Off-Campus Living for Students on the Beach

University Purchases Diplomat Apartments

BluffsThe application deadline for off-campus housing in Pier Village and University Bluffs is March 1.

Pier Village and the University Bluffs, formerly known as the Diplomats, are University sponsored apartment-style off-campus housing for juniors and seniors. Sophomores also have the opportunity to apply in the event that the spots are not filled. The Bluffs house 152 students and Pier Village houses 112.

According to Eric Mochnacz, University Area Coordinator, the University purchased the University Bluffs this fall. Located on Ocean Avenue, the building now has a sign with the University logo on it. “With a new beginning comes a new name,” Mochnacz said.

The University Bluffs is located on the waterfront and they house two people per apartment. According to Mochnacz, contracts can be either nine months or eleven months, allowing the students the opportunity to stay in July and August and take summer classes or enjoy the beach.

Pier Village offers beachfront condos with an eleven month contract beginning in June and extending through the school year. “There is no extra charge for staying during a break period,” said Mochnacz.

Mochnacz explained that the only requirements to apply are a 2.5 GPA and a clean judicial record for a year because each complex is shared with non-student tenants. “Your next door neighbors could be families so we are looking for students who are respectful to their neighbors,” he said.

The application is separate from on-campus housing. To apply, go to the Residential Life website and select the link for the sponsored housing application. When filling it out, students can request where to live.

There is no lottery system. Mochnacz reviews each application and tries to place students as best as he can.

Commuters are also eligible to apply. “It’s different because commuters aren’t able to go through on-campus housing until we’ve gone through all residential students,” shared Mochnacz.

“It’s a really great opportunity to experience apartment style living while still having residential life staff present,” he continued. “Students live upstairs and then work downstairs, it’s really convenient,” he adds.

Mochnacz places juniors and seniors first. If there is space available, they try to accommodate the sophomores because some feel they are ready to be more independent.

Elizabeth Regan, senior accounting major, has lived at the University Bluffs for a year and a half. Some of the perks she shared are the beach, places to eat, and bars which are all within walking distance. The University itself is also only a mile away.

“Since the school technically still considers it off-campus, you get a free parking decal as a commuter. It’s the best of both worlds,” she adds.

Sara Tomas, junior math and theater major living at University Bluffs, said, “It’s more homey and quiet and it’s less distracting than on campus.”

“Long Branch and Monmouth University Police make rounds by regularly passing the housing,” said Mochnacz. This is in addition to having 24-hour security at Pier Village and a student worker always on duty at University Bluffs.

Regan said, “I walk on what used to be the boardwalk often and MUPD regularly patrols the University Bluffs and Pier Village.”

“Off-campus housing is a little more costly than the Great Lawn Apartments or Maplewood Hall, but it’s less expensive than first-year or sophomore on-campus living because students aren’t required to have a meal plan,” Mochnacz said.

According to Mochnacz, the University tries to keep the price reasonable by covering things such as the Internet, cable and utilities. This is unlike having to pay a monthly bill at an off-campus house or apartment.

“Financial aid can help cover the sponsored off-campus University housing. It’s all handled through your University bill instead of at an off-campus house where you might have to take loans out and pay a monthly check to a landlord,” said Mochnacz.

Tomas would recommend students to live there. “It’s like being independent and finally being on your own,” she said.

Mochnacz will have students selected by March 8, and they will have a week to decide to accept or not.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jenna Intersimone