Value of living away for college

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the_wiki
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Value of living away for college

Post by the_wiki »

Can anyone comment on the value of living away for school? My daughter is finalizing decision on two schools. One she could drive to daily and the other is in a college town that would require housing. The cost difference between the two is basically just the housing. She prefers the away school for familiarity with the facilities and faculty (she did summer programs there). Although the local school is a little higher ranked nationally. (Neither are ivy leagues or anything, so not sure that matters).

I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children? It is very tempting to tell her to just stay home and I can save thousands a semester. Truth be told, I can afford either option, but obviously prefer spending less like anyone else.

Thanks for your input.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by ScubaHogg »

I mean, compared to living at home living on campus is a ton more fun and probably a much easier way to make friends
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by fulltilt »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pm Can anyone comment on the value of living away for school? My daughter is finalizing decision on two schools. One she could drive to daily and the other is in a college town that would require housing. The cost difference between the two is basically just the housing. She prefers the away school for familiarity with the facilities and faculty (she did summer programs there). Although the local school is a little higher ranked nationally. (Neither are ivy leagues or anything, so not sure that matters).

I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children? It is very tempting to tell her to just stay home and I can save thousands a semester. Truth be told, I can afford either option, but obviously prefer spending less like anyone else.

Thanks for your input.
Some kids aren't ready to live away from home and when they do, they crash and burn pretty hard.

if she is ready, then, personally, i would recommend that she live in a college town just to get the full experience.

What does she want to do?
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galving
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by galving »

ScubaHogg wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:03 pm I mean, compared to living at home living on campus is a ton more fun and probably a much easier way to make friends
Agreed.
Much more difficult for commuters. Friends are pretty well established by the 1st year and then folks would often move off campus.
It would have been a completely different experience if I lived at home and went to school.

It wasn't always easy, but I'm glad I went to a school a couple of hours from my hometown.
Too far to go home for the weekend, and easily doable for the long holidays.

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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

I commuted from my parents house to a state school that was 15 min away. They offered to pay for me to live on campus but I wasn't interested because you were required to have a roommate to share a room.

I was on campus 12-14 hours a day, got a student job on campus, joined a tabletop gaming group, and had a good experience. I basically only went home to sleep on the weekdays

Living on campus would have been better I think, if you could have your own room, but my experience was pretty good, and I didn't want a roommate
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by tetractys »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pmCan anyone comment on the value of living away for school?
The biggest value is that the student can actually study and spend time in the libraries and such.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Chv396 »

Some if the benefits are to teach your child independence and how to interact with others. Important factors in life.
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Glockenspiel
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Glockenspiel »

The biggest value of college is living away from home and learning how to do so. Commuters make no friends. Living on-campus in the dorms, you're guaranteed to make some of the best friends you'll have your entire life. Commuters and people living on-campus have entirely different experiences.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by TomatoTomahto »

The ideal distance is short enough to drive for a visit in a reasonable amount of time but too far to bring dirty laundry home.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by MidwestSoutheast »

My vote is strongly in favor of living on campus. In my experience, it helped me mature as it’s doing now for my son who is many hours away. College to me is not only gaining an education but about learning the ability to be self sufficient and make friends in an unfamiliar environment. It can also be a great 4 years of fun, some of which you’d miss out on by commuting.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by blaugranamd »

I'll vote for the cheaper live at home option. I stayed with my parents for undergrad and it left me with zero debt when I graduated. I was on campus from 0700-1800 or later every day for classes, gym time, library studying, work, and research anyway. As it was my hometown, I had plenty of friends, many at the school as well, so wasn't an issue.

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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by runner3081 »

I did both.

2 years at home, CC.
2 years away, 4-year college.

Those two years were the best financial move I made in my life. Otherwise, a disaster, I hated being at home and fought all of the time with my parents. I wanted freedom, I wasn't getting it, even though I was in college.

I still, 20+ years later, look back with such fond memories of those two years AWAY from home. I lived in the dorm both years, Resident Advisor the second year, would not trade those two years for anything!
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Normchad »

Glockenspiel wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:14 pm The biggest value of college is living away from home and learning how to do so. Commuters make no friends. Living on-campus in the dorms, you're guaranteed to make some of the best friends you'll have your entire life. Commuters and people living on-campus have entirely different experiences.
I agree.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Steven28 »

Without question, if affordable, living on campus gives the best experience. Even if your child isn't quite ready for complete independence, they will grow up quickly. It is a valuable experience that will help them grow as people. I had a roommate whose parents lived one mile away and they sent their son to live on campus. He had a lot of growing up to do, was immature in many ways, and the experience served him well.

