Recent high school graduates preparing to enter college are often faced with the dilemma of where to live. Should college students live at home or on campus? There are many opinions about this question and the answer depends greatly on many factors, from home life to finances. While some students might consider living at home lame, there can be many be benefits to sticking close to the nest.
First, the financial benefits of living at home are tremendous. According to one financial aid expert, the cost of living on campus is around $9,300 at a private university, $8,100 at a public university and nearly $14,000 at universities in urban settings. These prices are staggering. Many parents and student are also unaware that the cost of living in college dorms does not include the additional facility fees, dorm supplies, internet access, and other hidden charges. Also, many universities require students that live on campus to purchase dining plans and parking permits. These costs can add up in a hurry. For those students that choose to live at home for the first two years of school, they could save thousands of dollars. Other factors to consider when choosing to live at home are safety and grades. Many new college students find themselves overwhelmed by the new freedom they experience and can socialize too much and fall behind in their studies. Also, many young adults begin drinking while at college, resulting in nearly 2,000 alcohol related deaths of college students each year. Too much partying could lead to criminal and academic consequences. By living at home students have the ability to study more in a controlled environment and refrain from potentially dangerous activities.
Besides these benefits of living at home, there are several negative aspects to consider as well. Sometimes a student’s financial aid award can be dependent on their living situation. The federal government might assume that students living at home require less financial aid, as they will incur fewer costs. To keep this from transpiring, simply contact your college’s financial aid department for help. Also, while living at home can help families save money on dorm costs, it can also create costs in other areas. They should calculate the increase in other expenses like groceries, utilities and transportation when making this decision. Overall there are several benefits and deterrents to living at home during college, but every student and parent should make the decision together after careful consideration and research.