(BLACK PR WIRE) -- Every fall season, families across the country load up possessions in cars and vans to move their college student into a new home. That is, a new home for the next four months, and then winter break comes around. While dormitory living is the traditional experience for students who leave home to attend a college or university, some parents see merit in allocating their resources for their child to live in an apartment. In some cases it is out of necessity, such as with large schools that only provide housing for first-year students.
Both options bring advantages and disadvantages. An important factor to contemplate is price. Since most residence halls are only open during the school semester, parents only pay for nine months of room and board instead of twelve months with a regular apartment. This is not counting the cost of meals and utilities. Dorms at public universities in large cities are often more affordable than off-campus housing when compared month-to-month. However, the reverse may be true for private schools.
Living on campus may save money in other ways. Having all amenities within walking distance – such as the bookstore, classrooms, cafeteria and library – cuts down on driving and saves gas money. Parents may even decide their child does not need to bring a car to school in such a situation, at least not for the first year. On the other hand, parents who purchase their child off-campus housing in a desirable area can use the property as an investment, and gain future benefits.
There is also the issue of responsible socialization. Campus living provides easier access to social activities and making new friends. However, it can provide distractions from studying, and parents are concerned about reckless college partying as portrayed in the media. In reality, each campus has its own unique culture and standards of behavior. Thoroughly explore a potential school and its student conduct policies, and get feedback from current students. Most colleges and universities want to create an environment conducive to learning, which is the goal of higher education no matter where a student lives.