Plus it's way easier to form study groups, do afterclass activities, get classmates to help with homework etc.

I lived away at 3 different schools, and so did my kids. My son had a bit of a hard time the first semester adjusting to a roommate, being on his own, no one to remind him to get assignments in on time etc. His second went much easier and he commented once that perhaps he wasn't ready and should have waited to start college a year later - taking a year off. I said to him the reason why it went better was that he had the first year's experience, not because he was a year older. He thought about it and said ' Yeah Dad, you're right'

It is worth every penny of extra money for your child to have the full college experience. And if they are reluctant - push them.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by cchrissyy »

commuting makes it much harder to attend activities like clubs, guest speakers, study groups.
i think a person living on campus is far more likely to attend all sorts of events that enrich the college experience and make friends and professional connections.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by cadreamer2015 »

The ideal distance is short enough to drive for a visit in a reasonable amount of time but too far to bring dirty laundry home.
I went 4,900 miles away from home for college. Our 3 kids went 2,350, 80 and 1,000 miles from home. Only the second one went the "ideal" distance, above. But all had a great experience and matured a lot in their 4 years in college. Driving 80 miles for a visit was clearly a lot easier and cheaper for us parents.

So if you can afford it for your kids I would encourage them to go "away" for college.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I've done it all.

Commuted from home to community college.
During this time, I also worked as many hours as they would give me at the ski/bike shop. I even quit college, thinking I'd work at the shop forever until I was fired mainly because I was friends with the manager of the shop who was let go when the brother of the owner decided he wanted to be manager (their parents were the actual owners and forced this). Anyways, I was not at this point serious about college but went back, missing 1 semester. Graduated in 3 years instead of 2.

Commuted to night classes starting my Bachelors. Typically one, maybe 2 courses a semester. Easy enough to do very, very well with the small amount of work where 6 classes are full time.

Quit my job and went full time on campus at the college 20 miles from home. Being there, I was immersed in school work. Study groups were easy to find and I could meet a lab partner at 10:30 at night on a day my classes ended at 9am. After the first year there, I realized I had way more potential than the school provided and applied, was accepted and transferred to a much more rigorous college an hour from home. Lived on campus for the rest of my time including the 8 months I went on co-op. Even then, I stayed in campus housing and did take a night course. Everyone is different. I know for me, the difference would have been that if I lived at home, I never would have transferred to the better school and would never have learned as much as I did.

Now an opposite tale. My son who is much more introverted than me (and I much prefer staying at home than going out where other people are), he completed his senior project and a couple covid time courses online from home. He is super focused and will spend 20 hours in a row in his room doing a specific task. Then sleep. His major qualifying project (sort of like a Masters thesis but in senior Bachelors year) ended up being 120 pages plus software. He's a civil engineer and developed modeling software from scratch to show what happens in real time to a building during an earthquake. Because engineers deep in this type of modeling are in India, he was very active on an online forum attended mostly by these Indian engineers. Since there wasn't software available, he learned Fortran (you other 70's Fortran learners like me...hey, it's still used) and wrote the programs to build the models. I believe he could have done this full time on campus as his other years had been but completing in depth work alone in his room is his preferred method and it worked. When on campus, I know that he did work with others in study groups and became an amateur body building doing gym weight training daily.

So I guess it depends on the person. But being on campus gives one the chance to get in study groups, make friends, do college activities, join clubs, use the facilities after class.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Mike Scott »

Our kids all stayed at home and commuted. There were some advantages and there were some different disadvantages. It's hard to say which was greater.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by SnowBog »

Glockenspiel wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:14 pm The biggest value of college is living away from home and learning how to do so. ... Commuters and people living on-campus have entirely different experiences.
+1 (except for the removed "friends" part, neither is universal).

To me, there's an "academic" side of college and a "life lessons/independence" side.

Arguably the "academic" side is very similar...

But the "life lessons/independence" side couldn't be more different... When living at school (be that dorms, apartments, rental house, etc.), "parents" aren't there telling you to go to bed, waking you up in the morning for class, making sure you eat (and not just junk food), making sure you do your homework, etc. From the financial side, when living at school kids also have more opportunities to learn as well... Even if they are on a "food plan", there are lots of options to eat elsewhere, they might need/want things for their room, they might want to go places with new friends (or trips home to visit old friends), in other words lots of demands for their money, which they'll need to learn to navigate.

