Each year, thousands of college freshman must choose between living on or off campus. You may have even been asked about your preference during your college interview. The choice can be difficult for many, especially for those who choose to go to a college in, or close to, their own hometown. There are some misconceptions that living on campus is expensive and can cause students to not do well in school. However, there are reasons why it can be very beneficial to choose to live on campus, especially during your first few years of college.
Here are some of the advantages of living on-campus.
Get better grades
One of the best reasons for choosing to live on campus is the fact that there is evidence to prove that those who live on campus during their first year of college get higher grades than those who don’t. In 2010, the University of Northern Iowa published statistics on their Department of Residence page showing this is true for all college students of all grade levels, not just freshmen. Their statistics also showed that students living on campus were almost twice as likely to make the Dean’s List.
Students who live on campus have also been shown to have a much higher rate of graduation. The chance of graduation increases for those who live for at least two years on campus. These statistics were also published by the University of Northern Iowa. They found that students who lived on campus for two years were 25% more likely to graduate than students who lived on campus only during their first year.
Forge lasting friendships
Being in college will mean that you will be able to meet new people and make new friends. These friends will not only be with you throughout your college years but will remain your friends for a lifetime. When you live in a dorm, you will be able to really bond with your new friends, forming lasting friendships with people who can help you through the tough times, be with you during the happy times, and be witness to all the firsts that college inevitably brings.
Expand your social life
With all the new friends you will be meeting, you will undoubtedly be asked out to more social events than your calendar can handle. Events will be much more accessible when you are living right on campus. While college is about learning and expanding your horizons, it is also about making friends and having fun. Living on campus will definitely make both of these things happen for you.
There is a common misconception that living on campus is more costly than living off campus. This is simply not the case. When you live on campus, you won’t have to spend money on gas and utility bills. You also can save money on furnishing an apartment. For example, at Texas State University, the cost of living on campus in a dorm, including a meal plan, will cost between $600 and $1200 a month, depending on the type of dorm and the type of meal plan you choose. The cost of a single room in an apartment typically costs a minimum of $500, and that does not include meals or utilities. Utilities, which include electric and Internet, usually average $50 and $35 respectively per month, depending on how many roommates you have. So if you opt for a lower rent dorm and a typical meal plan, you can end up spending a lot less than you can if you live in an off-campus apartment.
Cut out the commute
The price of gas these days is making living on campus a much more economical choice in college living arrangements. There is also the time factor to consider. A short walk from your dorm to your 8am class means you can sleep in longer. When you have to drive, you must take into consideration traffic and the time it will take to park your car and then walk to class. In addition, it will also help to lower your carbon footprint. Fewer cars on the road means less carbon dioxide in the sky. Living on campus is the greenest choice you can make.
Access campus and student sponsored events
When you live on campus, you will have instant access to campus events. A brisk walk or quick bus ride will take you from your dorm to the student union for dialogues, presentations, and artistic events. When you live off campus, it is often too difficult to make it to all the student sponsored events the university has to offer. Attending campus events can also make you feel more a part of the school community. In a 2003 paper, researcher Jiliann Bush studied the effects of extracurricular activities on school dropout rates and found that there was a high degree of association between being involved in campus activities and staying in school. The more involved in school you are, the more committed you become.
Talk with the advisor at your university to find out all of your options for living on campus. Be sure and discuss options for meal plans and what dorm options are available at your university. Making the choice of whether or not to live on campus can be one of the most important ones you will ever make so make sure to weigh out all of your options before making your decision.
About the Author
Andrea is a skilled freelance writer working for a professional writing and research agency. When she’s not busy writing articles on her own, she spends time helping others improve their writing and editing skills.