Wichita State Student Housing rates slightly higher than off-campus alternatives

By Allison Campbell/The Sunflower

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series looking at housing issues faced by people in Wichita. It is produced by members of the Wichita Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of 11 organizations, including The Sunflower.

As renting rates across the country continue to rise, many Wichita State students are struggling to navigate the ever-changing housing market. With dozens of housing options, students often must determine on their own if on-campus or off-campus housing gives them the best bang for their buck.

While WSU student housing has historically cost more than off-campus options, the price margin between the two has narrowed over the last few years. Updated off-campus housing rates, as well as newly approved on-campus rates, can be found below.

WSU student housing

According to a recent analysis of on and off-campus housing data, WSU on-campus housing options continue to cost more monthly than off-campus alternatives. Wichita State University offers three separate housing complexes: Shocker Hall, The Suites and The Flats.

Earlier this semester, Director of Housing and Residence Life Katie Austin presented the pending student housing rates for the fiscal year of 2025. Austin said that dining rates are projected to increase by 3%, double-style rooms by 2%, and single-style rooms by 3%. Triple-style rooms will not experience a rate increase. 

“The goal (is) always being to keep our low-cost options as low as possible while still accounting for the rises that we’ve seen in our utility bills and in some of our major projects,” Austin said.

The standard plan for Shocker Hall — a double, two-bedroom suite with one bathroom and an unlimited access meal plan — will cost $5,885 a semester, or roughly $1,177 per month, which is $42 more than the most expensive off-campus unit. The standard plan for The Flats and The Suites is about $1,184 and $1,358 per month, respectively. 

All students living in student housing are required to pay for a meal plan, which ranges in price from $2,345 to $2,670 per semester. Flats residents are required to pay for at least a dining dollar plan, which starts at $500 and also has $750 and $1,000 options.

To compensate for some of these higher costs, WSU Housing and Residence Life will be offering “Reside and Thrive” scholarships next year to help 50 students pay for housing expenses.

Off-campus student housing

For other students, living off-campus can be a more affordable alternative, but with new apartment complexes popping up around campus, such as Aero Apartments or Seventeenth’s Harvard Apartments, competitive rates have made it difficult for students to obtain sustainable housing. 

Star Winsler, a junior studying theater with a minor in creative writing, has lived at Seventeenth Apartments and 2909 Oliver and says that even with three jobs, they still struggle to find affordable housing near campus.

“Places close to campus that are below $600 basically are rare,” Winsler said. “I have three jobs and pay for college out of pocket and still can’t afford a good $600 apartment. Especially when parents don’t help you, you’re thrown to the wolves to figure this out the hard way.”

Seventeenth Apartments

Seventeenth Apartments refused to provide a comprehensive list of unit rates, stating that they “do not publish this type of information with the media, but rather through our website as it changes from time to time.” 

May von Leonrod, a property manager at 17th, provided these rates via phone:

  • One-bedroom: typically $849 per month 
  • Two-bedroom units:  $610-$749 per month
  • Three-bedroom units: around $645 per month 
  • Four-bedroom apartments: around $549 per month

According to Winsler, who lived in a shared four-bedroom apartment, their rent was often $700 or more because of overcharges.

“Everything less than (a) four bedroom was more than $675,” Winsler said. “Nothing there is $610, or I would have stayed.”

Amenities include:

  • Free roommate matching services
  • In-unit laundry in most units
  • Gym
  • Pool
  • Studying areas
  • Gated parking ($30 per month)

Tenants must pay for their own electricity and a $20 monthly rate on top of rent for water and trash services. For residents with pets, like Winsler, Seventeenth requires a non-refundable $300 pet fee with $20 per month due in pet rent.

Vassar Flats

Owned and managed by Point Guard Management and Bonavia Properties, Vassar Flats houses 50 units, according to Project Manager Rachel McFadden.

  • One-bedroom, one-bathroom: average rent of $850 per month.

Amenities include:

  • In-unit laundry
  • On-site parking
  • Access to pickleball court
  • Access to lounge area with free coffee

Tenants are expected to pay for their own electricity and pay $25 per month for water and trash services. These units are 500 square feet with individually dedicated Wi-Fi in each unit. 