In our case, we can afford either, and while we won't "force" our child to live on campus (they may not yet be mature enough to do so successfully), we'll "highly encourage" they do so as soon as they can.

If we couldn't afford either, that may impact our thoughts...

But I'd note that my [now] spouse and I paid our own way through college. They got no help from family (used student loans). I had some help with tuition. But both of us worked "part-time" during the school year, and worked "full time" (in my case usually 2-3 jobs at a time) over the summer to cover our "cost of living" - including the cost of living on (or near) campus. While the "working during school" wasn't always ideal, it too was a great "life lesson/independence" learning experience. We both left with understanding the "value of money", we both knew if we "wanted X" we needed to work to earn enough money to pay for "X". We left school with zero sense of "entitlement", understood the value of "hard work", had no issues "launching successfully" (including getting married while seniors - despite family resistance - and still doing well 25+ years later), and arguably helped set the foundation for becoming Bogleheads (in that we learned lessons like "live below your means", "save early and often", etc.).
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by rkhusky »

Our kids are commuting, have made friends, enjoy on-campus activities, study at the library or in study groups. If they want to stay on campus, they would have to foot the bill (or the majority of it), which means working and/or loans.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Kagord »

Personally, I think living away has value, being thrown in with random roommates in the freshman dorm, even better.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by SnowBog »

Kagord wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:58 pm Personally, I think living away has value, being thrown in with random roommates in the freshman dorm, even better.
Even if they are "bad roommates"... Again, its a great "life lesson."

Invariably in our lives we'll have someone we don't get along with... Maybe a coworker, maybe a boss, maybe an in-law... :wink:

Only way most of us "learn" is by living through the experience, and the only way we have that experience - is well - by having that experience... :beer
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by BorqaZ »

Nearly all of my good friends are from college and grad school.

I accelerated my independence by a couple of years just in the first semester of college.

Some of my best memories of my youth is in college.

College, for those who can afford it, should be a required right of passage.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by UpperNwGuy »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pm I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children?
Yes, going away to college was well worth the difference for me, for my ex-wife, and for my three children. Living at home while attending nearby college classes is not a real college experience.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by gunny2 »

Chv396 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:12 pm Some if the benefits are to teach your child independence and how to interact with others. Important factors in life.
Bingo. Living away from home = time to put the big boy pants on. Nobody there to do your laundry or make meals etc. IMO a very valuable learning experience.

If the cost diff isn't too great, however, I'd opt for an apt away from the dorms. Everything I've seen or experienced was that they sucked, because you're bunched in with far too many immature slugs who think it's OK to blast their music any time and the "party dudes" who that's all they care about (and will probably be out of school soon and working at your local mini-mart), etc.

The 2 yrs at a CC and then away to school could be a good compromise, assuming the child gets along well with their parents of course, and far more cost effective. But IMO if a kid is in college but living at home, they still should get more leeway and freedom than they had before. Them becoming more of an adult is a two-way street.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by leeks »

I would recommend paying more to experience living away from home and being immersed in a college academic and social environment. I also recommend the student working part time and summers to cover living expenses. If part-time work can't cover all living expenses, at the very least it should cover all discretionary spending for things like entertainment/eating out/travel/clothes/etc.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by srt7 »

MidwestSoutheast wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:21 pm My vote is strongly in favor of living on campus. In my experience, it helped me mature as it’s doing now for my son who is many hours away. College to me is not only gaining an education but about learning the ability to be self sufficient and make friends in an unfamiliar environment. It can also be a great 4 years of fun, some of which you’d miss out on by commuting.
This!

OP - Around 30 years ago, I had a similar choice and picked the farther option (~ 12 hours of travel by road). Homesickness was a thing for me and I visited home mid-semester once plus the usual end of semester. But I truly "grew up" in those 4 years. Accomplished things I'm proud of to this day. So glad I took that route. It's not for everyone and TBH I would've fallen under the "not ready to leave home" category but I guess, a human's ability to change gears and adapt to the environment happened. :sharebeer

Good luck!
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by srt7 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:44 pm

Now an opposite tale. My son who is much more introverted than me (and I much prefer staying at home than going out where other people are), he completed his senior project and a couple covid time courses online from home. He is super focused and will spend 20 hours in a row in his room doing a specific task. Then sleep. His major qualifying project (sort of like a Masters thesis but in senior Bachelors year) ended up being 120 pages plus software. He's a civil engineer and developed modeling software from scratch to show what happens in real time to a building during an earthquake. Because engineers deep in this type of modeling are in India, he was very active on an online forum attended mostly by these Indian engineers. Since there wasn't software available, he learned Fortran (you other 70's Fortran learners like me...hey, it's still used) and wrote the programs to build the models. I believe he could have done this full time on campus as his other years had been but completing in depth work alone in his room is his preferred method and it worked. When on campus, I know that he did work with others in study groups and became an amateur body building doing gym weight training daily.

