuting from home is the normal method of living for fashion students, whether or not the school offers dorms. Commuting from home is typically organized by the individual student. Details of university-managed housing, such as on-campus residence halls or nearby off-campus arrangements, can usually be ascertained by checking the school’s Student Life website. On-campus housing may be available at some fashion schools, such as the Academy of Art University’s dormitories at the Los Angeles center. In most cases, however, students combine their academic programs with living at home with their families, or off-campus rooms or apartments for more freedom and independence.

    What Are the Costs of Housing at Fashion Schools?

    The costs of housing at fashion schools for an apartment off campus starts at $800/month and goes past $1500/month depending on the city and its cost of living. Costs for on-campus housing in a dorm range from $500 to $2200 per month. Note that some fashion degree programs at established universities do not have their housing. While SUNY Oneonta’s art programs are in the School of Economics and Business, which has dorm space, students may not have an easy transfer to and from the dorm should picking up quickly change from a design idea to a completed project.

    Dorm Fees

    Dorm fees serve as the tuition of boarders who avail of residential support services. Dorm fees provide space in the residence hall and access to basic facilities, services, programs, and activities that are included in the cost of the room rate. Basic facilities such as laundry and common areas are included in the fee to an extent. The services of providing furnishings (beds, desks, chairs, closets, etc.) in rooms, central service desks and mailrooms, housekeeping, security, and maintenance are included as covered services in the fee.

    Dorm usage is monopolized by the boarding population of fashion schools. The cost of the rooms is set at the local, institutional level with fees typically based on the conditions of buildings. Dorm fees vary based not only on factors such as campus location and local cost of living, labor costs, the amenities offered by colleges, and other established factors, but also on the quality and features of the residence hall. The prices at various dorms at the California College of Art range from $1,553 to $2,723. The typical fashion design student will pay around $2,000 a month in dorm rent.

    Universities often offer choices between different housing units based on the type of room or building (single, double, suite, apartment, etc.). The choices are most frequently reflected in quartiles organized by such factors such as square footage, proximity to a dining facility or program, and bathroom arrangements. In some cases, the utilities used by residents (water, heat, electricity, telecom, parking, etc.) are included in room rates. They are not at many universities, so this is an additional cost. Room rates are accompanied by dining contracts requiring additional payment (Yang and Yang).

    Off-Campus Housing Expenses

    You may not live in dorms during fashion school. When you are not living in a dorm, on-campus and off-campus housing costs are the same for fashion schools with dorms versus those without. Off-campus housing expenses can be significantly more than on-campus in some fashion corridors. New York City, for example, can more than triple the on-campus housing cost of FIT fashion school.

    Commuting Costs

    Commuting costs will generally be lower if you live on campus at a fashion school with dorms, versus living in private off-campus housing. Factors to consider when trying to calculate savings include rent price and utilities. The cost of on-campus dorms with expenses included is generally cheaper than off-campus living since costs tend to be all over the place with off-campus expenses:

    1. The cost & expenses of living in off-campus housing vary greatly based on location and the availability of affordable housing.
    2. Students who live in off-campus housing may be responsible for most or all of the housing security deposit. This can be a big expense at the start of school depending on location.
    3. Off-campus housing is usually associated with monthly rental fees. Depending on the location of the school and housing, this could be more or less than those associated with the on-campus dorms.
    4. Expenses such as parking often have to be paid for separately when living in off-campus housing and can be expensive.
    5. If off-campus housing is far from campus, the cost of commuting via bus or train could get expensive very quickly.
    6. Off-campus housing costs usually do not cover utilities or other living costs. This generally has to be coordinated between roommates, adding to your living expenses.

    How to Decide on the Best Housing Option for You at a Fashion School?

    There are several different criteria, some unique to fashion schools and some common to all schools, that one should consider to decide on the best housing option for them. Different housing options can anchor your experiences while in school and vary greatly in convenience, distance, availability, cost, level of commitment, and social interaction and ultimately alter the kind of experience you have in school.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do Fashion Schools Have Dorms?

    1. Are there dorms available at fashion schools?

    Yes, many fashion schools offer on-campus dorms for students to live in during their time studying. These dorms often have a creative and stylish atmosphere to match the fashion-focused environment of the school.

    2. How do I apply for housing at a fashion school?

    The process for applying for housing at a fashion school varies, but it typically involves filling out an application and submitting it along with any necessary documents or fees. It’s important to check with the specific school for their application process and deadlines.

    3. Can I choose my roommate at a fashion school dorm?

    Some fashion schools allow students to choose their roommates, while others assign roommates based on compatibility. It’s best to check with the school’s housing department for their policy on roommate selection.

    4. Are the dorms at fashion schools co-ed?

    Many fashion school dorms are co-ed, but some may have single-gender options available. It’s important to inquire with the school about their dorm policies to make sure it aligns with your preferences.

    5. What amenities are typically included in fashion school dorms?

    Amenities in fashion school dorms may vary, but common ones include communal living spaces, laundry facilities, and Wi-Fi access. Some may also have additional features such as art studios or fashion design equipment for students to use.

    6. Are there other housing options besides dorms at fashion schools?

    Yes, there may be other housing options available such as off-campus apartments or homestays. These may require a bit more research and planning, but they can also offer a unique living experience for fashion students.

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