Liv Apartments

Also owned by Point Guard Management and Bonavia Properties, Liv Apartments comprises 67 units: 27 studios, 21 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units and 19 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units. The square footage of units ranges from 450-900 square feet with an average rent of $530. 

Amenities include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-unit laundry 
  • On-site parking with monthly rent

These units require tenants to pay for their own electricity, along with a $25 per month fee for water and trash.

Dwell Apartments

The newly remodeled Dwell Apartments offer three different styles of units: studios, one-bedroom one-bathroom units, and two-bedroom two-bathroom units. Room types range from 370-740 square feet with the average rent costing $560 per month. 

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wifi
  • In-unit laundry 
  • On-site parking

Like other Bonavia properties, tenants must pay for electricity and $25 per month for water and trash services.

Grandview Apartments

Located near the southwest corner of campus, Grandview Apartments features 31 units, including studios and one- and two-bedroom units. The square footage of the units ranges from 400-800 square feet. 

According to McFadden, the average rent is $675 per month with tenants responsible for electricity and an additional $25 per month for water and trash charges. 

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-unit laundry
  • Onsite parking
  • Access to a workout room, upper deck television and a social area 

Granada Apartments

This 12-unit, one-bedroom complex advertises 618 square feet units with an average rent of $675 per month. 

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-unit laundry
  • On-site parking

This complex also has residents pay for their own electricity, in addition to the $25 per month water and trash services.

Fairmount Flats Apartments

Located near Granada and Dwell Apartments, Fairmount Flats charges the average resident $875 for their one or two-bedroom units. Units vary from 500 to 800 square feet. 

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-unit laundry
  • On-site parking
  • Access to a workout room, vending machines and a social courtyard area

Tenants must pay for their electricity usage and $25 per month for water and trash. 

All Point Guard Management and Bonavia properties are pet friendly, with deposits and rent varying by property.

2909 Oliver

This complex, located roughly one-and-a-half miles from campus, offers 800 square feet two-bedroom, two-bathroom units and 1200 square feet three-bedroom, three-bathroom units.

 2909 Oliver charges per person, with each resident paying $610 per person for a two-bedroom unit and $510 per person for a three-bedroom unit. 

Each tenant is allotted $40 per month to pay their electricity bill, with tenants responsible for paying any overages. Residents are also responsible for paying for their water services. 

2909 Oliver charges $10 per month for a green fee and, beginning in 2025, will charge $10 per month for valet trash. According to Winsler, 2909 Oliver will likely be increasing their rates soon to “try and fix the place.”

“There have been more than three requests to fix things in the first few months that just keep breaking,” Winsler said. “The costs are about to skyrocket up by $45-$75 for extra stuff they’re adding.”

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free cable
  • In-unit laundry
  • Access to a community pool, library, game room, bistro, basketball and volleyball courts
  • 24/7 gym 
  • 2909 Oliver units also come fully furnished


Altitude, formerly known as Aspen Heights, offers studio apartments, two-bedroom and two-bathroom units, four-bedroom and two-bathroom units, and four-bedroom and four-bathroom units. 

The 548-square-foot studio units cost $1,135 per month, the most expensive available off-campus student housing option. 

Four-bedroom, two-bathroom units range from $600 to $625 a month with square footage ranging from 1,211-1,318 feet. 

The four-bedroom,four-bathroom units are $700-$750 per month with square footage of 1,498 and 1,293, respectively.

Amenities include: 

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-unit laundry
  • Access to a community pool, study hubs, firepits, grilling stations, an Amazon Hub and an on-site dog park
  • Black and white printing
  • 24/7 fitness center 
  • Altitude units also come fully furnished

Finding housing

When it comes to finding affordable housing, Winsler recommends teaming up with friends to find the best deals and rates. Winsler is also opting to rent a home instead of an apartment to get a better deal.

“Apartment hunting is a struggle all together if you’re alone,” Winsler said. “It would be better to have friends who want to live with you, so getting a space brings the costs down. I’m with a small group right now looking at renting a house, so I only have to pay $300 a month.”

A complete list of off-campus student housing complexes can be found on the WSU Off-Campus Housing Marketplace website. Additionally, the Wichita Journalism Collaborative will continue to publish stories on its website geared toward housing and renting-related subjects.