Commuting vs. Living On-Campus (2023)

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_desktop_right_i8u1mUR2tQ2k9Rue1kFvoQ'); }); });

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_mobile_bottom_bpjsSyJQ7OLkA1lhRWrAow'); }); });


What's Trending

  • 15 Financial Aid Questions You Need to Ask
  • HBCU Scholarships 2023
  • 2023 Doodle for Google Contest Totals $100K+
  • Understand Your Student Aid Report

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_desktop_bottomright_2RvITF9OH36OBmxSskaRdw'); }); });

Student Life

Explore the top three pros and cons for each side as well as how to survive as a commuter student or on-campus student!

(Video) Being a Commuter at University | Benefits Vs Disadvantages

Student Contributor, Jasmin Kaur

November 12, 2022

Commuting vs. Living On-Campus (1)

What best suits your college experience? Should you be a commuter student -- or live on campus?

(Video) Living on Campus or Commuting to College - Comparing the Good and Bad of Both and the Cost

For the commuter who might be driving up to 50 miles per day (the maximum limit most colleges place on commuting), living on campus can seem like a dream. Vice-versa, the campus student might envy the commuter student who gets to eat homemade food and has a personal room and bathroom. However, below these surface-level pros, there are cons on both sides, from paying for gas or dorm residency to spending time driving or sharing spaces with another student. Below are the top three advantages and disadvantages for each side and advice on how to survive as a commuter or on-campus resident!

Pros and Cons of Commuting

The Advantages of Commuting:

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_Desktop_Native_Inarticle_Placement_Slot_1_xb2kmrrDMRxmg8yq6itK8g'); }); });

(Video) Living on-campus VS. Living off-campus: What do Ryerson Students Prefer?

1. You save thousands of dollars each semester by living and eating at home. College costs are steadily rising, and, after tuition, room and board fees are some of the most extensive contributors to that hefty price tag. By electing to live at home and prepare your lunch, you can finally get started on that savings account (maybe?)! However, it's not entirely cost-free. Make sure to calculate the cost of gas, car insurance, and other upkeeping/maintenance costs.

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_Desktop_Native_Inarticle_Placement_Slot_2_6yxoYFgnChv8r1uk_tf4OQ'); }); });

Additionally, you may also have to consider the cost of rent if you choose not to live with your parents (although most colleges require that students with 60 or fewer credits reside with a parent or guardian). Some parents might also demand a monthly fee/rent. 2. You get to avoid the dreaded dining hall food and sharing a bathroom with twenty other people. Now, that's not to say there aren't universities out there with fantastic dining halls or modern, clean dorms. However, there are some colleges with…less than stellar food experiences.

'); }); }); } $(document).ready(function() { apntag.anq.push(function() { apntag.showTag('FastWeb_Desktop_Native_Inarticle_Placement_Slot_3_0BFwq0omrdq3FICNJNgL-g'); }); });

Additionally, if you’re someone who values privacy, sharing your living space with another person can be unappealing. Commuters can get the best of both worlds at times. They can be on campus for classes and social events, but go home at the end of the day and take a nice long shower without wondering if there’ll be a long line. And there's nothing like some home-cooked food to end an exhausting day with! 3. Greater independence With great independence comes great power, but it’s a nice sense of power… for the most part. With your own car (or stable access to a transportation system), there’s more flexibility with where you want to be and at what time. You don't have to worry about missing an event in the city because of transportation, or if you attend a small school and all the good study spots are taken, then you can just head off-campus to a nearby coffee shop or public library.

The Disadvantages of Commuting:

1. Fiscal and Emotional Costs Being a commuter student isn’t entirely without its costs. Gas costs can rise, and there’s also a time cost. Depending on how far you commute, you can spend anywhere from 1-3 hours stuck in traffic. Additionally, there’s an emotional cost as well. From missing out on opportunities, whether they be social events late at night or other on-campus activities, commuting can lead to a sense of exclusion from the campus community. There's also less time for homework depending on what time you have to leave the house or what time you return. One way to overcome these obstacles is creating an hourly schedule for each day to budget time, connecting with commuter groups on-campus, or hosting your own activities with friends that better fit everyone’s schedule. 2. Missing out on the “college experience"For some people, living on campus is a crucial aspect of their college experience. Whether it be creating lifelong friendships and memories or partaking in sororities and fraternities, commuting simply might not be worth it. 3. Increased responsibility As I mentioned earlier, there is a greater sense of responsibility that comes with the power of flexibility. You’ll have to make sure your car is in good shape as well as account for a weekly or biweekly budget for gas. Additionally, there is increased stress with getting to campus on time for those morning classes, especially on exam day, and hoping to avoid any major traffic jams.

