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The Pros & Cons of Living On and Off Campus

By Jeffrey Sawyer
On May 30, 2008

There are many pros and cons to living both on and off-campus.

The website ecampustours.com lists three pros and cons for on-campus and off-campus living. The pros for on-campus living are accessibility to the school, increased social life and simplicity. The cons are little privacy, limited space and the possibility for a low GPA.

Tina Fuchs, Dean of Students and Judicial Affairs agrees that the simplicity is one of the best reasons to live on campus.

"As far as bills go, you have to worry very little when living on campus," said Fuchs. "You pay one bill at the beginning of the term and do not have to worry about monthly internet, electric or water bills. You don't have to clean as much either, nearly every resident hall has either daily or weekly custodians come through."

"Students living on campus also have more access to the school and save gas by not having to drive to campus," said Fuchs.

Little privacy and limited space can usually go hand in hand. When sharing a room with another student there is little privacy and less space for each person's possessions .

The pros for living off-campus listed by ecampustours.com are independence, privacy and sense of responsibility. The cons listed for off-campus living can be more expensive, transportation and the feeling of isolation.

Off-campus student and member of the Monmouth-Independence Tenants' Union, Jesse Alexander agrees.

"You have more privacy and freedom while living off-campus because there aren't [resident assistants] constantly walking around and acting like your mother," said Alexander. "I can play video games and have friends over later in the night and not have to worry about noise."

"One who lives off-campus will have more freedoms," said Fuchs."This is because our goal is to provide an environment where people can sleep and study effectively."

Possibly one of the more heavily weighed factors when deciding to live off-campus or on is the cost.

Fuchs claims that the cost of living on vs. off campus is not that much different when all costs are considered. Her office has done research into the costs of living on campus that shows that both are comparable.

For example, if two students were living in a 2-bedroom apartment with rent at $675 a month and included all of the extras (electric, water, sewer, gas, telephone, cable TV) it could potentially cost the student $8356.30 for the academic year according to research done by University Residences.

The on-campus equivalent for the same two students would cost $7075.00 for the academic year with everything included.

However, Fuchs did mention that prices for off-campus students could get cheaper depending on the extras they choose to pay for and if they share rooms in their apartments or houses.

Alexander feels it is much cheaper to live off-campus.

"After calculating what I paid my freshman year to what I am paying now, I am saving over $100 a month," said Alexander.

The cheapest place to live on campus is in Arbor Park, where it costs each person $5,534 per year according to proposed 2008-2009 room and board fees. This does not include a meal plan, but students have a full kitchen at their disposal and cable and internet are included.

If a student were to stay in Arbor Park for an entire school year (approx. nine months) it would cost the student roughly $614 a month. Depending on where a student decides to live during the year, there are cheaper options.

Take Wolfpack Village for example, where a two-bedroom apartment can be had for $495 a month (about $250 a month per student), which includes cable, water, sewer and garbage. This price does not include all of the benefits of living on campus (greater security, entertainment programs, fitness center), but does show that there are cheaper options available to students. •


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