- Figure out your needs. Before you start searching, figure out what you need from your apartment. How much can you pay in rent? How close do you need to live to campus? Do you need a shuttle? How many roommates do you plan to have? Planning out your needs ahead of time will help you stay on track and find the right place for you.
- Do research early. The ideal time to start searching for an apartment for the upcoming academic year is in the fall. Most complexes have model rooms for you to look at as well as an example of the lease. Plus, many times you can get a discount of some sort for signing early. If you hope to move in the spring, you might find your options limited as most student housing options are built to start in August. Check student social media sites for students who are moving out early if you are having trouble finding a place .
- Shop around. There's no law stating you have to sign with the first place you tour. In fact, you shouldn't. Tour other complexes and weigh all of your options. There will be things about each one that you may like and dislike. Talk to current and past residents about their experience, since you won't find out everything by just touring a model. Compare all of your options so that you can make the best decision .
- Think about facilities. Though the tanning bed, gym, and pool might seem awesome, they are adding extra costs to your monthly rent. Think about whether or not you truly need these things, especially if you are already paying for these at your university. Same goes with a furnished apartment. The convenience of having a furnished apartment can be nice if you don't have the means to get your own furniture, but this adds to your monthly rent. If you have extra furniture back home or know someone who is selling their old furniture (which there is always someone in a college town), consider getting an unfurnished apartment to save money.
- Get to know potential roommates. Pretty much everyone has a crazy roommate story. Though you can never fully avoid this, you can help your cause by screening the people you are considering to live with. Talk to potential candidates about their level of cleanliness, how often they cook, how often they plan to have friends over, whether or not they plan to have pets, and their study habits. If you find that you no longer want to live with someone, tell them early. Though it may be difficult to say this to someone's face, you are saving yourself from what could be an uncomfortable year. If your complex is pairing you with someone, they might offer you a roommate survey; take this survey seriously. This is the basis for which they are matching you with someone that you have to live with .
- Ask the right questions. Before you agree to sign a lease, ask some questions. For example:
- Does each tenant sign their own contract?
- Are appliances included?
- Are utilities included?
- How long is the lease?
- Who fixes what? 
- What is the estimated cost per month of utilities?
- Is there parking included?
- Are pets allowed? If so, is there an extra cost?
- What are the regulations on subleases and overnight guests? 
- Consider logistics. Since you are young and there is a good chance that you have little to no established credit, you might need a co-signer. In most cases, this is your parent or legal guardian. Talk to someone so that you know who to go to if this comes up. Also, remember that you will most likely have to pay a security deposit. Normally a security deposit is one month's rent, but make sure you plan this into your budget .
 Guidelines for College Students Who Want to Locate a Fabulous Apartment, Renters
 5 Key Questions to Ask While College Apartment Hunting, Realtor
 Apartment Hunting: Tips For Finding Your First Apartment, College Cures