Home > Resources > Parents’ Practical Guide to College > Parents’ Guide to College Campus Living > On-Campus Living vs. Commuting vs. Off-Campus Living

On-Campus Living vs. Commuting vs. Off-Campus Living

Though some schools require all students live on campus for their freshman (and sometimes also sophomore) year, your child will most likely have a choice between living in a residence hall owned and operated by the university, living at home and commuting to school each day, or living in a house or apartment close to campus. The pros and cons of each option will differ from school to school, student to student and parent to parent but we’ll detail each one to ensure you and your child select the most beneficial option.

ADVERTISEMENT

On-Campus Housing

Living on campus is ideal for freshmen for several reasons. Many schools group freshmen together in the same dormitories or areas of campus, meaning your child will be living with other first-year students and sharing this new chapter in their lives with others in the exact same situation.

Commuting

Some schools give housing priority to students living the furthest away so if you live within a certain mileage of campus, your child could be ineligible to take advantage of university housing. Even if this isn’t the case, students whose parents reside close to campus should consider living at home and commuting to school each day.

Off-Campus Housing

As students become more familiar with the area surrounding campus, they may consider moving into a house or apartment close to the college grounds instead of on them. Typically, this happens junior or senior year but some students elect to forego university housing from the beginning.

ADVERTISEMENT

Latest College & Financial Aid News

What is the FAFSA?

October 8, 2021

by Scholarships.com Staff

FAFSA is an acronym. It stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid". Please take note that the first word in the acronym is "Free". You do not need to pay to fill out the FAFSA but there are certainly websites out there that will charge you for their assistance. If you are asked for a credit card at any point in the process, you are at one of these sites. If you do not want to pay to complete the FAFSA, be sure to apply at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The FAFSA must be completed by you and your family each year if you wish to be considered for need-based grants from the college or university you are or will be attending as well as subsidized student loans. [...]

Want to Study Abroad? Find Scholarships

August 31, 2021

by Scholarships.com Staff

A study abroad program can be the beginning of the most exciting chapter of your college experience. Often, the travel, housing, credits and even food are included in the price of the program you choose. However, this is no reason not to look for more financial opportunities! [...]

Movie Night! College Classics

August 19, 2021

by Scholarships.com Staff

As you get ready for this next big step in your life, this last year at home can feel like the longest and the shortest you ever had! While you prepare to select a college and research scholarships and financial aid, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your friends and family. While movies, even when based on a true story, are always a little bit fantastic, they are also works of art that share experiences among their viewers. [...]