Dorm life better than just online courses

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013

As college students, it’s no secret to us that a higher education comes at an even higher price. According to The College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, the average cost for in-state undergraduate tuition, room and board at a four-year public institution is nearly $18,000 per year — not exactly your typical pocket-change. Therefore, parents are taking advantage of any opportunity that saves money while granting their children the same kind of education.

Since 2010, the number of students enrolled in online college courses has jumped 29 percent, according to Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, placing a total of 6.7 million students in online enrollment — roughly a third of all college students. According to a new study conducted by Fidelity, nearly half of all parents are suggesting their children skip dorm life altogether and commute to campus in order to cut back on the full cost of tuition. However, despite the fact that these methods may be easier on the wallet, the benefits of saving some cash can come with consequences.

Personally, living on campus was such an essential and crucial part of my college experience. Not only did I make some of the closest friends I have today thanks to the dorms, but it also gave me a taste of independence for the first time.

Moving out of your parents’ house is a huge step into adulthood and dorm life gives individuals a sense of freedom without putting too much on their plates; it is the perfect transition stage in between your parents’ home and living on your own.

Freshman year of college thrusts you into a new environment with new responsibilities and living in a dorm surrounds you with people in the exact same situation; it’s a mutual, unsaid bond of confusion, nerves and a little bit of fear, even if we don’t admit it. Somehow there is something truly enchanting about placing such a diverse group of people into one dorm; living situations undoubtedly bring together people who would have never met otherwise and often these relationships end up being more sentimental than you would have ever imagined on that first day .

As freshmen, we may complain but by the end of the year I cannot think of a single person who was entirely ready to say goodbye to their cramped, little room full of so many memories. As your college career continues, you will probably forever identify with that campus building they called home.

Although money is a huge aspect when it comes to choosing how you will receive your education, it should not be the sole deciding factor. What may be saved in the dollar amount through online classes and commuting to campus can be lost entirely in experience and friendship.