By CHELO GRUBB
Pima Community College is a diverse institution with campuses all over town. Older and working students make college fit into their already busy schedules. It doesn’t make sense for Pima to have dorms.
It also doesn’t make sense for students to miss out on “college life” just because they decided Pima fit their needs better than a four-year university.
Luckily, plenty of apartments around Tucson cater to college students.
Near each Pima campus, many apartment complexes offer shuttles to PCC and to the University of Arizona. These complexes offer opportunities to meet and live around other college students while paying affordable rent.
Most student-specific apartments offer roommate matching. Applicants who want to live together can secure an apartment together. Tenants who don’t apply with roommates fill out a “profile card.”
The cards ask questions involving personal, social and study habits. The apartment managers use them to match people with similar lifestyles.
Student apartments also tend to provide rent security by offering price per bed billing. Tenants are only responsible for their portion of the rent, even if a roommate moves out.
Collegerentals.com offers a long list of apartments located near colleges all over the country.
Aztec Press compiled a list of student-centric apartments around town perfect for different kinds of collegiate environments.
ENTRADA REAL – Handy for dual enrollment
Located just south of Stone Avenue and Speedway Boulevard, Entrada Real is within walking distance of both PCC’s Downtown Campus and UA.
It’s also on Sun Tran’s line, making other PCC campuses and parts of town easily accessible.
Of course, the “college experience” isn’t just about the shortest possible walk to class.
Living at Entrada Real comes with a few perks, including free tanning and access to barbecue grills, a fitness center, two swimming pools and a hot tub.
Three- and four-bedroom floor plans offer private bathrooms.
THE SEASONS – Emphasizes the fun
The Seasons, located on Wetmore Road just east of the Tucson Mall, offers a short commute to any part of town. For nondrivers, the complex offers bicycles to rent and a shuttle to UA.
The Seasons’ 30-seat theater is open for tenants to drop in and watch television or a movie, or listen to Pandora radio. The room can also be reserved for parties.
The complex also offers a gaming lounge, a tanning bed, a pool table and indoor/outdoor gym equipment.
The pool area, which is outfitted with grills and cabana-covered lounge chairs, is open 24/7.
The Seasons has two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom plans, with a bathroom for each bedroom.
The complex is currently completing office space and a café center near the front office, which are expected to be finished in early August.
Find more information online at theseasonstucson.com.
STAR PASS – Social haven
Star Pass apartments are located at Greasewood and Anklam roads, right next to PCC’s West Campus. There is a shuttle service to the UA.
The complex has a fitness center, game room and TV room, which are open 24 hours every day.
There’s a coffee bar where students can relax or study for exams, and a business center equipped with computers, a fax machine and a copier.
The gated complex also features pools, a spa, a picnic area with grills and a sand volleyball court.
Star Pass makes an effort to offer social events. During the warm months, it hosts poolside barbecues ever Friday.
There is also an annual pool party, which tenants can attend for free. Guests can buy tickets to attend.
The complex schedules guest presenters to talk to and work with tenants. During April, Star Pass scheduled yoga and zumba instructors.
To ensure safety, the entire property is enclosed.
Studio, one-, two and three-bedroom suites are available with private bathrooms. Four-bedroom units come with two bathrooms.
More information is available at livestarpass.com.
Student-friendly apartments in Tucson
Apartment Nearest campuses Pricing
Casa Bella Desert Vista $465-$599
The District Downtown, West *$749-$689
Star Ranch West, Community *$295-$640
Star Pass West, Community *$445-$745
Entrada Real Downtown *$589-$689
The Seasons Northwest, Downtown *$439-$679
Williams Center Davis-Monthan AFB $750-$1200
The Place Northwest $680-$1150
Living at home? Try these tips
By CHELO GRUBB
With Pima Community College’s in-state tuition being a fraction of that at universities, many students choose PCC in an effort to save a little cash.
Those thrifty students often make another penny-pinching decision: living at home.
It’s a tough balance. College students learn about taking care of themselves while preparing for a life in the career of their choice.
They’re expected to practice self-discipline but are given the opportunity to make their own decisions.
At home, things are a little different.
Everything seems a little too similar to life as a teenager.
It’s not just the Spiderman poster hanging over the bed, although it probably is time for that to come down.
Without any noticeable change from their perspective, it can be difficult for parents to accept the shift. College students are adults, even if they’re 18-years-olds who can’t cook anything more complicated than spaghetti.
The first step is having a conversation about it. While high school graduation probably brings up these thoughts for parents, it’s nice to let them know what changes to anticipate. It’s all about finding the right balance.
Keeping your own hours
It’s a little difficult to roll into the house at 2 every morning without making mom a little uneasy.
Make an effort to let her know when a late night or nights away from home are coming up.
There’s no need to ask permission, but parents always prefer a heads-up to anxiously waking in the middle of the night, worried because they haven’t heard the garage door go up.
Once they get used to the idea, unplanned nights away from home will be less likely to spur anxiety attacks.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in living at home is trying to live by a schedule separate from the rest of the household.
There’s a big paper due on Monday but the family is spending the weekend doing spring-cleaning. Relatives are visiting from out of town but a guy from Spanish class is having a party.
Again, talking it out is the best solution. Explain deadlines or other priorities. But, it would probably help family relations to participate a little.
Respecting the hierarchy
In the end, it’s just nice to have parents who are OK with keeping their kids around for a couple extra years … especially if it’s rent-free.
It’s their house: Avoid conflict and respect their wishes. At the same time, be confident and explore independence as much as possible.
Just remember that having family support is a big help and more important than trailblazing to complete independence weeks after starting college.