Although sharing a tiny dorm room is a rite of passage for many undergraduate students, it's not always the most fun experience.
And, at some schools, it's also not the most economical choice. For students looking to begin investing in real estate early, or just to save a buck, finding a place off-campus might be a smart starting point.
Residential real estate company Redfin compared the monthly cost of living in a dorm at 195 public colleges across the U.S. to the median monthly mortgage for a condo in the same cities to determine where it's actually cheaper to buy.
Redfin found 47 colleges where mortgages offer better rates than dorm rooms.
To calculate monthly mortgage costs, Redfin assumed a 20 percent down payment, a 4 percent interest rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage, 1.125 percent annual property taxes and $70 for homeowner's insurance.
It's important to note that home ownership isn't the right choice for everyone. In addition to the obvious financial burdens, owning property requires a substantial time investment. Still, those who feel equipped could save hundreds of dollars a month.
Here are the 15 biggest public schools where it's cheaper to buy a condo than live in a dorm, ranked by average amount of savings.