Pros and Cons of Living on Campus

The Advantages of Living On-Campus:

1. You’re getting that college experience! Being on your own and learning to live in a communal environment is a crucial element of your college experience. There's a sense of freedom and responsibility, and the opportunity to make lasting friendships and memories. Proximity to classes and other events. As mentioned earlier, knowing you can walk to class within 10-15 minutes is certainly not a privilege to take for granted. Having everything within walking distance can also create a greater sense of inclusion and community. 2. Meal plan, gym access, and other amenities. Having a meal plan eliminates time spent on planning and preparation and budgeting weekly or monthly for groceries since everything is paid for beforehand. Additionally, access to the gym, doctor, and other amenities can allow for a healthier lifestyle. Other amenities such as security also make on-campus living a safe experience!

(Video) Commuting VS Living On Campus - College Talk #1

The Disadvantages of Living On-Campus:

1. It’s expensive. Meal plans, miscellaneous fees, and boarding costs all add up quickly. Living on campus at a state university can run up to at least $10,000 per year, and more than $30,000 for private schools. 2. Homesickness While a little homesickness is expected, for some individuals, the sudden lack of structure and family can be detrimental to their academic success. Many students can find it difficult to connect with the fast-paced culture of a university or new city. 3. Limited Privacy Between roommates and eking out that perfect study spot, privacy can be an issue while living on campus. There's less space to yourself and it might be hard to concentrate when there's no quiet space to be easily found. It can also be difficult to find time for things such as laundry depending on how busy the time/day is. Whether you choose to live on-campus or commute, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages to each side. If living on-campus, try to see what type of financial aid is out there to help reduce student debt, and consider getting an apartment off-campus with a roommate junior year or afterward (most colleges don't allow students to reside by themselves off-campus before that). Nonetheless, there's plenty to be grateful for, from participating in late-night or weekend events to creating memorable experiences with your friends as you all figure out the first steps to becoming an adult. Likewise, if you're a commuter, instead of thinking about what you might be missing out on, consider what you're gaining. On-campus students often miss their families and the comfort of home. While you might not be able to attend that 9 p.m. movie viewing, there are plenty of other events to go to, all while being able to head home at the end of the day. Additionally, planning ahead can allow you to better see which events fit your schedule, allowing you to pick and choose which ones to skip or attend. Whether you decide to commute or live on campus, there are plenty of benefits for both sides; it all depends on what works best for you!


Is it better to live on campus or commute? ›

You Can Feel More Connected to Other Students

Students who live on campus often enjoy a greater sense of community than commuters. Living close to school facilities can make it easier for you to connect with classmates through campus activities and events.

Why is dorming better than commuting? ›

From missing out on opportunities, whether they be social events late at night or other on-campus activities, commuting can lead to a sense of exclusion from the campus community. There's also less time for homework depending on what time you have to leave the house or what time you return.

Why it is better to commute to college? ›

Independence One of the greatest advantages of commuting to college is the independence and initiative that students gain from the experience. Commuter students typically have more control over their schedules and have a better chance of balancing a part-time job with a full-time class schedule.

What are disadvantages of a commuter? ›

4 cons of commuting to work
  • Commuting can affect your free time. Commuting can occupy a significant portion of an employee's day, so it may affect the amount of free time they have on weekdays. ...
  • It may be necessary to pay for your transportation. ...
  • Commuting may affect when you wake up. ...
  • You may experience traffic.
Jun 24, 2022

What is the advantage of living on campus? ›

Here are just a few of the advantages of living on campus:

Countless opportunities to meet new people, and develop lasting friendships. Social, educational, and recreational opportunities. Rates include electricity, heat, water, sewer, waste removal, internet connection, and internet based entertainment services.

What are the disadvantages of living on campus? ›

  • Noise: Dorming means living with the rowdiest people on earth; teenagers. ...
  • No privacy: Living in student dorms will mean having a multitude in your room, your bathroom, your kitchen, and even your toilet. ...
  • Room checks and laundry struggles: Dorming has a way of reminding you that you're not independent.

How do you benefit from commuting? ›

Think of your commute as precious time to yourself, where you're granted the opportunity to get things done and feel good while you do it.
  1. Turn on the Tunes. ...
  2. Make a Mental Checklist. ...
  3. Stay Present. ...
  4. Listen to Audio Books. ...
  5. Put on a Podcast. ...
  6. Connect with a Phone Call. ...
  7. Prepare for Your Day. ...
  8. Meditate.

Do students who live on campus do better? ›

Improve your academic outcomes

Research has shown that students who live in dorms achieve better academic outcomes during their degree, even if they live on campus for just one year. This has been attributed to being closer to classes, faculty and facilities like the library, enabling you to be more engaged.

