I wouldn't say that houses are usually a better investment; they need repair and nobody ever really budgets for that, but condos do and a good portion of the HOA fees go towards maintenance and replacement - especially in a well-managed building.
The real issues with condos, in my opinion, is that owner-occupants have a greater interest in the upkeep and well-being of the project, whereas landlords tend to care more about cash flow.
All the best,
You also have to think if you want to rent to students and what kind of challenges or opportunities that presents.
You also have to think about exit strategy and who you want to sell to when you are ready to sell.
If you want to sit down and work through some of these ideas and the alternatives just let me know.