Thanks for sharing your son's experience. He genuinely seems like someone who will go on to do great things in life. We need more people like him in this world.

... and yes, Fortran rocks!! :happy
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Doom&Gloom »

ScubaHogg wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:03 pm I mean, compared to living at home living on campus is a ton more fun and probably a much easier way to make friends
+1
And it's a good way to leave the nest and learn to function independently.

When I go to my HS reunions and see the people who chose to commute to college, it makes me sad.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by gunny2 »

leeks wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:55 pm I would recommend paying more to experience living away from home and being immersed in a college academic and social environment. I also recommend the student working part time and summers to cover living expenses. If part-time work can't cover all living expenses, at the very least it should cover all discretionary spending for things like entertainment/eating out/travel/clothes/etc.
If cost isn't really an issue, I wouldn't recommend that at all - during the summer maybe but mostly for "spending money." Going to school full time is demanding enough as it is, and while getting an education is the most important thing, they should also have some free time to just have fun too.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by rkhusky »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:11 pm
ScubaHogg wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:03 pm I mean, compared to living at home living on campus is a ton more fun and probably a much easier way to make friends
+1
And it's a good way to leave the nest and learn to function independently.

When I go to my HS reunions and see the people who chose to commute to college, it makes me sad.
I guess that fits your username.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by rkhusky »

SnowBog wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:28 pm
Kagord wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:58 pm Personally, I think living away has value, being thrown in with random roommates in the freshman dorm, even better.
Even if they are "bad roommates"... Again, its a great "life lesson."

Invariably in our lives we'll have someone we don't get along with... Maybe a coworker, maybe a boss, maybe an in-law... :wink:

Only way most of us "learn" is by living through the experience, and the only way we have that experience - is well - by having that experience... :beer
Or it can be the stuff of nightmares. At least with a job you can go home after work. And the in-laws only visit occasionally. I would have dreaded living full time and sharing personal space with some of my co-workers.

When I was in the dorms I said that I liked to get up early and go to bed early. My roommates ended up being quiet and studious.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by FIRWYW »

My first did the 40 minute commute to school for the first year. Fine school but would never do it again. Basically was not involved in college/making friends. She is much happier after transferring to a different college and living the college life. My 3rd is currently thinking PT and this local school has a great reputation for that with great price. We have told IF she ends up going there we advise moving out still.

(As a side note, wife and I stayed at home for first part of college but already had tons of friends there and we were dating each other steady at that point so added social didn’t matter much)
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by TheNightsToCome »

Live on campus. Definitely.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Times are very different now than when I went to college many decades ago, but my first year was up north. It was a good change, different people, a different climate and a different view of things. Coming back due to financial issues, I lived over 70 miles from home. It fostered independence/self reliance.

That independence however isn't a given. My nephew's wife's parents were helicopter parents even with their daughter over 100 miles away. My cousin bought our condo from us and he and his wife drove 100 miles every week to deliver their son's meals for the week. Both are still dependent on their parents as adults.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Chv396 »

I left home for college at 18 years of age and “grew up” very quickly. I think it was one of life’s best lessons. I dormed the first year, but lived off campus after that (with two compatible roommates I met at school) with two great guys. We’re still close friends many years later.

Dorms are a “mixed bag.” You can get serious students or immature kids “going crazy” partying as they just saw their first taste of freedom, away from home.

:sharebeer
gunny2 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:51 pm
Chv396 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:12 pm Some if the benefits are to teach your child independence and how to interact with others. Important factors in life.
Bingo. Living away from home = time to put the big boy pants on. Nobody there to do your laundry or make meals etc. IMO a very valuable learning experience.

If the cost diff isn't too great, however, I'd opt for an apt away from the dorms. Everything I've seen or experienced was that they sucked, because you're bunched in with far too many immature slugs who think it's OK to blast their music any time and the "party dudes" who that's all they care about (and will probably be out of school soon and working at your local mini-mart), etc.

