Student Housing is Actually Affordable in Atlanta Right Now


Home to Little Five Points, Underground Atlanta, Virginia-Highland, and Buckhead, Hotlanta is a hotspot for college life. Students interested in attending Georgia Tech, Emory University, or any of the 57 colleges and universities within the Atlanta metro area have plenty of options for housing.

More importantly, student housing in Atlanta, Georgia, is quite affordable at the moment. Find out the facts about how much you can expect to pay for student living in Atlanta.

The cost of living in Atlanta for a single person is $1,034.97 per month, excluding rent.

Cost of Student Living in Atlanta

According to BestPlaces, the cost of living in Atlanta is slightly higher than the rest of the nation at 107.5 on a scale of 100. That might not sound affordable to you, but take a closer look at the numbers. Atlanta ranks below the average cost for groceries at 98.8 and health care with a rank of 91.8. 

That means for every $100 spent on food in another city in the US, Atlanta residents spend only $98.80 for the same food items. In Atlanta, the cost of living for housing is 112, while the rank for the rest of Georgia is 80.7. While the cost of housing may be higher than other US cities, other more affordable expenses bring the total cost down to a reasonable amount.

MARTA is Atlanta’s combined bus, rail, and streetcar transit system. It includes 48 miles of rail, 2.7-miles of circular streetcar tracks, and more than 1,000 miles of bus routes spanning Atlanta.

Paying for Transportation in Atlanta

Another key budgetary concern that you want to keep in mind when choosing to live in off-campus housing is living costs for transportation. In Atlanta, the score for transportation costs is 122.7, higher than in Georgia at 105.1. Here is where students benefit the most from using public transportation. As a student living in Atlanta, you quickly have access to MARTA, the city’s rapid transit rail system. 

Choosing to use public transportation instead of having a private vehicle can save you substantially on transportation costs. Plus, you can avoid the high price of paying to park your car in Atlanta. Along with parking fees, you also have to contend with car insurance, gas, and maintenance for your vehicle. For students on a budget who want the best housing they can afford, dropping vehicle expenses is a brilliant start.

At the same time, if you are able to live within walking distance of your college, that is the ideal route to take. You can walk to and from class, cutting out transportation costs. You are also within close proximity to the college campus for extracurricular activities and social events. This is an essential part of the university experience that you will want to get in on, even if you choose off-campus housing.

You are right in the middle of all that Atlanta has to offer! Located 500 feet from Georgia Tech’s campus, Square on Fifth is Atlanta’s best student apartment community.

Location, Location, Location

The part of Atlanta where you live also makes a huge price difference for the cost of living. Within metro Atlanta, the cost of living is 103.1. Meanwhile, only a few miles north Druid Hills and Sandy Springs have a score of 296.1 and 239.7 respectively. 

Additionally, if you choose the city of College Park just south of metro Atlanta, the cost of living drops to 63. As you can see, south Atlanta offers more affordable options for student housing in comparison to the suburban cities to the north of the capital.

The cost of a meal at an inexpensive Atlanta restaurant averages about $15 per person.

How to Afford Student Housing 

When you are searching for affordable student housing in Atlanta, steer your focus away from the cost of rent directly. Instead, focus on the other affordable costs of living for Atlanta residents – groceries and health care. These are two costs you can control as a student thanks to student campus meal plans and student health insurance. 

You can take advantage of a meal plan on campus to bring down the already low cost of groceries in Atlanta. In addition, student IDs are great assets to have when going out to eat at restaurants, thanks to student discounts all around town. 

As for health insurance costs, if you are able to stay on your parents’ health insurance plan, this option can save you thousands every year. Otherwise, student services at all colleges in Atlanta offer some form of affordable student health care. 

Plus, you also have the option of utilizing student nurses and medical clinics at your college or university. This permits you to be able to afford health care in this southern city. The amount of money you can save as a student on food and health care can be redirected to pay for housing, thereby making this more affordable.

Here’s a rough estimate of food costs in Atlanta:

  • The average price for groceries can vary depending on your lifestyle. For example, the average monthly food spending of Atlanta residents is estimated at $312.65, which is lower compared to the national average which is $324.33.
  • Eating out in reasonable restaurants isn’t too expensive in Atlanta. The cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant averages about $15 per person, while mid-range restaurants average about $60 for a three-course dinner for two people.

Fully furnished apartments are a breeze to move into. Wi-Fi service is available, so you won’t have to fuss with hooking things up.

To Furnish or Not

Another way you can save a ton of money on off-campus housing for students in Atlanta is to go the way of a furnished space. Apartment complexes cater to students by providing fully furnished living spaces. Everything from living room furniture to a furnished bedroom suite is ready and available for you as a student. 

No need to pay to ship or transport your belongings. Forget having to struggle to decorate your new student apartment on a tight budget. You can easily save $2,000 on moving expenses by choosing a furnished option. In between semesters and school years, you can avoid having to move out of your student dorms. Instead, you have a home away from home in student apartments.


Let us help you focus on your studies. We have everything you could desire in student housing at GA Tech.

A Perfect Place to Call Home

As you consider whether you can afford student housing in Atlanta, start here at Square on Fifth. We offer fully furnished off-campus student housing that is affordable and accessible within walking distance of Georgia Tech.

Contact our office at (888) 642-1230 to schedule a visit.