Living On Campus is not always the best option for first year students


Emma Johnson, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note 5/13/19: Another, unrelated story was incorrectly posted here 5/9/19. The mismatched story has been removed and the correct story has been inserted in its place.

CWU requires students to live on campus their first year, but that should not be a requirement for every student. Studies say living on campus will ensure higher graduation rates, but maybe some students do not fit as well in this study. For students attending their first year at a university, it is required they live on campus their first year. For some students, this is a great option. They get to have their meals made in the dining hall, they have resident assistants (RAs)  who can answer any questions and they can dive slowly into adult world. However, living on campus is not for everyone.

First of all, living off campus could be the cheaper option right off the bat. According to the CWU Housing and Dining Services Room and Board Contract Rates, the absolute lowest contract is about $6,608 including a meal plan for nine months. The average cost for a contract is roughly $9,000 for nine months. If one were to get an apartment or house that is theoretically costing them $500 a month with a roommate or two, the student would be paying about $600 less than the minimum amount one pays on campus per year.

For students who could have cheaper options or have the option of still living at home, the university will still require that a student lives on campus their first year, due to graduation success rates. This information can be found on the campus housing page. The process of getting approved to move out of the dorms starts with the student filling out an application, writing a letter to the school, having a parent write a letter to the school, and whoever else the student will be living with has to write a letter as well, according to the CWU Housing website.

Another reason living on campus is not for everyone is the preference of independence and privacy. While living in the dorms with roommates and sharing a room with someone can be a good experience for some students, it should be an option for students to live with other people in such close proximities. If they do not want to do that, perhaps the university is making it less of a hassle on students could impact their studies and their quality of experience at a university could improve greatly.

Living off campus could help better prepare students for the real world and adulthood, and living in the dorms could set them back a bit. Learning how to pay bills, pay rent, take care of a house and all of the financial aspects of renting a house or apartment is a great way to prepare students for when they start their careers and look into more of a variety of housing options like buying or renting a house.

While some off campus students do not have the option of living close enough to campus to ride a bike or walk, the public transportation services in college towns is very accommodating to where they stop and pick students up, and the schedules can normally run around anyone’s class schedule. This could save students the hassle of having to buy a parking pass, which according to CWU, costs $224 for a year long pass, and trying to find a parking spot. Plus, it will save the students money on gas and a parking pass if they are able to commute in alternative ways other than driving.

Students who live off campus could have more ways to eat healthier. While on campus foods are getting more accommodating to diets, it is much easier to find fried and processed foods, rather than fresh, nutritious foods. Cooking for oneself could help students avoid food allergens as well.

Students who want to be involved in the university they go to and make the most of their college experience, have great opportunities with living on campus, but in reality, that will not be every student. Not every student will enjoy living on campus. Going to college is a step in between being under a parent or guardian’s roof and being a full blown adult. But, in the end, most college students are making many choices for themselves, so universities giving students the option to live off campus could improve their higher education experience.