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3 Benefits Of Living On Campus

benefits of living on campus

I vividly remember my move-in day for college. Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” was blasting loudly throughout the halls. You could feel the excitement as kids tromped up and down the stairs with trunks, pillows, and shower shoes.

Although the pandemic put a pause on the greatly hailed tradition of dorm life, we’ve slowly moved back to regaining that custom.

However, as some students consider college options, they may feel some sort of way about colleges that require freshmen to live on campus in a bid for more perceived independence. Parents may also be considering the financial pinch that campus room and board could add to an already high tuition bill.

Although many students contemplate living off-campus, there are 3 major benefits that stand out for the on-campus living experience.

3 Benefits Of Living On Campus

#1. Cost

Of course, having your student live at home COULD reduce costs, but then you start to think about the food they’re eating, the water they’re using, the electricity bill jumping when the lights don’t get turned off.

Dorm living encompasses many costs we don’t consider like utilities, wifi, cleaning services, and garbage removal. Additionally, if your student chooses an apartment, not only will an adult need to co-sign the lease, but the student will also need to budget costs for rent, heat, gas, sewage removal, maintenance, and much more on top of the monthly rent.

Transportation costs also need to be factored in. How will your student make it back and forth to campus if they can’t roll out of bed and stroll down the sidewalk to class in their pajamas?

Beyond the room, food costs should also be factored in. Will your student cook everyday or order DoorDash at $50 a meal? Dorm food can vary and be priced for the smallest appetite to the biggest multiple-meal-a-day kiddo.

Consider comparing eating costs for your student before choosing an off-campus setting. If living on campus, review food plans to pick the one that best matches your budget and your child’s eating style.

#2. Convenience

Colleges with robust on-campus living will ensure that students have the services they need at their fingertips.

  • Struggling in math? Jaunt down to the tutoring center.
  • Computer broke? Go to the computer lab to finish your work.
  • Hangry for flaming hot cheetos? Step out your room and hit a vending machine.

Students often take for granted all the support services they’ll need to acclimate to college life. Living on campus gives students quick access to mental health services, financial aid, academic advisors, and much more.

Residence advisors give your student a mediator for any roommate issues. In contrast, living in an apartment with a bad neighbor is much more sticky.

Also, consider safety.

Campuses often have blue emergency boxes everywhere on campus as well as security or clubs that will walk a student back to their dorm late at night. Packages and mail have locked up spots to go to keep students’ precious care packages safe from Amazon package snatchers.

These sorts of amenities are not always present in off-campus living.

#3. Community

And the most essential benefit is….COMMUNITY!

Transitioning to college can be lonely and frustrating. Living off-campus does have some benefits but is often better suited to an established upperclassman who wants to focus on getting out of college with no need to build a social network.

Countless research studies have shown that on-campus students:

Living on campus gives your student the ability to do a crawl from dorm room to dorm room and interact with diverse people they may not see in a traditional apartment setting. Campuses also provide residents with a ton of social and cultural activities to engage students in the campus vibe and community.

From scavenger hunts, to museum hops, to poetry nights and Bachelorette binges, your student won’t have this much social access at any other point in their life. This is your student’s chance to keep “in the know” on campus events and trends affecting the campus community.

As many college graduates reminisce, you’ll find that many of their deep friendships were formed in the dorms over late-night pizza and those interpersonal skills they built carried on through the rest of their lives.

Kate Kaushal has been a professional high school counselor in the Chicago Public School system since 2011 and has played many roles including: senior academic and social emotional counselor, post secondary counselor, head of counseling, ACT test coordinator, CPS selective enrollment test proctor and master counselor for the district.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Saint Xavier University and a Master’s in School Counseling from Roosevelt University. Prior to 2011, she worked in various positions in social service, including a partner organization to DCFS, a group home for young men, and an experiential outdoor education camp for at-risk youth in North Carolina.

At Phillips Academy in Bronzeville, she started as the Junior counselor and then moved into the post-secondary arena where she found her passion. She believes in holistically working with students and prides herself in her ability to match students with resources, especially scholarship opportunities and enrichment programs. In her years as a postsecondary counselor, she drastically increased the amount of scholarships (from 500,000 in 2015 to over 15 million in 2019) earned by the graduating classes and received a Data Impact award from Chicago Public Schools. She was also a final nominee for College and Career Counselor of the year in 2018 and has presented at multiple CPS School Counselor professional development events.

Kate is a lifelong learner and is excited to join the My College Planning Team to help families find the best holistic college fit for their child and the most scholarship money possible to offset their educational costs. Kate also has a knack for matching families to the resources they need, including alternate options like trade or gap year programs. Outside of work, she enjoys running, yoga, event planning and spending time with her 2 young children.

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