Where to Live as a Grad Student at Case
Do you have some tips for grad students? Here, grad student Christa Wheeler offers her suggestions on neighborhoods around town.
Case is where you will be spending a lot of time during your years in grad school. There are several locations you'll want to consider before deciding where you want to live. These suggestions are based on experience and taking some time to get to know the area.
The four numbers on the map are four areas where a lot of students choose to live. As a distance reference, I included a location where I lived when I first came to Case. I drive to campus, but it takes me less than 10 minutes to get there.
- If you want to stay close to campus, stay south of Mayfield Road.
- Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and Shaker are all great areas, but for convenience, look for places west of South Taylor Road.
- North of Shaker Boulevard is another good option. Shaker Boulevard will take you to Shaker Heights, which is a really nice community, but apartments might be slightly pricier than Cleveland Heights. Anything south of Shaker takes you further away from Case and places that students tend to frequent for restaurants and bars, such as Coventry.
- If you want to live west of the university, live downtown near either East Fourth Street (theater district), West Sixth Street (warehouse district), or in Tremont/Ohio City. Note: There are quite a few grad students that live west of the city, but for your first year, it may be easier to stay close to Case. Then you can explore Cleveland more once you get here and decide if you want to move after a year or so.
There are a lot of great neighborhoods close to campus, which I have outlined below.
Little Italy is located right next to Case's campus. There are many small houses for rent or smaller buildings that have been divided into one- to two-bedroom apartments. One perk is that it is within walking distance to campus. It also is filled with many really good restaurants, little bakeries and shops. Most of the apartments are older, so make sure to ask about the age of appliances. The upkeep might not be the greatest but the price reflects it.
Most places are extremely inexpensive. A one-bedroom or small two-bedroom apartment will run you between $500 to $600 per month. Parking is a slight issue and probably not free, but you can buy an on-street parking permit for about $5 a month. I have heard that landlords do not always like to rent to students, but obviously many do since a good number of Case students live in this area.
Cedar Road and Fairmont Boulevard are two main roads that are within walking distance from campus. The two roads intersect just southeast of Case and many students (especially professional students) live in this area. If you are not bringing a car, this is the place to live because there is a grocery store right here as well. There is also a Starbucks, Bruegger's Bagel Bakery, some smaller restaurants and a few bars.
This area also is popular for people that plan on living by themselves at least their first year. There are multiple apartment buildings with one- and two-bedroom units. Three-bedroom apartments may be harder to find, but there are some houses or duplexes for rent nearby. Rent for a one-bedroom is slightly higher than in Little Italy, but the places generally have more updated décor and appliances. Expect to pay somewhere around $600 to $700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Parking is extra per month: Expect to pay approximately $40 for a garage spot and less for an open city lot. Usually rent includes heat and/or water though, which is a perk in Cleveland since gas bills can get high if you choose to live in a house where insulation might not be so great.
Coventry Road is a street that runs perpendicular to Cedar Road. There are many apartments located off Coventry Road, either on Euclid Heights Boulevard, Mayfield Road or smaller streets in between. Coventry is a great area that students frequent quite often. The strip between Euclid Heights and Mayfield Road is full of bars, restaurants and little shops. You could walk there from Case, but you probably would rather bike or drive. (The walk might take you close to 30 minutes.)
Most of these apartment buildings are one- to two-bedroom units, but there are also some three-bedroom units available. Some of the buildings are very nicely kept and might be slightly expensive. When I first moved here, I looked at a three-bedroom unit that was going for around $1,300 a month. (It was really nice though and had its own washer and dryer.)
Parking here for an apartment is similar to Cedar/Fairmont. You can buy a garage space for more money, or spend less to park outside or on the street. Coventry also has some small duplexes in which the bottom and top rent separately. If you are living alone, many of these also have efficiency apartments on the third floor. These are generally cheaper than a one-bedroom place in an apartment building (approximately $450 a month) and include an outside parking spot. Heat is most likely not free. But if you live on the third floor, the gas bills aren't as bad as the bigger units on the first and second floor.
Coventry is a great place to live if you like to go out a lot, meet for Happy Hour or if you don't mind biking or driving to campus. Plus, if you head down Coventry Road going south, you end up at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, which is great for biking, running or just relaxing in the somewhat rare Cleveland sun.
Cedar Road and Lee Road are two roads that intersect in an area that is populated with restaurants, shops and bars. John Carroll University is a nearby small Jesuit private college. Many John Carroll students live in the Cedar/Lee area and frequent the bars and restaurants. The young crowd also draws many students from Case.
Biking to school is possible if you don't mind a 20- to 30-minute ride. Living in Cedar/Lee would be difficult, however, if you do not have access to a car at all. If you head east on Cedar Road toward the intersection of Warrensville-Center Road, you will see a shopping center with a Target, TJ Maxx, Whole Food Market and other stores. About two miles further east, you will see Legacy Village and Beachwood Place. This area also provides easy access to I-271. I'm not sure how much it costs to rent apartments in this area, but they should be comparable and maybe even slightly less than Coventry and Cedar/Fairmont.
Another fun place to live is downtown! Most students that live here live in the Warehouse District
(see the West 6th Street / West 9th Street area on the map at right). East 4th Street is also close and more of an up-and-coming section of downtown.
Both the Warehouse District and E. 4th street are popular living areas for for young professionals. Because it is still growing, apartments are reasonably cheap. For instance, two-bedroom apartments are available for $800 to $900 per month. One-bedroom apartments also are available for $500 to $600 a month at National Terminal Warehouse Apartments. Crittenden is a high-rise building downtown that has reasonable rates as well.
Tip #1: How to Live on a Grad Student's Salary