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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.

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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.

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