Living on campus is more beneficial than off-campus

Delilah Alvarado, Opinion Columnist

When choosing an institution to attend, whether transferring or starting as a freshman at a university, housing plays a big role in setting up life at college.

The majority of campuses nationwide require incoming freshman or students under a certain age, or with a certain amount of credits, to live on campus.This may not sound ideal for all students, but living on campus can be more beneficial, socially and financially.

Living in an on-campus residence hall requires sharing space with a roommate and being constantly surrounded by other students, similar to apartments. Several campuses allow students to choose a roommate, which can be a friend or someone familiar in order to live more comfortably.

Additionally, roommate matching is an option Texas State offers in order to best pair students with someone who shares similar interests in hopes it will create less conflict over aspects like studying habits, going out and different lifestyles.

Students have the opportunity to sign up for Living-Learning Community, which allows students to live in the same residence hall based on similar majors or programs. This living arrangement enables individuals to connect with others that share interests and allows for increased social interaction and study groups.

When living on campus, students are more likely to complete their degree on time and according to plan. A study done by Saginaw Valley State University shows freshman students living on campus are more likely to graduate than students off-campus. These results may be due to factors like time pressure on commuter students and lack of opportunities living on campus could otherwise provide.

When living in residence halls, study groups and local campus events are highly accessible and students experience heightened opportunities they may not otherwise get.

Texas State offers multiple scholarships for students with achievements who live on campus and the National Residence Hall Honorary exists for students who contribute to residence halls and campus communities. Furthermore, there are employment opportunities for residence halls including both student and professional jobs.

While the costs of dorm living is still expensive, prices may actually be cheaper than living in off-campus apartments. The average rent for off-campus apartments can range from $500 to $900 a month, living with one to four other roommates in the same apartment.

Depending on the complex, rent does not include utilities, which can vary on what is included and how many roommates live in the space. Pet fees can be an expensive add-on as well. For a 12-year lease at $900 per month, paying rent can cost up to nearly $11,000 a year, perhaps not including utilities and other fees.

While dorms may be smaller, furnishings and laundry are included; such amenities are not covered in all off-campus apartments.

Moreover, commuting can add up for off-campus students. By living in residence halls, walking or cycling serves as an alternative to driving. Bus options are available for off-campus housing, but only for certain routes and at certain times.

Commuting also has a higher cost as commuter parking passes are needed, costing an extra $115. Refueling on gas is more of a hassle and being a commuter student means increased time dedicated to driving and finding parking to get to class.

While it may work out for some students to live off-campus given circumstances like work, home life and finances, when starting out at a university for the first time, the benefits of living on campus can overall help to create a better college experience.

-Delilah Alvarado is a journalism senior

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