Deciding to Live On or Off Campus

College students across the country will make the decision soon, will I live on campus or off campus? That is the question. There are a lot of factors to consider along with your budget to see whether living on campus or off campus will be right for you. While many colleges offer several pro’s to living on campus for your buck, there’s a lot of advantages to living off campus too.

Budget will play a large role for many when making this decision. There’s a lot of questions to ask yourself when considering the pro’s and con’s.

Look at your class schedule, if you’re going to college full-time, depending on the classes and the load you’ll be carrying then living on campus may be the best option for you. Do you have all the resources you need to complete assignments or will you need to use the college’s library and technology? If you don’t have a vehicle, if public transportation has no room in your budget and if affordable off campus housing isn’t within a reasonable distance then your best option may be living on campus.

My friend’s daughter, Mandy, completed her first year of college last year at the Medical University of South Carolina, for them, off campus living turned out to be the best option. Mandy found a part time job about three miles away from the college in a nice residential area. The rental properties near the college were expensive and beyond the families budget. Mandy was able to talk to some friends and found out that a couple of her highschool mates would also be going to the same college, they got together and found a nice home near Mandy’s job. The girls shared a three bedroom house that rented for $650 a month, the house was roughly three miles from school, the girls chose to carpool for each other and it was a great benefit for them, not to mention the money saved!The landlord of the house felt good about renting the house to three students and performed the yard maintenance himself to help the girls out.

One of the big disadvantages to living off campus is the lack of security. Most parents worry about the safety of their college students when leaving the nest to go off to college. Security is sometimes a big factor for parents who want their “collagers” to be safe. If the college you plan to attend offers security, which most do, take that into consideration. Look at the locale of the college, how many crimes have been reported in the past and what types of crimes are they. If the college is surrounded by an area plagued with various crimes but the college has a good safety report on campus, it’s something to think about. It’s really quite amazing just how many people neglect to check out an area before choosing a school.

What else is near the college? Do you have access to a nearby supermarket, drug store, book store, school supply stores or cafe’s for that quick lunch when there’s no time to spare for a meal at home. If you choose to live on campus, everything has to be convenient for you. Finally make a list of pro’s and con’s that affect your situation, carefully outline your possibilities and make an informed decision. No matter what your choice will be, to live on campus or off campus, make sure you consider all of your needs, all of your options and all of the choices to help make your leap into higher education.

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