The 2 yrs at a CC and then away to school could be a good compromise, assuming the child gets along well with their parents of course, and far more cost effective. But IMO if a kid is in college but living at home, they still should get more leeway and freedom than they had before. Them becoming more of an adult is a two-way street.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by AllMostThere »

tetractys wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:43 pm The biggest value is that the student can actually study and spend time in the libraries and such.
I lived away for college and was always at "The Library". Yes, the local bar was called "The Library" :twisted: :beer
Jest aside, DD went away with 1st semester being a bust as it was height of COVID. Her roommate went home every weekend, all dorm meals were takeout only with all classes on-line only. Made zero friends and hated it. She came home 2nd semester and worked fulltime to wait out COVID. Went back to campus 2nd year and slowly became integrated into campus community and now loves it. Other than occasional weekend visits she is fulltime living in the community and working on campus while attending classes. Much happier with a community to enjoy. :beer
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by ScubaHogg »

Yarlonkol12 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:39 pm
Living on campus would have been better I think, if you could have your own room, but my experience was pretty good, and I didn't want a roommate
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the_wiki
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by the_wiki »

Thanks for all the comments and for sharing your experiences. Very helpful. As I said daughter is pushing for the college a few hours away and my wife likes that school better, too, so I was probably already outvoted anyway. :mrgreen:
London
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by London »

tetractys wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:43 pm
the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pmCan anyone comment on the value of living away for school?
The biggest value is that the student can actually study and spend time in the libraries and such.
I couldn’t even tell you where the library was at my college.
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vnatale
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by vnatale »

No one has described anything like my personal experience.

My sister once described to me our parents' love for us as a smothering love.

Part of that was my mother proclaiming when I was in high school that I'd be going to a college in the state so that I could be living at home while doing so.

My sister was nearly 7 years older than me.

One Sunday she decided my mother, me, and her were to go to an International House of Pancakes for a breakfast meeting. It was there that she firmly told my mother that I needed to go away for school. I don't remember saying a word during this meeting but remember being shocked how my mother just accepted my sister's proclamation.

I've many times said that I did not need to go into the military because it'd be easier discipline than how I'd been brought up by my parent with them having kept me on a 1/4" leash. They never encouraged an ounce of independence.

I was so under their command that the summer after I graduated high school my father was still telling the barber how short to cut my hair.

That all changed with my first day at college. It was a Sunday and I took a shower at 9 PM. While doing so I reveled that no one was there to control me. That marked the moment when the bird was let out of the cage, never to come back in it.

I am now an extremely independent person. I guess it had to have always been in me but deeply buried during the first 18 years of my life due to my parents constant repression of anything outside of their dictates.

That haircut? That was the last one I had for the next 18 months! Much to my parents consternation. But once I had my first taste of freedom there was no going back to letting them control me in any way.

Since 7th grade I'd always been self-driven and highly motivated so those were not lessons I needed to learn once I did go to college.

On another note and NOT related to my personal experience.


https://www.amazon.com/Debt-Free-Outsta ... 510&sr=1-4

Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, orM ooching off My Parents Kindle Edition


Read the book about 12 years ago. One of his proscriptions was to live at home the first two years of college while going to a Community College then having your parents buy a house for your two years at a state school where you lived with roommates.

I left college at 20 years old. I came back at 24 years old and in the next three years completed both the undergraduate degree and a masters degree.

At that age I had zero interest in the "college experience". I'd had that for those first two years of college. For those three years I viewed it strictly as me putting in the work to get those two degrees.

I also did not make any lifelong friends from my two different college experiences. I do still have one that I went to elementary, junior / senior high school with.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
Dregob
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by Dregob »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pm Can anyone comment on the value of living away for school? My daughter is finalizing decision on two schools. One she could drive to daily and the other is in a college town that would require housing. The cost difference between the two is basically just the housing. She prefers the away school for familiarity with the facilities and faculty (she did summer programs there). Although the local school is a little higher ranked nationally. (Neither are ivy leagues or anything, so not sure that matters).

I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children? It is very tempting to tell her to just stay home and I can save thousands a semester. Truth be told, I can afford either option, but obviously prefer spending less like anyone else.

Thanks for your input.
I would suggest on campus living if you/she can afford it. Living with others is a part of the experience. I'd guess it would be much harder to make friends and connections.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by muffins14 »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pm Can anyone comment on the value of living away for school? My daughter is finalizing decision on two schools. One she could drive to daily and the other is in a college town that would require housing. The cost difference between the two is basically just the housing. She prefers the away school for familiarity with the facilities and faculty (she did summer programs there). Although the local school is a little higher ranked nationally. (Neither are ivy leagues or anything, so not sure that matters).

