Colleges shouldn’t force freshman students to live on campus


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Kaylee Flores, Reporter

Many four year colleges have a requirement to make freshman students live on campus for their first year, which is a waste of money. This requirement doesn’t allow students to be able to live in possibly cheaper off-campus housing in the sake of “getting students adapted to college.”

Colleges will push for on campus housing with options for dorms as well as apartments, but only 13% of college students live on campus.

The requirement to live on campus for freshmen can become expensive, especially for low income students. With the ongoing pandemic and hybrid classes still taking place, it may be wiser in the long run for students to live off-campus to save money.

Colleges may also require a meal plan when living on campus which seems like another cash grab as college dining halls are known for the blandness of their meals and not doing enough to cater to students who may have allergies or dietary restrictions. Meal plans will usually give students a certain amount of swipes per week, but unused meals are not refundable.

The cost of living on campus makes it harder to save money, with food being one example of this problem. Cooking in a dorm is nearly impossible and with many cooking appliances not provided for students or allowed in the dorms for safety reasons, resulting in the students taking the meal plan as the easiest option to have cooked meals accessible to them.

Even though meal plans are very costly, it is helpful to students who live on campus that are unable to commute to a grocery store or restaurant. It also becomes very costly to eat at restaurants all the time. 

Some colleges will offer a food pantry to students who experience food insecurity. While food pantries seem helpful, oftentimes they are open for select hours as well as offer small snacks opposed to meals for students.

However, the requirement to stay on campus as a freshman is hard to opt out of unless one has permission from the college under certain circumstances. If a student’s living situation changes however, some colleges will revoke the exemption to live off campus for that freshman

Hopefully after the massive changes all colleges had to undergo during the pandemic with online learning, colleges should try to be more understanding of students’ living situations and offer more exemptions to live off campus as a freshman.