School Psychology Program -
New Student Guide
Renting an Apartment
Tampa offers a variety of housing options in various price ranges. Most one bedroom apartments rent for somewhere between $750 and $1000 per month; two bedrooms generally range from $1000 to $1300 per month. There is also usually a security deposit of $100-200 (and an additional security deposit for pets if applicable).
For all apartments you visit, ask the rental office if they are having any specials. A good number of places will negotiate a rental rate with you. For instance, they might give you the first three months of your rent for free. When that is the case, you can prorate your rent, and that will make your monthly rental rates significantly less expensive.
NOTE: Below are listings of apartments that current grad students know are legitimate. There are many housing options in the Tampa area. Please use our guidelines as suggestions.
You can also find apartment/housing listings for all of these areas at: www.tampabay.com (click on rentals in the top right menu).
Campus/Temple Terrace Area
We recommend that you look east of campus or along Bruce B. Downs. We would avoid the area directly west of Bruce B. Downs. The obvious advantage here is a short commute to campus. Most of these apartment communities tend to have a lot of undergraduate students. This section of Tampa tends to be very affordable. If you check out 42nd Street (between Fletcher Ave and Bruce B Downs Blvd), there are at least 10 apartment complexes. Just to reiterate, the area is full of undergrads, which is why the apartments are less expensive. Even though these places are close to campus, we would NOT recommend walking to campus from these locations. If you choose to live in this area, you will have to drive to get from place to place because the streets in this area are all main roads and extremely busy. There are also great parks nearby to go hiking, jogging, and rollerblading. The commute to the parking lot where we park is usually under 10 minutes. Here are some of the communities close to campus where our students have lived and recommended:
There are also apartment complexes that specifically cater to USF student’s that are just blocks away from the campus. These apartments come furnished and most are willing to match residents with a roommate. Benefits to this option are that you will be very close to campus, apartments are furnished, all utilities and cable are usually included in the rent and often times these apartments are a little cheaper if you have a roommate. An important factor to consider is that these apartments usually tend to house a lot of undergraduates, which means they could be a bit noisy.
This is a more affluent section of Tampa that is just north and east of campus off of Bruce B. Downs. Apartments in this area are anywhere from 10-25 minutes from campus, depending on traffic. The apartments in this area tend to be a more expensive (starting at $750-1000 per month for a one bedroom; $1000-1400 for a two bedroom). If you would like to live in Tampa Palms, you may want to hook up with a roommate to make the rent a bit more reasonable. These complexes tend to have more amenities than the complexes closer to campus. This area has a lot of really new strip malls, and everything is very close to each other. There are also a lot of bike/roller blading paths in this area that you can access directly from most apartment complexes. The only thing to note with this area is that you have to get in your car to get anywhere, with the exception of jogging paths. Here are some of the communities with which we are familiar:
http://www.rentnewtampa.com is a good website to use if you are interested in looking in the New Tampa area.
South Tampa is one of the more unique, quaint areas of Tampa. It is close to Tampa Bay and includes Hyde Park and Ybor City, which has a lot of upscale shopping and charming restaurants. This is also where the majority of the night life is, in terms of bars, pubs, dance clubs, etc. It is more expensive than other areas of town. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to get to campus (without traffic), but the advantage of this area is that everything else (groceries, restaurants, shopping) is all walking distance. Hyde Park is less than a mile away from downtown, and about 2.5 miles from Ybor City. Hyde Park is a little more "upscale" in terms of restaurants, shops, and nightlife, and Ybor City is more diverse in terms of places to go and prices. You may want to consider a roommate if you would like to live in this section of town. Here are some of the apartment complexes in this area:
Carrollwood and Northdale
Carrollwood and Northdale are on the west side of Tampa while USF is on the east. The east-west thoroughfares in Tampa tend to be slow (lots of lights), so east-west travel can be difficult. It can take anywhere from 15 - 25 minutes to get to campus, depending on traffic. Nonetheless, Carrollwood and Northdale are desirable areas in which to live if you enjoy being near shopping (mostly chain stores), restaurants, movie theaters, etc. They are located along Dale Mabry Highway, a major thoroughfare with lots of places to shop (think lots of strip malls). Here are some of the communities you may want to look at:
Brandon is suburb that is about a 20-25 minute drive to campus via I-75. It has every store, fast food chain, and restaurant (also chain, but some local ones too) that you could ever want, including a fairly new mall, right off I-75. The area is not small-town quiet by any means, but it is more family-oriented; if you love the nightlife, this would not be the best place for you. However, convenience abounds and the distance from school allows for a nice separation between school and home. Traffic is never a problem on I-75; the 20-minute drive to USF is actually similar to the commute from New Tampa. There are many nice apartment complexes near I-75.
Purchasing a Home
Finally, if you would be interested in purchasing a home, the neighborhoods where people in our program have homes include: Brandon, West Chase (another suburb west of campus), and New Tampa. Two bedroom houses or condos start at about $120,000. Monthly mortgage rates are comparable to monthly rent at many apartments. If you would like to speak to current students about their experiences with house hunting in Tampa Jennifer Cunningham is a good person to contact.
Verizon (cable/internet/home phone)
Networks (cable/internet/home phone)
Yourself at Home in Tampa
- It can
help to make connections outside of the program during your first semester. It can be especially helpful to connect with families who might have
children you can test for the assessment course second semester. One
suggestion is to become friendly with the teachers at your practicum
- Don't be
afraid to call current students for advice. You will be assigned a
student mentor, if you don't already have one. Please feel free to contact them whenever the need
arises. They are there to help you!