Housing in Webster Groves, MO | MCISA | Webster University

Housing in Webster Groves, MO

On Campus Housing

Housing Requirement

It is a well-known fact that new college students who live on campus have higher GPAs, become more involved in campus activities, and are more likely to earn a diploma than those who live off-campus.

All freshmen enrolled at the St. Louis main campus are required to live on campus for their first two years at Webster University. Exceptions to this requirement are granted for freshmen living with their parents within a 35-mile radius of the main campus in Webster Groves. Undergraduate International transfer students are also required to live on campus for their first year enrolled in classes at the main campus. Additionally, all study abroad students (undergraduate and graduate) are required to reside in on-campus housing for the duration of their study abroad experience. All site transfer students are required to reside on-campus for their first year enrolled at the Webster Groves campus.

Housing Exemption

We are unable to approve requests based on financial situations. It you would like to discuss financial aid options that may be available to help pay for the cost of living in the residence halls, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Guidelines for Requesting an Exemption for New Incoming Students:

  • Complete the Request for Exemption form explaining the reason for your request.
  • Submit documentation that supports or verifies the reason for your request as indicated.

A decision will be emailed to the email address provided on your Request for Exemption form. An exemption is not considered granted until you have received your approved request from the Housing & Residential Life Office.
If an exemption is granted and you have previously submitted a housing deposit, you may be eligible for a refund by notifying the Assignments & Billing Coordinator. Refund eligibility and amount will be determined by the date of your deposit refund request. For more details, please contact the Housing & Residential Life Office (314) 246-4663.

Students who meet the following thresholds, may apply for an exemption from the housing requirement:

  • Graduate students (please note study abroad and site transfer residency requirements)
  • Married students
  • Students living with dependent children
  • Students who will turn 26 years of age during their first academic year at a St. Louis metro campus

More information is available at http://www.webster.edu/housing/cancellation/exemption.html

Application Deadlines

International students applying for on-campus housing are strongly encouraged to apply by March 1 for the Fall semester and October 1 for Spring semester to maximize placement in their top housing options. Due to high demand, housing is not guaranteed, even if applications are received by these dates. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Application for Housing

Before beginning an application for housing, applicants need to know their Connections username and password. This information is set-up by the student through Microsoft 365, a software which houses the Webster email and other items. Instructions for setting up this username and password can be found here. The first step in this process is to receive a Webster Student ID number from the Office of Admissions, this ID is received upon acceptance to the university. If you have any issues setting up your Connections username or password, please contact the Webster IT Support Desk at 314-246-5995 or support@webster.edu.

To apply for campus housing, please complete the online and send the Housing Deposit by check, credit card, money order or wire transfer.

Detailed information on Housing Options, including videos and floorplans can be found on the housing website.

 

Off Campus Housing

 Apartment Banner

 

Temporary Housing After Arrival

Some students choose to stay in a temporary lodging for a few days after arrival to settle in and tour around the area to personally look at apartments.

Local Hotels

To book a hotel or motel, please use our Local Resource Guide and contact the hotel/motel in advance to ensure availability of rooms for the date of your arrival. Our Local Resource Guide has many hotel/motel listings.  

Mention you are a Webster University student, as many hotels offer discounts. Book in advance, as room availability may be in demand for the day you arrive.  

Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world - online or from a mobile phone or tablet.

Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. Hosts can post available rooms, rent out entire apartments or homes, and travelers can search by location, date of travel and number of travelers. It is useful for short term accommodations that are often less expensive than traditional hotels. 

Old Orchard Air BnB - near the Webster Groves campus

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/22748367?source_impression_id=p3_1565125883_YAXl%2B74F3ZWxcssD

Bed and Breakfast in Webster Groves

Tuxedo Park STL Bed and Breakfast Inn https://tuxedoparkstl.com/

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is another unique temporary lodging marketplace online that allows individuals to open their homes and share their lives with travelers. You can search for accommodations, connect with hosts, and confirm your stay through the Couchsurfing platform. Your temporary stay with hosts is free, but often you may be sleeping on a couch or another kind of modest setting.  

