College Prep: Living On Campus vs. At Home

College Prep: Living On Campus vs. At Home

Lacey Jones

With about three months until graduation and six months until move-in, many seniors are at the point where college decision-making is beginning to take full force. Figuring out what college, major, or roommate is the best fit are just a few factors college-bound seniors are starting to consider. One decision that may not be the first to come to mind, though, is whether or not living on campus or living at home is the best option. Especially for seniors who are attending a college closer to home, living at home may reap greater benefits in the long run than living on campus. To make the decision-making process easier, the West Press has put together a few advantages and disadvantages of both living options. 


Living at Home




For starters, living at home eradicates any additional costs that would have been associated with room and board. You or your family will be able to save that money or allocate it to something else, like studying abroad or a car payment. For instance, The University of Cincinnati has housing rates between $7,642 and $10,634, and Miami University has rates between $3,828 and $5,732. If you want more space and newly renovated dorms, housing rates can rise significantly. 



College students may be able to balance school and other factors, such as work, better by living at home. You will also be able to be around family more often which may be important to you. Living at home allows you to control your time more effectively and not be impacted by a roommate’s clashing schedule, crazy relationship, or non-existent cleaning habits. 



Instead of sharing a small dorm, you will get to remain in the luxury of your own room and home. There will also be no added stress about moving in and out throughout the year. You will also get more choice and privacy if you are at home. The average traditional dorm room has about 228 square feet of actual living space, which you would most likely be sharing with another person. If flexibility 


D I S A D V A N T A G E S 



Depending on the distance, commuting may not be a huge factor but it may be for some. Commuting can be less convenient. Living in a dorm may allow you to wake up five minutes before class and make it on time, while living at home requires you to commute an extra 20-40 minutes, such as in the case of UC or Miami. Not living on campus requires more planning and time as resources are not directly at your reach. 


Less Convenience 

Since you won’t have a dorm on campus, naps in between classes or a quick break to see your friends may not be as accessible. You will not have your own dorm to go back to which may become inconvenient. If the library, a local coffee shop, or a friend’s dorm are accessible, living at home probably won’t be an issue. 


Missed Experiences 

Students who stay at home may miss opportunities like meeting friends in your hall or spontaneous sledding on a day it snows.  Many people want the full college experience and living at home may leave less opportunity to make some of those treasured memories. 


Campus Living

A D V A N T A G E S 



Living in a dorm is the epitome of the “college experience.” You will be fully responsible for your time and fully immersed into the independent, at times dysfunctional college life. 


Social Life

It may be easier to get to know other students easier by living in a dorm. You can meet those that live in your residence hall, as well as just around campus. You won’t be as limited to your classes. You will also have an automatic one, three, or more friends depending on how many roommates you have. Whether you want to eradicate some stress about knowing someone on campus or are an extrovert, rooming with others adds to your new social circle in college. 


School Connection

Since you will be on campus full-time, gaining a greater connection with the school will come more naturally and easily. You will also be the first to know about opportunities to get involved, as your information is provided by students, RA’s, and other sources. You will also be more inclined to find things to do if you are solely on campus. Making the most of your experience may be important to you and living on campus may be a great way to do that. 


D I S A D V A N T A G E S 


Cost of college expenses goes up a few thousand dollars when a student decides to live on campus in a dorm. Also, you have to consider how much money you are willing to spend on furnishing and decorating the dorm.



Living in a dorm means accepting that you will have a smaller living space and less privacy, especially if you are living with roommates. You may also deal with having to find a balance with a roommate or not getting along.



Living in dorms brings tons of opportunities to have fun and meet new people, but more time on campus means more room for distraction. Sports events, going out, and other activities are going to be more tempting while living in a dorm. Make sure to hone in on keeping a balance between school work and your social life. 


Whether it’s living on campus or living at home, do what works best and feels best for you. Never worry about what others think about your choice; it’s your college experience!