Laura Mulqueen takes an in depth look into the on-campus and off-campus accommodation at NUI Maynooth, giving the lowdown on prices and amenities...
Maynooth University has suffered a crisis of student accommodation in recent years, with the university population growing at such a rate that the demand is exceeding the accommodation available,as students from as far as Mayo and Donegal travel across the country to study there. 
 
On-campus accommodation is situated at most a five minute walk from north campus in Maynooth university. It is composed of three neighbourhoods so to speak: River, Village and Rye Hall.  Each of these contain apartment blocks at varying prices with River being the most expensive and Rye Hall being the cheapest option. 
 
While River offers students an en suite bathroom, more modern buildings and more comfortable living areas, Village is regarded by students as more of a community driven part of on-campus accommodation. 
Bathrooms are shared and the appartments are not as comfortable as River. Rye Hall is a pebble’s throw from the university campus itself and is the cheapest option, with it consisting of five bedrooms sharing two bathrooms similar to Village. River can have up to ten people sharing an apartment together. 
There are quiet areas on campus for students who prefer a more calm lifestyle, such as the post-graduate students. All accommodation is non-smoking. Each complex also offers laundry services.
 
To apply for campus accommodation means to be put into a lottery system where names are drawn randomly. Applications for on-campus accommodation opens as early as February with results published during the month of May. 
Demand for a room is at an all time high and those who receive an offer should not reject it lightly. 
Prospective first year students do not require a deposit is they successfully secure a room. Any change of CAO or Leaving Cert results will only require a call to cancel their room with no added charge.
There are definitely many perks to living on-campus, first year or not. 
To begin with, the rent is paid in either in one big bulk at the beginning of the year or in two installments prior to each semester. 
All apartments are fully stocked with cutlery, plates, cups, microwave, oven and a kettle. At least two bathrooms are located within each apartment and are shared by no more than ten people at a time. 
Normally there are five to six people sharing. Appartments are co-ed, with student diversity is strongly advocated on campus. Laundry rooms are located in every building for students to use with their room key card. Similarly wifi is available all over campus, including residential areas, to all students using their student ID number and password.
 
Resident assistants (RA’s) are students employed each year by the college to ensure there is law an order kept in the residential areas 24/7. 
Any disruption or lock out can be reported to the RA on call. 24 hour security is also present on campus and they can be contacted at any time by students. The list of contact numbers for security and RA’s are available in a student handbook which students receive upon registering for their accommodation.
 
For present students, it is becoming the norm to begin searching for accommodation from February onwards. Any later than March is too late. 
By Christmas you need to have your gang of housemates gathered, plans b and c drawn up and a steely attitude at the ready for the hunger games ahead. Local landlords have been appealed by the university to rent any available rooms to students for the academic year. 
Unfortunately the demand for rooms and houses has allowed landlords to raise the price of rent. Property in Kingsbury, which is a twenty minute walk, can be €100 a week and not include bills.
 
That means students may have to pay this amount plus allowing €10 for bills a week,  then travel and grocery shopping as well as college expenses. In the midst of a recession it can be a very difficult time for students to cope with these costs, especially if they are not receiving a student grant from SUSI or have failed to secure part-time work.
 
A list of prices for on-campus accommodation in Maynooth University can be found here. Prices can range from €2,780 and up to €5,060 per academic year. Included charges can be found at the link.
 
There are many perks to living on-campus, especially as a first year student who is still easing into a world of budgeting and living alone. 
Security, rent in bulk and accessibility are the most prominent benefits of living so close to college. Those who manage to get on-campus should consider themselves lucky as most students struggle to secure a house or room for the academic year.