NOTE: As with any online rental service (AirBnB or Couchsurfing), we recommend carefully reviewing user ratings, online reviews and referrals for your safety when traveling. Do not leave valuables or your passport in public spaces and secure your belongings when you are not present for your security.

Off Campus Apartments

Apartments

Click here to review a list of Off-Campus Apartments in the local area.

Please note: Webster University provides this brief list of area apartments for your reference only. While we do our best to keep information updated, pricing and availability may change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee accuracy of the information provided. Please contact the leasing office directly if you are interested in current pricing and availability. (NOTE: This list was updated most recently in December 2019.)

  • Check the Off Campus Apartments list for access to the St. Louis area public transportation Metro system (bus and train service) using the links within the document (above). The 56 Bus runs along Lockwood Avenue in front of Webster Hall (our main administrative building) and connects with the Shrewsbury Metro Station where you can connect to train service. Use google transit to map your route.
  • Keep in mind that St. Louis is a very large and spread-out metropolitan area.
  • Search for the 63119 zip code to locate apartments closest to the Webster Groves campus.
  • If you will take classes primarily at the Arcade campus (Downtown) or at the Westport Plaza Campus, consider searching for apartments closer to those locations.
  • Metro - Public Transportation: Visit our Local Resource Guide for detailed instructions on how to use Metro Public Transportation to plan a trip to and from campus, to search for bus and train routes nearby apartments you are considering.
  • Living Downtown St. Louis Apartment database: loft apartments within a few blocks of the Downtown campus are Syndicate Lofts, Bell Lofts, Dorsal Lofts, and Ludwig Lofts.

    Consult your academic advisor if you are unsure which St. Louis area campus location you will most frequently attend for your classes.

Online Apartment Search

The following websites are common online search engines used in many large metropolitan areas in the United States. These are provided for reference only. Not all apartment agencies and locations participate in these databases, so keep in mind that these websites can give you some information to begin your search.

Finding Roommates

Consider reaching out to our cultural clubs on campus through the Involved@Webster portal or through club Facebook pages to ask for advice on local housing options and to seek roommates. Do not hesitate to contact any friends of nationals from your country who are here already. Students can also ask about roommates in their departments.

International Student Association Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalStudentAssociationWebsterUniversity

International Student Association:
https://involved.webster.edu/organization/international-student-association

Roommates/Housing/Swap and Sell Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/205088626513896/

Due to the FERPA federal privacy law, we are unable to give out the names and contact information of students from particular countries on campus. If you would like for us to share your name and contact information with others from your home country, please contact the MCISA department directly at multi@webster.edu.

Real Estate Agencies

These agencies list houses which are vacant. They may charge a fee for their services. Real estate agents are listed in the “Yellow Pages” of the telephone book under the section entitled “Real Estate.” An alternative method to find a place to live is to walk along the streets near campus to look for “For Rent” signs posted outside of houses. These sources should yield some housing options for new international students’ families and visitors.

Classified Ads

You can learn about off campus housing vacancies in the “classified advertising” sections in the back of the city newspaper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The following abbreviations are used in classified advertisements. If you do not understand what an advertisement means, you should ask the landlord to explain it. “BR” means bedroom; “bath” means bathroom; “A/C” means air conditioning; “furn” means furnished; “unfurn” means unfurnished.

Types of Dwellings

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Dwellings

Living areas are available both with and without furniture, and new students and faculty must decide which choice they prefer. Dwellings with furniture usually cost more. Items that may be in furnished apartments include a bed, bureau, desk, table, and chairs. You are expected to purchase your own linens and utensils. Unfurnished dwellings do not include furniture, although the apartments will contain a stove, refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, and perhaps a dishwasher. These accommodations are usually less expensive. You then purchase any furniture that you may need, move it into the apartment, and when you leave, you can sell it. It is also possible to rent furniture on a monthly basis from furniture leasing companies. Look in the “Yellow Pages” of the phone book under the category “Furniture Renting and Leasing.” Click here for more information on Local Furniture Rentals. You may also consider purchasing used furniture from local thrift stores. Options include Goodwill Industries, Savers, St. Vincent De Paul, Miriam Switching Post, and others. Click here for more information on Local Thrift Stores.

