Should I Live on Campus or at Home?
Want personalized (and free) advice while applying to college?
We’re building a free college guidance platform for high school students like you! This means we’ll let you know exactly what and when you should be focusing on things like extracurriculars, college essays, standardized tests, and more. Sign up now to get early access to our platform and get guidance applying to college!
If you’re going to a college that happens to be near to your home, you might be considering different housing options. Sometimes, this decision is dictated by outside factors, such as your budget or your transportation needs. Other times, though, students are able to make a decision about which housing arrangement he or she prefers.
Are you a student who is considering attending a nearby college and you’re not sure where you’ll live while you attend? Are you one of the few who gets to weigh the options and make a choice based on your own personal preference? If so, this is the post for you.
Here, we will outline the advantages of living on campus along with the advantages of living at home. We may not be able to make the choice for you, but we’ll definitely offer some insights that might help to make the decision easier.
What Are the Advantages of Living On Campus?
The most obvious advantage to living on campus is the social scene. When you live full-time in a community of similarly-aged students, you are bound to make lasting social connections. You will see your classmates both in and out of the classroom and will have countless casual social interactions with them every day. If is easy to meet for a meal, a coffee, or a study date when you live in close proximity.
In addition, campus life usually provides a number of fun, organized activities. There are often special events scheduled and other activities like clubs or teams that you can join. Living on campus makes participation easy since it can often be as simple as walking out your door. If you live at home, you are of course still invited to on-campus events and activities, but you will have to be more proactive in seeking these opportunities out.
Another advantage of living on campus is the number of academic resources you’ll have at your fingertips. The proximity of the school library alone can sometimes be enough to convince a serious scholar that campus life is a good decision. Other resources like access to office hours, labs, and study groups can also be important factors to consider. If you know that you thrive academically when you connect and work with your classmates and teachers outside of the classroom, living on campus will provide more direct access for you.
Finally, living on campus can eliminate transportation needs. Without a commute to class, you won’t need to have a car, nor its associated costs. Some campuses are even small and self-contained enough that you won’t even need to worry about public transportation. Everything you need may be provided within walking distance.
Does living on campus sound like the right choice for you? Is your interest piqued? Don’t make a final decision until you check out the advantages of living at home, too.
What Are the Advantages of Living At Home?
The most immediate advantages of living at home are the financial savings you’re bound to reap by doing so. Living on campus can be expensive choice. If you already have a room at home and are afforded decent amounts of independence and privacy there, you might consider saving some money by commuting to your classes rather than living on campus.
The money that you save by living at home extends beyond housing costs as well. By living at home you can also cut costs associated with Internet and cable, laundry, and groceries. Doing so isn’t just cost effective either; it’s also very convenient. You don’t need to walk to a dining hall to get your meals and if you enjoy cooking, you’ll have a complete kitchen at your fingertips, along with all the staple spices and kitchen tools. You also won’t have to worry about walking to a laundry room, waiting in a long line to use the dryer, or scrambling to find enough quarters for another load. Yes, living at home can seem luxurious at times in comparison to living on campus.
In addition, if you live at home you may be able to continue to help out your household. Some students lend a hand with babysitting, care-taking, or other household chores. If you don’t move away to college, you may continue to be a valuable resource for your family, especially if they rely on your help frequently.
Finally, for students who continue to live at home, activities are often more consistent during the transition to college. If you participate in clubs or teams nearby, you may be able to continue your participation into your college years. The same goes for volunteer work or a steady job. There will be no need to seek out new opportunities if you can continue to work the same job that you loved in high school.
There’s no simple answer to which living situation is best in college, but it’s not a bad problem to have. In fact, getting to weigh the advantages of each and making a decision based on your own preference, rather than necessity, is definitely a privilege. By considering your choices carefully and thinking about each from multiple angles, you’ll be able to make the choice that’s best for you.
To learn more about college housing and making decisions about your college future, consider the benefits of the CollegeVine Near Peer Mentorship Program, which provides access to practical advice on topics from college admissions to career aspirations, all from successful college students.
Want more tips on improving your academic profile?
We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.