I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children? It is very tempting to tell her to just stay home and I can save thousands a semester. Truth be told, I can afford either option, but obviously prefer spending less like anyone else.

Thanks for your input.
It is a very unique experience and a chance to greatly expand ones network outside of their existing geographic location. With that expansion of network comes more exposure to different people, ideas, and job opportunities, both short-term and long-term
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by YoungNavy »

My two cents. If she likes her hometown, and the local school is “better,” however that is defined, why not live on campus at the local school?

I went to school about 6 hours away from home. It was hard to visit for just a weekend. I also had a job in my college town, and then met my now wife, so pretty much left and never came back. My parents were not expecting that and I sense they still are a bit upset that the same was also the case for all of my younger siblings.

I’m glad I had a chance to live away from home. But I don’t think I needed to go 6 hours away. It is a significant decision that can change the course of your life.

For the record, I wouldn’t change anything.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by gtrplayer »

I went to a school within commuting distance. I lived at home for one semester and it quickly became clear that friends/stories/experiences were happening without me. I also had nowhere to go between classes, which can be hours depending when classes are available. Driving home cost money and time. I ended up spending a lot of time in the library, which was good for a while but eventually I found myself sleeping at the study desks.

I went into debt to stay on campus which I regret from a monetary standpoint but I’m honestly not sure I would have finished college had I stayed as a commuter.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by MrBobcat »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:02 pm Can anyone comment on the value of living away for school? My daughter is finalizing decision on two schools. One she could drive to daily and the other is in a college town that would require housing. The cost difference between the two is basically just the housing. She prefers the away school for familiarity with the facilities and faculty (she did summer programs there). Although the local school is a little higher ranked nationally. (Neither are ivy leagues or anything, so not sure that matters).

I was just a commuter to a local state U, so I have no experience with living away for school. Did anyone find that to be well worth the difference in cost for yourself or your children? It is very tempting to tell her to just stay home and I can save thousands a semester. Truth be told, I can afford either option, but obviously prefer spending less like anyone else.

Thanks for your input.
Live away, IMO very important step to leaning independence, IMO so many life lessons learned during this period. I couldn't wait to leave home and go to university and when my kids went I couldn't wait for them to leave and go on their own. To be fair they all wanted to fly the coup too.
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by MrBobcat »

Yarlonkol12 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:39 pm I commuted from my parents house to a state school that was 15 min away. They offered to pay for me to live on campus but I wasn't interested because you were required to have a roommate to share a room.

I was on campus 12-14 hours a day, got a student job on campus, joined a tabletop gaming group, and had a good experience. I basically only went home to sleep on the weekdays

Living on campus would have been better I think, if you could have your own room, but my experience was pretty good, and I didn't want a roommate
Learning to live with someone else is IMO one of life's important lessons.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by MrBobcat »

the_wiki wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:33 pm Thanks for all the comments and for sharing your experiences. Very helpful. As I said daughter is pushing for the college a few hours away and my wife likes that school better, too, so I was probably already outvoted anyway. :mrgreen:
Yes, yes you were.
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vnatale
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by vnatale »

MrBobcat wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:01 pm

Live away, IMO very important step to leaning independence, IMO so many life lessons learned during this period. I couldn't wait to leave home and go to university and when my kids went I couldn't wait for them to leave and go on their own. To be fair they all wanted to fly the coup too.
Another funny experience from my life.

I was 20 years old, had dropped out of college after my sophomore year.

My father was getting on me for something.

I said, "Dad, that doesn't matter because I'm moving out."

He hit his forehead with his hand saying, "Where did I go wrong??!!!"

It was exactly like something out of a movie!

I said, "You've done nothing wrong. It's just a total clash of lifestyles here."

Go forward two years after I'm now come back, left, and came back again.

I'm outside with my father and, all of a sudden, he says, to me, "I've noticed that you and your mother do not get along. If you need money to go live elsewhere ... I can help you."


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
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Re: Value of living away for college

Post by tibbitts »

After graduating high school, I attended a college just a few hours away and lived in the residence hall. I hated every minute of it and did very poorly academically. After two semesters I went back home and commuted to another college and that was better in every respect. My parents were away from home 2 weeks every month due to work so I did get some experience of living by myself, which was much more valuable than the experience of living in a dorm.

So going away to college had zero - actually negative - value to me and I discourage anyone from doing that.

Edit: I made follow-on comments below and clarified that I would discourage anyone who doesn't already have a strong desire to live away at college from doing do. I don't believe it should be a default position.
Last edited by tibbitts on Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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