Why do people choose to live off campus? ›

Living off campus is cheaper than living in the on-campus dorms. Many college students are on a budget and need to be selective as to where they spend their money. If funds are tight, there are a number of options to live off campus in apartments that fit your budget.

How long is too long for a commute to college? ›

To maximize your chances of success in college, you should try to keep your commuting distance to less than 10 miles, or 30 minutes (whichever comes first), each way. Students who commute are at a natural “disadvantage” when it comes to academic success.

What are some of the reasons why people commute? ›

10 reasons for commuting:
  • Rising rents and real estate prices in cities are forcing people to move to surroundings. ...
  • The region of the workplace is not an attractive place to live. ...
  • Many employees are reluctant to leave their current place of residence if their professional future is uncertain.
Jun 1, 2022

How do commuters survive college? ›

  1. 10 Tips for Commuters in College. Britney Amzler. ...
  2. Always Leave Early. Leave a little earlier than you have to. ...
  3. Don't Be Afraid To Talk to People. It's easy to feel disconnected as a commuter. ...
  4. Join Clubs or Get Involved. ...
  5. Make Friends with Residents. ...
  6. Keep Extra Supplies in Your Car. ...
  7. Take Advantage of Breaks. ...
  8. Use Campus Resources.
Mar 4, 2019

What problems can Commuters face? ›

Problems user might face while choosing the commute as cycling (Commuting Experience)
  • Traffic problem.
  • Finding related shops on the way.
  • Finding the best path.
  • Unwanted cops.
  • Signals & their status.
  • Unwanted road blockers.
  • The accident of cyclist (In Indian roads it could be common to face such problems)
Jan 12, 2020

Is being a commuter student worth it? ›

The benefits of commuting to college are numerous, and it can help you save money in the long run. While commuting isn't for everyone, it can be a good way to focus on your studies with fewer distractions, and it could help you graduate on time.

Is commuting depressing? ›

Long-term effects of dealing with a stressful commute can be significant, including depression, ongoing anxiety, and a dread of the commute cycle. "Research proves that ongoing stress is detrimental to overall physical and psychological health," says Manly.

What are two disadvantages of living off campus while attending college? ›

The Cons of Living Off-Campus
  • A longer commute is required unless your apartment is adjacent to campus. ...
  • Parking on campus may be an issue (and can be costly). ...
  • You may feel disconnected from campus life. ...
  • Costs may be higher. ...
  • An apartment complex may not be as flexible to student needs.
Jun 2, 2020

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living on or off campus? ›

Living off campus can help the process that allows students to mature into an adult. However, leaving on campus you don't have to worry about transportation, responsibility, social life, and cost. With living on campus students can easily walk to classes, the library, and the café.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of living on a college or university campus? ›

The Pros and Cons of Campus Housing
  • Socialization. One of the main purposes of on-campus housing, after providing students with a place to sleep when they're not studying, is to create a community. ...
  • Convenience. ...
  • Infrastructure. ...
  • Less Privacy. ...
  • Less Freedom. ...
  • More Expensive.

Why should college students live at home? ›

Your home is an ideal option with fewer distractions and noise. You can focus better on your studies without unwanted interruptions. One of the main advantages of staying at home is the chance actually to save some money. Your expenses for food and rent is less than what you would pay at the campus.

Is it cheaper living on campus or off? ›

The rental cost of living off-campus is cheaper than the price of a room or bed in the school, although additional running costs on utility, furniture, and fixtures might eventually scale up the cost of living outside the campus and bring it to par and sometimes more than the cost of college dorms.

Why not to live in dorms? ›

Dorm life is often noisy and active. Neighbors, friends and visitors come and go throughout the day. The social aspect means you shouldn't feel lonely, but it also cuts into your studies. You won't have much luck studying if friends stop by every few minutes.

What are the impacts of commuting? ›

Research has linked long commutes to a host of negative health impacts, from increased stress and poorer cardiovascular health to greater pollution exposure. Here, learn how your commute can negatively impact your health, and the simple measures you can take to offset the detrimental effects.

How do people feel about commuting? ›

“Some people may enjoy a commute, but overall, longer travel time is linked to feelings of time crunch, which can increase stress levels,” says Hilbrecht. Lengthy commutes have already been linked to poor mental and physical health, including hypertension, obesity, low-energy and illness-related work absences.

Why is commuting so stressful? ›

Commuting also has significant psychological and social costs. It can be a major cause of stress, due to its unpredictability and a sense of loss of control. Commuters can experience boredom, social isolation, anger, and frustration from problems like traffic or delays.

