A college experience can be the greatest time in a student’s life for the reason being, it is a new path the individual is taking to pursue his or her future career. While pursuing a career, every student has his or her own personal preference of whether or not to live on campus. Deciding where to reside seems to be the topic that runs through every college student’s mind. Whether it is to live the college lifestyle filled with events and social opportunities that go hand in hand with rooming on campus, to simply staying at home or living nearby and keeping a peace of mind and building up financially.
Living on or off campus can be a difficult decision to make for many, but depending on the college experience you prefer to have, it can be made into a simple decision. Living on campus can have many perks and positive aspects that will have many students eager to attend. Gas prices are through the roof these days in our economy and not having a gas bill can be a very efficient and effective way for saving more money.
Having more money in your pocket is always beneficial. When living on campus there are many numerous ways to get to class faster and time efficiently such as biking, skateboarding, longboarding or simply just walking. Getting more exercise and time outdoors is a just another perk of living on campus and getting the real feel of the campus lifestyle. Also, living on campus can be time efficient when making your way to class that way you are not tardy.
Another positive aspect of living on campus is being a part of the organizations, fundraisers, concerts, sporting events and other fun activities that take place on campus giving you a stronger feel for the lifestyle of the college. Being more involved in your college can lead up to many positive outcomes whether it is meeting new people to hang out with or growing as an independent individual because you are finally on your own. Even though there are many positive aspects to living on campus there are also negatives.
When living on campus there is a big price to pay. Around average it is $7,500-$9,000 depending on whether it is a public or a private university. For a bachelor’s degree and living on campus for all four years is estimated to be around $32,000 and that’s just for room and board. With that being said that is a very large cost to pay for never having privacy. Having a roommate around can have its own negative perks all in itself whether it is from personality conflicts to having simple differences and opinions.
For example, while a student might be trying to study or do homework, the other student might be trying to socialize with friends and listen to music which can lead to large conflicts. Having opposite personalities or schedules might be an issue for some students. Living off campus is a whole different experience as a student than living on campus. For instance, you can live a more of a private lifestyle; having your own room and personal space can be essential for a great learning and studying environment.
Living off campus could mean living closer to family and relatives, who can be a great support group and give inspiration in any college barrier you, may come across. Also, living at home with Mom and Dad can save you a plethora of money, which means more money in your pocket, and like I have said before that is always a plus. Even though living off campus has its ups it can also have its downs. Living off campus can seclude you from the college events and the overall feel from the college community and lifestyle.
Missing those types of involvements can really dampen your overall college experience and outlook of the college lifestyle. Also, depending on where you live if it is a big city college or small community college can determine the commute and what kind of transportation you are going to take. Bus passes can add up to be expensive and cars take up a lot of gas especially when driven daily and our gas prices today do not help. Riding a bike or skateboard is not always an option depending on where you live and how far away your location is from the campus.
What can also have a negative effect to living on campus is the traffic that can cause you to become tardy to classes. Even when driving a personal vehicle you are not safe from tardies you still run the risk of car trouble, a full parking lot or traffic. Public transportation can also become a hassle; the reason being you cannot control the bus driver, if the bus is delayed or missed it can lead to problems with being on time. According to statistics shown by various sources indicate that students who live on campus tend to complete more semester hours and attain higher GPAs than the students that live off campus.
Even though that is the case, Angelo State University reported that 80% of students still prefer to live off campus. (Jones, 2004). According to USNEWS. com “of the 1,259 schools that provided campus housing data to U. S. News, an average of 48 percent of the undergraduate student body lives on campus. Ten of the schools that provided data on campus housing in 2010 said that their entire undergraduate student body lives on campus, while 52 reported having no undergraduate students living in campus dorms”. (Wecker, 2011).
When making the decision of living on or off campus make sure to always keep in mind the pros and the cons of each living scenario and the consequences that each come with. Although both living styles have there ups and downs they are both very beneficial to the college lifestyle in numerous ways whether it is being a part of the college experience and lifestyle to trying to save money and being more conservative with your money. The key is knowing yourself and what college experience you wish to pursue and prefer and that can make the decision of living on or off campus a simpler one.
On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing
Some considerations in comparing on-campus and off-campus housing:
Finding a good place to live takes time, but remember there are a lot of choices. If you're wondering whether you should live on-campus or on-campus, here are some things to consider:
Space in the UW residence halls (dormitories) is limited. If you want to live on campus, you should apply to a residence hall as soon as you can. Generally, the best, least expensive, and most convenient places to live near the university are often filled 2-3 months before a new quarter begins.
If you live in residence hall, you will only need to walk a short distance to classes. Off-campus apartments can be either near or far to campus, but you can usually walk, bike, or bus to the university from many apartments in the University District. There are several other neighborhoods with good buses to the University, including Green Lake, Wallingford, and Ravenna.
Residence hall rooms come with furniture (beds, desks, chairs, closets, etc.) They also have free cable tv and internet access. Off-campus housing may be furnished or unfurnished, and you may need to set up your own telephone, internet, and utilities.
Some residence halls have only limited access to kitchens, and others have in-unit kitchens if you want to cook for yourself. Most residence hall rooms come with a required "dining plan," with a range of levels you can choose from depending on your needs. Choices range from salad bars and sandwiches, to pizza and international food. If you live off-campus, you can cook for yourself - this can be cheaper, healthier, and more flexible than on-campus dining. Please remember that eating at restaurants can become expensive if you do it a lot!
Residence halls are clean and well-maintained; some are brand new or have been open only one or two years. Cheaper off-campus apartments can vary in quality; however, most can be made comfortable. Before signing a contract (lease) for an apartment, make sure to walk around with the landlord and write down any repairs needed for their information and for yours. Make sure the place you want to rent is clean and has everything working well.
Residence halls house hundreds of students, so sometimes it can become noisy. Most residence hall rooms are shared with at least one other person, so you will need to make adjustments and be flexible. However, living in the halls does provide a social atmosphere and the chance to meet friends. If you live off-campus in a room in a shared house, you will also have several people living in the house with you. Living in an off-campus apartment may be quieter, more private, and you can also have more choices about how you live.
7) Legal Obligations:
Contracts for both residence halls and apartments are legally binding documents. Residence hall contracts are for the academic year, but you can leave early by paying an extra fee. Apartment contracts (leases) are more difficult to break; however, you choose the length of a lease before you sign it. Talk about this with your landlord or with Student Legal Services before you sign a lease.
Residence hall costs for room and meals are usually similar to apartment costs off campus. Depending on the neighborhood, you may be able to rent inexpensive off-campus housing with other students and share food, rent, and other costs.
9) Living with a Roommate:
Sharing room or apartment with people can be an interesting experience. To have a good living situation, you should be open and communicate honestly with your roommates. It is a good idea to talk about issues such as privacy, using the phone, schedules, study and social habits, food, chores, cleaning, and finances before problems arise.
Click here for more information on on-campus housing options.