Rooms

A room may be located in a rooming house or in a private home. Some rooms may be “suites” in an apartment complex where the student lives in one room and shares a bathroom, kitchen, and living room with occupants of three or four other rooms in the suite. “Kitchen privileges,” or access to a kitchen and utensils may or may not be included in the cost of renting a room in a house. Students interested in renting a room should ask whether the room is furnished, whether the rent includes kitchen privileges, and the normal monthly cost of utilities.

We do not publish a public list of local room rentals because they change frequently. Contact the MCISA at multi@webster.edu for more information on local individuals seeking to rent a room in their homes to international students. Availability,  prices, amenities and proximity to campus vary for local room rentals.

“Efficiency Apartments”

Also called “studio apartments,” efficiencies” are usually one large room which includes a kitchen area and bathroom. They are designed for one person or perhaps two people. Most efficiencies are furnished. The occupant is expected to pay for electricity and water. Efficiency apartments are sometimes found in houses.

Apartments

The wider St. Louis area and Webster Groves in particular has hundreds of apartment houses. Apartments consist of a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and one or more bathrooms. Apartments are larger than efficiencies. Apartments may be furnished or unfurnished; furnished apartments cost more. You pay the utilities, unless other arrangements are specified. A few apartments offer maid service for an extra charge.

Houses

Sometimes several students who want to live together choose to live in a house. While a few furnished houses are available, most rental houses are equipped only with stoves, refrigerators, and kitchen cabinets. The landlord is responsible for making repairs and caring for the yard unless the lease specifies otherwise. The occupant or “tenant” is responsible for keeping the house clean and paying for water, electricity, heating, and pest control bills unless other arrangements have been made with the landlord.

What To Keep in Mind When Looking For Accommodations

You are not obligated to rent an apartment if you look at it! When looking for accommodations, the prospective tenant should remember that he/she is a customer searching for the right choice for him/her. If you are not satisfied with one dwelling and want to look at others, this is perfectly acceptable. You may tell the landlord that you wish to look around more. You should not feel pressured to accept a dwelling that you do not like. You should always inspect the apartment that you will rent before signing the lease. Get everything in writing before you sign a lease! All expenses of repair, painting, etc. should be written into the lease agreement before you sign it.

Lease Agreement Fast Facts

When looking for apartments, consider the following:

  • Length of the lease: When can you move in and out? Many apartments only offer 12 month leases or charge a higher monthly fee for shorter leases.
  • Your monthly budget: What can you afford? Does your budget include rent, utilities, transportation costs, etc.? Living alone is usually more expensive than having roommates. Deposits alone can be $1,000 or more.  If you do not have a social security number for a background check, you may be required to pay a higher security deposit.
  • Distance from school and transportation: How will you get to campus?
  • Safety: Is this neighborhood safe?
  • If you will have roommates: How many rooms will you need?
  • Rental prices vary widely in St. Louis (approximately $300-$450 per month for shared housing).
  • Apartments within walking distance of campus are typically more difficult to acquire and may be more expensive. Off campus housing arrangements require check or cash deposits for rent and utilities, as well as the purchase of some furnishings, linens and cooking utensils.
  • Remember that the names of all individuals living together should be on the same lease.
  • Begin looking prior to arrival, because orientation week will be very busy and the most desirable apartments or roommate situations will go quickly.

