- Utilities: A college dorm’s dues cover general utilities such as electricity, gas, water, trash, and internet. It’s possible that you’ll have to pay an extra fee for internet, but this isn’t very typical.
- Amenities: The majority of dorms will feature common areas where students can study or socialize. You might find dorms with a community game room, TV area, kitchen, or gym on occasion. If you’re lucky, you might even come across a hot tub or a swimming pool! The more money you spend on a dorm, the nicer the amenities are likely to be.
- Communal Cleaning: If you live in a dorm with communal spaces such as restrooms and showers, you can normally expect a cleaning service to clean these areas. They will also usually clean the corridors and shared study rooms.
- The location is usually the finest aspect about living in a college dorm. Dorms are typically on-campus or very close to college, so personal transportation (such as driving a car) is not required. Additionally, campus transportation, including school buses, will frequently travel between your dorm and popular campus buildings or locations.
- Meals: You can come across a dorm that includes the cost of meals in the annual dues. This is hardly frequent, as students can usually choose a meal plan that suits their needs, whether it’s eating in the local cafeteria three times or seven times a week.
- Experiences: The social experience is included in the price, which is a touch corny. It’s difficult to place a figure on being surrounded by a huge group of individuals who are going through the same things you are.
In a dorm, what do you have to pay for?
Ah, the liberation of being your own person for the first time. It’s unlike anything else on the planet. You’ll experience a wide spectrum of emotions. Moving out of your parents’ house and attending college is an exciting period, full of freedom and independence as well as new duties and worries. While you may be required to live in a university-assigned dorm for a period of time, you will almost certainly be faced with the decision of whether to live in a dorm or an apartment at some point. Which one will you pick?
Dorm living is one of those things that you have to experience firsthand to fully comprehend. There are some nice parts, some awful parts, and a lot of ugly sections. While living close to your friends and peers can be enjoyable at first, the novelty wears off and reality sets in about week two or three of the first semester.
- We’re settling in. Let’s begin with move-in day. It’s disorganized and stressful. This is because hundreds or thousands of students are crammed into a small number of buildings in a short period of time. Combine that traffic nightmare with the logistics of lugging desks, mattresses, cartons, televisions, and mini-fridges up numerous flights of stairs or in busy elevators. It’s a difficult to make the process function without causing individuals stress, regardless of how effective the student living coordinators are at their jobs.
- Bathrooms that are shared. Many dorms are designed so that restrooms are shared by several rooms (or even an entire floor). This not only takes away a lot of privacy, but it may also be quite unpleasant if you’re a neat and tidy person. It’s also inconvenient to have to either walk back to your room on a towel or remember to bring clean clothing to the bathroom.
- I’m doing the laundry. It’s terrible enough to have to do laundry, but it’s even worse when you don’t have a washer and dryer in your room. This means you’ll have to carry your hamper to a laundry room in the building’s basement or elsewhere on campus. It’s possible that when you arrive, all of the machines are in use or that someone has forgotten to remove their load.
- This may not be a problem everywhere, but many schools have extremely restricted parking, forcing you to park in a garage or lot that involves a short walk. When you’re carrying a lot of items or need to get somewhere quickly, this can be troublesome.
- There’s not enough quiet time. Dorms are notoriously noisy environments. It’s difficult to find peace and quiet with the men down the hall blasting music at 3 a.m. and your roommate playing video games while you’re trying to study.
We’re not trying to scare you if you have to live in a dorm this year. Every circumstance is different, and you might discover that the dorms at your school are perfectly adequate. However, we’ll keep to the rule of averages and anticipate that by the end of the semester, you’ll be ready for an apartment. That’s how things usually happen.
That brings us to apartment living, which provides a welcome change of pace and a plethora of advantages not found in on-campus dorms. If you’re getting ready to move into your first college apartment this fall, here’s what you can expect:
- More personal space. While you’ll almost certainly have a roommate in your apartment, you’ll almost certainly have a private room where you can close the door and get some much-needed alone time. This allows you to focus on your studies while also allowing you to escape away for a time.
- Less expensive. Apartments are often less expensive than dorms, which may seem implausible. That’s because dorms require you to pay room and board, which covers additional expenses such as food, laundry, utilities, and other miscellaneous items. You just pay for what you use when you move into an apartment.
- Improved facilities. Many off-campus apartments provide unique features and benefits that you won’t find in a dorm. There may be on-site amenities like as swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness centers in addition to the basics like a kitchen and private bathrooms.
- There are less limitations. In most dorms, resident advisers are in charge of enforcing fairly strict rules and keeping an eye out for actions that break those rules. While some rules are designed to keep you safe and out of trouble, others are simply inconvenient. Apartments, on the other hand, have virtually few rules. You are free to come and go as you like, and essentially do whatever you want as long as you are not doing anything illegal.
- I live with a group of buddies. You get to choose your housemates while renting an apartment. This means you’ll be able to live with folks you enjoy spending time with. There will be no more haphazard room assignments or sleeping five feet apart from a stranger.