Why on campus is better than off campus? ›

When you live on campus, everything is included in the costs, from food to bills. When you live off campus, you'll have to set up internet, electricity, water, and pay your bills yourself. This contributes to an added layer of responsibility.

Does commuting affect grades? ›

The results on university presence are much in line with the theoretical predictions. We also find that students with longer commute times have lower average grades.

What campus has the happiest students? ›

The 10 Colleges With the Happiest Students
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN) ...
  • University of Dallas (Irving, TX) ...
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX) ...
  • Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) ...
  • Auburn University (Auburn, AL) ...
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) ...
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Jan 4, 2023

What are the 4 advantages to renting? ›

Renters have lower utility bills, greater flexibility in where they live, and access to amenities, such as a pool or fitness room, that might otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

Why do colleges make you stay on campus? ›

Most four-year colleges require students to live on campus their first year. Students who live on campus are often more academically successful and feel a stronger sense of belonging. How much it costs to live on campus depends on your school and area's cost of living.

Is it cheaper to live on campus or in an apartment? ›

Is it cheaper to live on or off campus? If you rely on public transit and cook most of your meals at home, living in an off-campus, one-bedroom apartment might run you roughly $1,500-$1,800 per month — more than the monthly cost of on-campus room and board. But with roommates, off-campus living could save you money.

Is it cheaper to live on or off campus in college? ›

The rental cost of living off-campus is cheaper than the price of a room or bed in the school, although additional running costs on utility, furniture, and fixtures might eventually scale up the cost of living outside the campus and bring it to par and sometimes more than the cost of college dorms.

Do you get more money living on or off campus? ›

Do you receive more financial aid if you live off-campus? The short answer is no. For many students, financial aid is an important consideration when going to college, and even more so when deciding to live off-campus.

What are the pros and cons of living in student accommodation? ›

The Pros and Cons of Campus Housing
  • Socialization. One of the main purposes of on-campus housing, after providing students with a place to sleep when they're not studying, is to create a community. ...
  • Convenience. ...
  • Infrastructure. ...
  • Less Privacy. ...
  • Less Freedom. ...
  • More Expensive.

Is it cheaper to live on campus or with parents? ›

The most obvious advantage of living at home during college is that it's a lot more affordable than living on campus due to the high costs of housing and meal plan costs.

Is it worth it to live on campus? ›

Living on-campus is ideal for students who want to immerse themselves into the campus culture so much better and have easy access to school activities, organizations and parties. But it may not be the best option for those who are on a tight budget or value their privacy or being around their loved ones always.

Is it better to rent an apartment or live in a dorm? ›

Apartments are Usually Cheaper than Dorms

While it may seem surprising, apartments are cheaper than college dorms. This is because dorms require students to pay semester fees for room and board. These fees cover the costs for utilities, laundry, and other services.

Why is living off campus better than on campus? ›

The Bottom Line. If you are considering living outside of the college campus, the reasons for doing so are simple. You'll save money, have more room, be able to set your own rules, have access to cool amenities, and gain some valuable life experience.

Is it better to live on or off campus freshman year? ›

In most cases, students will find that living on campus their freshman year is a powerful way to be in touch with their college community. That's why so many Colleges of Distinction make residence life a dynamic and desired highlight of their first-year experience.

How can I save money living off campus? ›

If, after you analyze the overall costs, you decide to move off campus, consider these tips for saving money:
  1. Live With Roommates. ...
  2. Use Free or Cheap Transportation. ...
  3. Be Aware of the Cost of Utilities. ...
  4. Minimize or Eliminate Your Cable Bill. ...
  5. Save on Food. ...
  6. Save on Entertainment. ...
  7. Sublet.

Does FAFSA change if you live off campus? ›

Given that the estimated cost of living off-campus is less than the cost of university housing, students may see a reduction in their financial aid.

Is it better to say off campus or with parent on FAFSA? ›

A: You would select “off-campus.” Students should not select “With Parent” as their housing plan if they plan to live with a foster parent, relative caregiver, or legal guardian. Instead, select “Off-Campus.” This is crucial for getting all the money that is available to you to pay for your living expenses.

Do you get more financial aid if you live on your own? ›

Students who are independent do not have to supply their parents' information and often qualify for more student financial aid as a result.


1. LIVING ON CAMPUS VS. COMMUTING (Drexel University) || LifewithMags
(Maggie Ho)
2. CX Podcast - Ep11Pt2 - Should I commute or live on campus?
3. Commuting vs. Living on Campus: A Digital Story
(UTAP Digital Media Project)
(Maggie Cooper)
5. On-campus vs. Off-campus Housing vs. Commuting
(UC Davis TOP)
6. Commuting vs. Living at York University
(SOY Milk)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated: 03/15/2023

Views: 6155

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.