Security Deposits and First and Last Months’ Rent
A landlord will probably ask you for money before you move into an apartment. This may be in the form of a security deposit and first and last months’ rent, and can amount to more than $1,000 dollars. A “security deposit” is an amount of money that is supposed to guarantee that the tenant will care for the dwelling. If the tenant does not care for the property or clean it before leaving, the landlord has a legal right to keep the security deposit. Otherwise, the landlord must return the security deposit within a month after the tenant leaves. You should have the agreement about the security deposit in writing included in the lease. Landlords will often ask for the sum of the first and last months’ rent before the tenant moves into the apartment. This is to protect the landlord in case the tenant leaves early without paying the rent for the agreed upon lease term. Most leases require that once you move in, you are expected to live in the unit for the agreed upon lease term. In many cases, you cannot leave an apartment vacant for long periods of time if you are away. Check your lease for specific requirements. Each landlord has particular requirements for deposits. You should ask the landlord about his particular requirements.

Signing a Lease
In most cases, the landlord will require the tenant to sign a lease. A lease is a written agreement between a tenant and a landlord that describes the responsibilities of each party. This is a binding legal document that commits the student to a specific period of residency in the unit. Most landlords in St. Louis want the tenant to sign a one-year lease. This presents a problem if the student leaves for the summer, because you must find someone to assume responsibility for the lease. If you know that you will not be in St. Louis for the entire year, you should not sign a year’s lease. Shorter leases are available, or you can “sublease” from someone who has a present lease.

Utilities
Unless someone is already living in the dwelling, the new tenant must start utility services, such as telephone, electricity, and gas. The tenant may need to assume the cost of water, garbage and pest control (a service where a company exterminates insects on a monthly basis), and may want to pay for cable television and high speed internet connection. Prospective tenants should ask the landlord about which services the landlord will provide and which services the tenant must arrange. This is important because utilities require deposits that may be expensive.

Duration of the Lease
A prospective tenant should not sign a lease for a time period longer than he/she anticipates needing the housing. Some landlords will agree to leases of 6-, 9-, or 12-month duration with the option of renewing each additional month. The renter should ask whether he/she can “break” the lease (terminate occupancy early) if he/she gives a one or two month notice to the landlord. If not, the renter will be required to pay rent until the end of the period covered by the lease even if he/she moves out and lives elsewhere. Many unpleasant disputes arise between landlords who want to keep their property rented and student renters who, after signing a lease, decide for some reason that they wish to live elsewhere. The lease should specify whether “subleasing” is permitted. “Subleasing” is a lease arrangement whereby another person replaces the initial tenant with responsibility for the lease.

Restrictions
The lease may contain restrictions, such as not permitting animals or children in the dwelling. Ask the landlord about his/her particular requirements. If you do not obey the restrictions on the lease, the landlord can ask you to leave. If you violate the terms of your lease, you will likely lose/forfeit your security deposit/s.

Choosing a Roommate
New students should consider budget, preferences, habits and safety when choosing living arrangements. Many international students choose to live with a roommate (or roommates) because they wish to save on monthly expenses. Because utility costs are part of the monthly expenses, these should be estimated and considered when deciding how much you and your roommate are willing to pay for rent each month. Finding the right roommate can help to make your experience here more pleasant.

Here are some considerations when looking for a roommate:

  • Does that person smoke? If you smoke, will this bother the other person?
  • Because some names are used by both men and women, it is important to ask whether that person male or female?
  • Will the roommate have any pets?
  • Is the person quiet?
  • Does he/she study a lot?
  • Does he/she play the stereo loudly?
  • Does he/she invite friends over regularly?
  • Is the person a neat or messy housekeeper?
  • Will you share expenses for food, or will each person buy his/her own food?
  • Will you share expenses for utilities such as telephone, electricity, cable television, and gas?
  • Whose name will be on the contract?
  • Will anyone else be spending the night regularly?
  • Is the person religious?
  • Does the person talk about religion a lot or keep religious beliefs to himself/herself?
  • Is the person independent?
  • Does he/she want to share time and interests, or does he/she prefer to be left alone?

Source Credit

Many thanks to the University of Florida International Center for use of Housing materials referenced on this site. Some of the information provided here is based on their templates and much of the information has been taken word-for-word from their website at https://internationalcenter.ufl.edu/.