Although living in an apartment isn’t ideal, it is preferable to living in a tiny dorm room. Use this useful college apartment packing checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything if you’re moving into a new apartment this fall. You’ll wind up going to the store a lot if you don’t. And who wants to do that when your new apartment complex includes a pool that is just begging to be used?
Is it cheaper to live in a dorm than an apartment?
Students can live off-campus in college-affiliated student apartments without abandoning the best aspects of their college experience. Here are five advantages of living in an apartment rather than a college dorm:
It can feel like you’re still at home when you’re living in a college dorm. Living alone in a student flat, on the other hand, is very different from living with your parents. Student apartments typically have their own set of rules and regulations, albeit they are less stringent than college dorms. That means you’ll get a taste of what life will be like once you graduate from college. You will be able to take advantage of additional possibilities and develop as a person. More freedom, however, comes with more responsibility. Some apartments, unlike college dorms, require students to pay their bills, such as power and WiFi. This is a relatively simple first step toward a more self-sufficient living.
Apartments are Usually Cheaper than Dorms
Apartments are less expensive than college dorms, which may come as a surprise. This is due to the fact that dorms compel students to pay room and board costs for the entire semester. The price of utilities, laundry, and other services are covered by these fees. Some institutions require on-campus students to purchase a meal plan, while others include meal plans in the room and board price. Off-campus students at most institutions have the option of paying for a discounted off-campus meal plan.
Ability to Choose Your Roommates
You may not be able to choose your roommates in some college dorms, and replacing college roommates can be a difficult procedure. When living in an apartment, on the other hand, finding or changing roommates is significantly easier. Apartments for students are also more spacious than dorms. This implies you won’t have to choose between many roommates if you live with a group of buddies. The majority of student apartment complexes provide one to three bedroom apartments.
Your Own Room
Most student apartments, unlike college dorms, allow you to have your own room. As a result, you won’t have to worry about sharing a cramped dorm room. Student apartments also provide additional space not available in dorms. Student flats, in addition to kitchens and living rooms, may also have garages and community amenities such as a pool and a gym.
You Become a More Independent Person
Living alone forces you to make decisions that you would not otherwise have to make. Aside from the education, living in an apartment off campus allows you to discover your actual identity. You’ll be able to figure out what you enjoy and dislike and create a lifestyle around it. All of this will make it easier for you to transition into maturity. While living in a dorm is a terrific initial step, it frequently limits your ability to develop independence.
How much does a month in a dorm cost?
When colleges assess the cost of housing, they employ the term “room and board,” which really means “food and shelter.” The cost of room and board covers the cost of a dorm room as well as an average food plan. Utilities are included in the price, and the free university internet should be included as well. Wi-Fi and cable are normally free, though there may be a one-time $50 connection fee.
Average cost of room and board:
Remember, that only applies to the fall and spring semesters. During the holidays, residence halls are closed. As a result, the average room and board only covers around 9 months of housing costs. At public universities, this equates to $987 per month, whereas at private universities, it equates to $1,121 per month.
If that price seems too exorbitant but you still want your child to attend college, have them apply to be a resident assistant (RA). RAs may be eligible for free accommodation and board as well as a monthly stipend, depending on the university. The disadvantage is that you will be responsible for policing a whole floor of college students as well as a few other time-consuming chores. If you’re interested, check with campus housing about credit and GPA requirements.
Is it expensive to live in a dorm?
Freshmen and sometimes sophomores are obliged to live on campus at many schools and universities in order to adjust to academic life. Other colleges do not require students to live on campus.
If you have a choice, whether or not to dorm may just be a matter of personal preference. Here are some things to think about:
1. The price of a college dorm room
2. Financial Aid Requirements
3. The average cost of an off-campus apartment
4. Opportunities for social interaction
5. Residency at home
Cost of a college dorm
According to College Data, the average cost of room and board for the 2019-2020 academic year was $11,500 for public schools and $12,990 for private universities.
Living in a college dorm can add more than $45,000 to your overall cost of attendance over four years. To make up for the difference, you may need to take out more student loans.
Dorm life can become even more expensive when interest charges are added to the additional loan amount. Over the course of your loan’s payback term, interest costs can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your loan debt.
Financial aid conditions
While living in a college dorm can be costly, there are some advantages. You may be limited in your home options due to the amount of money you can borrow with student loans and 529 savings programs.
If you wish to live off campus but don’t have enough student loan aid to meet the cost, you may have to pay rent and other living expenses out of pocket. Trying to make up the difference with a part-time work or private loans might be difficult, so make sure your student loans are sufficient to cover your housing and board.
Average off-campus rental
Dorms may be equivalent to or less expensive than rentals in the same neighborhood, depending on where you attend to school. For the nine-month 2020-2021 school year, the cost of room and board at New York University in Greenwich Village, New York City, is $26,804.
In comparison, a small off-campus studio in the same neighborhood may cost at least $2,000 per month if you’re lucky or just $18,000 if you can convince a landlord to rent to you for nine months. Otherwise, a year would cost $24,000, but what’s the catch? During the summer, you’d have a place to stay in a popular area of New York.
