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The cost of living off campus in Portland is very inexpensive. From small basement holes that cost below $200 per month to beautiful studio apartments that range from $500 to $750, living around Reed costs much less than living on campus. It also provides copious amounts of space and a Portland atmosphere that makes living in the dorms seem like a punishment. Although many students love living on campus for the college environment, a majority of Reedies prefers to live off campus because of the cost, freedom to cook for themselves, and the luxurious amounts of space that off-campus living affords. To sweeten the deal, living off campus is exceptionally simple, as a plethora of affordable housing options exist within a five-block radius of Reed. However, students also suggest that, if you do plan to live off campus, owning a car helps the situation by taking the hassle out of public transportation. However, owning a car off campus isn't completely necessary, as the TriMet public busing system allows for cheap and relatively quick travel around town.
There are two types of off-campus students: those who move by choice and those who Reed forces into the decision due to a bad number in the housing lottery. If Reed's housing lottery leaves you high and dry, Reed contracts with the Wimbledon apartment complex across the street from the school so that a decent number of students who don't want to go through the trouble of finding other housing can live there. Essentially, if a student is stuck off campus without housing, Reed ensures that the student can find a place to live without much trouble.
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