Living Near ASU Campuses
Obviously one of the most important things to consider when searching for an ASU apartment is where you are in location to campus. ASU has four main campuses and two additional units: Tempe campus, West campus, Polytechnic campus, Downtown Phoenix campus, Thunderbird and Colleges at Lake Havasu City.
The Tempe campus is the largest of the ASU campuses. The campus lies in the heart of Tempe, about eight miles east of downtown Phoenix. The Tempe campus is home to the Sun Devils’ athletic complex, performing arts facilities and many high-tech research spaces. Many students choose to live near Mill Avenue, where most of the nightlife is located. Others may choose to live closer to downtown and commute to class. Apartments in the area vary in price, but location is generally what determines price. If you need to be near the light rail for public transportation, make sure the apartment you chose has that option. The Tempe campus is the largest, making it a hub for college students and a cultural destination, especially with Arizona State University Art Museum. The most important thing to consider is that the closer you live to campus, the more you will pay in rent.
ASU Downtown is, as you may have guessed, located in downtown Phoenix, in an area bound by Van Buren Street, Fillmore Street, 1st Avenue, and 7th Street. Because the campus is downtown, it has a more urban feel. The campus is home to the College of Health Solutions, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Public Service and Community Solutions and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In Fall of 2016, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law will also move downtown in the Arizona Center for Law and Society. The most important feature in a downtown apartment is that you feel comfortable in your surroundings. Like the Tempe campus, you will ultimately pay more if you live closer to campus and transportation is the most important thing to consider when choosing your apartment.
ASU West Campus is located in a suburban area in northwest Phoenix, near Glendale. ASU West is the smallest of the campuses in square footage, so it is a good choice for students that want a more casual college experience. Living near West campus can be more affordable for students because of its location. The West campus aims to blend a liberal arts education with 21st-century workforce preparation. Degree programs are offered by the W. P. Carey School of Business, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the College of Health Solutions.
ASU defines the Polytechnic campus as “a nexus for studies in interdisciplinary sciences, engineering, management, technology and education.” This campus offers students hands-on experiences including simulators for flight and centers for consumer behavior research, semiconductor fabrication, comprehensive commercial printing and design services, and on-demand digital manufacturing. The Polytechnic Campus is located in the southeast part of Mesa, which is about 25 miles southeast of Tempe and 33 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix.
Colleges at Lake Havasu City
In response to a high demand for low-cost education, Colleges at Lake Havasu City offer students undergraduate degrees that are high in demand. There are currently 18 bachelor's degrees and 3 exploratory programs that students can choose from.
Thunderbird School of Global Management
Thunderbird isn’t exactly a campus, but rather a unit within ASU. Thunderbird School of Global Management is one of the newest units of "Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise." The flagship campus is located in Glendale, Arizona, at Thunderbird Field No. 1, a former military airfield from which it derives its name.
Transportation at ASU
When determining where you want to live at ASU, deciding how to get to campus is one of the most important factors. Many students who do not have a car will need to live closer to campus while others who have transportation may decide to save money and live on the outskirts of campus. Getting to campus can seem tricky if you don’t have a car or don’t want to pay for parking, but luckily ASU offers public transportation for students.
City buses and light rail, discounted transit passes, Eco-Passes and car-sharing allow Sun Devils to travel quickly, easily and affordably throughout the area.
City Buses and Light Rail
Valley Metro provides bus and light rail service throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. There is at least one Valley Metro bus stop at each of the four ASU campuses, and light rail stops - with service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - on the ASU Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses. Transit suggests allowing up to 35 minutes for travel on the light rail between the Downtown Campus and the Tempe campus. For unlimited rides on the Light Rail, U-Passes are offered for students for $200.
ASU intercampus shuttles transport students, faculty and staff between the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West campuses. Additional shuttle service is also available to the Scottsdale Mayo Clinic from Tempe and to the Thunderbird campus from West.
The current schedule for the ASU shuttle is listed below. Weekday shuttles operate when class is in session during the fall and spring semesters.
- Gold route: Service between Polytechnic and Tempe campuses - Departs every half-hour on the hour and half-hour.
- Maroon route: Service between Downtown Phoenix, Tempe and West campuses - Departs every half-hour on the hour and half-hour.
- Mayo Express: Service between the Mayo Clinic and Tempe campus - Departs every 45 minutes.
- Mercado route: Service between the Mercado Building on the Downtown Phoenix campus and Tempe campus - Departs every hour.
- Thunderbird Express: Service between Thunderbird and West campuses - Departs every half-hour.
Tempe Flash: On the Tempe campus, students and employees can board one of two, free shuttle routes to get from one campus building or parking location to another. Shuttle service is available every Monday – Friday (with the exception of university holidays and limited service during class breaks).
Campus Parking: Students are required to pay for parking at ASU, which can often be expensive. The cost of parking depends on the campus that you are attending. A general parking FAQ can be found here.
The transition from your hometown or previous city to a new college can be difficult. Finding an apartment near nightlife or near student activities can make the process easier. ASU has over 1,000 clubs and organization to join as well as a prominent Greek life community. Students can visit the Sun Devil Involvement Center to learn more about these clubs and organizations as well as leadership and student government opportunities. For links to student organization visit this website.
Many of the bars in the area are located on Mill ave and many students take ride services like Uber to the bars.
Living near other students is a great way to get involved. Try searching for an apartment complex that tailors to student needs. In these complexes, the landlords are usually aware of the student life that lives there and plan events to help student mingle.
The transition to a new city can be difficult, but choosing an apartment that provides an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in and that provides to the needs of students can help you feel more adjusted. Be sure to chose a place that is located close to your campus or near public transit. Also be sure that you feel like the other residents in the building are similar to you.