In a standard off-campus apartment, you are usually liable for a 12-month lease rather than a contract that just lasts for the school year. Even if you live in a less costly apartment, paying rent for an extra three months could make off-campus housing more expensive than a college dorm.
Consider that you are responsible for utilities such as electricity, water, internet, and more in an apartment. When you live in a dorm, most institutions include such costs in your tuition.
Compare the cost of off-campus rentals against the cost of living and lease conditions for a dorm room before making a selection. College dorms may be a better option depending on the school you attend and the city you live in.
Another thing to consider while considering whether or not dorming is worthwhile is social life. Dorm living can be a great way to meet new people and increase your social circle.
If you commute to school or live at home, you will still be able to participate, but you will have to put in more effort to be a part of the campus community.
Living at home
If your preferred school is close to your home and staying with your family is an option, think about it carefully. Every year, skipping the dorm or opting for off-campus accommodation can save you thousands of dollars. This can help you save money by lowering the amount of debt you’ll have to take on after graduation.
While staying at home may not provide you with the same independence as living in a dorm while you’re in school, it can pay off once you graduate. You can afford to move into your own home sooner if you have less loans to repay. Sacrificing today can lead to a more secure future in the future.
How do individuals manage to live in dorms on a budget?
Many students discover that their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is significantly larger than expected, leaving them with an unmet requirement. While there are no means to bargain or minimize tuition and fees, there are ways to obtain affordable accommodation. Here are some options to examine if your financial aid award does not cover your room and board charges.
Many students are unaware that they have the right to appeal their financial aid award. When you get a college acceptance letter, it usually comes with a letter stating your financial assistance award. Consider filing an appeal if your financial assistance award does not cover your expenses. You can submit your reasons for financial hardship as well as evidence of that hardship in a financial aid appeal. Your school may be able to provide you with greater financial aid in some instances.
Northeast Catholic College in New Hampshire and College of the Redwoods in California are just two of the many universities that provide room and board scholarships to students. If your university offers an Accommodation Assistance office, they may be able to assist you in locating cheap housing as well as additional scholarships and grants to help you cover the cost of living.
Even if you’ve been awarded the maximum amount of financial aid and it covers your costs of attendance, you may still have unmet need, especially if you’re attending college out of state. A private student loan is another option to consider. The private student loan may be transferred straight to you to utilize for living expenses in some situations. Because private student loans are not regulated by the government, private lenders are not required to offer repayment plans or other forms of help. If you decide to take out a private loan, do your research and proceed with prudence.
Students who live in residence halls are typically expected to pay for their housing in one flat payment for the semester or quarter, which can cost thousands of dollars. Many college-owned flats, on the other hand, allow students to pay on a monthly basis while still enjoying the benefits of living on campus, such as an all-inclusive rental price. If you can acquire a campus-owned apartment, a part-time job may be able to cover your living expenses because you can stretch the payments out across the semester.
There’s still time to save with a 529 college savings plan if you haven’t begun college yet. A 529 plan is a tax-deferred savings account. You put after-tax money into the account, and the money grows tax-free. You can use the money for a range of approved higher education expenses, including room and board, when you need it for college (up to the estimated cost of attendance). For middle-class families that may not qualify for significant government aid yet cannot afford to pay college expenses out of pocket, putting money aside in a 529 plan is a good alternative.
Early application for room and board is the greatest method to ensure you get the best housing. Do your study on living on-campus vs. off-campus when submitting your application to discover the most inexpensive living choice at each university to which you’ve applied. Early commitment to a college or university means more housing possibilities for students.
What is the reason behind the high cost of dorm rooms?
So, here’s a quick primer on why room and board costs are increasing (tuition costs are rising, too, but for slightly different reasons.)
While there are obvious costs such as annual maintenance and heating, the main reason that dorms are becoming more expensive is that they are considerably nicer than they were 20 years ago. Many colleges have spent millions of dollars refurbishing or building new dorms to provide the same suburban comforts that many students have become accustomed to.
It isn’t only that they want potential pupils to feel at ease. Institutions compete not only for the best students, but also for families that can afford to pay full tuition. A tiny, shared room that hasn’t been refurbished in years may be a deal breaker for these families, and they will spend their money elsewhere. The ‘yield rate,’ or the percentage of admitted students who enroll, is critical for a college since it has an impact on everything from its rankings to the interest it pays on its bonds.
However, some students and alumni are unaware of this. “I write in favor of a liberal arts education, and against the bizarro assertions that these schools are “big business,” as one commenter on NPR’s Planet Money put it. These are all non-profit institutions. There is no malicious scheme afoot to defraud people. It costs exactly what it costs.”
Can you live in a dorm with your boyfriend?
Boyfriends, girlfriends, and significant others are usually allowed to visit the dorms. These visitors are frequently allowed to stay for a night or several nights. Most institutions, however, do not allow significant others to live in the dorms, whether or not they are students.
Is it possible to be too elderly to live in a dorm?
This can mean staying up in class, working on partner tasks, and even sharing a residence hall with them.
Fortunately, many institutions have particular accommodations that allow adult students to pick the ideal living environment for them.