When your child starts college and you have an empty nest, you may have a to-do list, including traveling abroad and home repair.
But before you book a flight, borrow money to convert your child's room into a home theater or consider other activities for empty nests, keep in mind that an increasing number of students are choosing to live at home and go to college.
Nearly one in five students chooses to save money by being a mobile college student rather than a campus resident. If your child is weighing whether or not he's going to college, consider the following.
Moving to College Reduces Room and Board Expenses
College Room The board averaged $10,389 per year in the 2015-2016 school year. These expenses add up to the thousands of dollars you might already be paying for your tuition fees. Eliminating these expenses can make college more affordable. If your child decides to drive, you can consider wear and tear on the car as well as fuel costs, which may influence the decision.
Campus Life Considerations
Your child may want to go to school to enjoy some late-night pizza, evening activities, and casual interactions with other students That makes college fun. But if saving room and board is the main factor in whether your child can attend the college of his choice, both of you may need to carefully prioritize and schedule. If your child is enrolled in a school with a limited life on campus, moving might actually be the obvious choice.
Is it worth driving?
Look closely at where the school is and what typical traffic is on the route your child might take to get to classes each day. Driving for 1.5 hours during the morning and evening rush hours can limit study time and extracurricular activities. To make long commutes easier, your child can consider scheduling their classes on the same days each week — like Mondays and Wednesdays — to limit driving during the week.
Another consideration is the school's available position in the school. Can your child buy a pass for the good school cuts for a semester, or will he need to pay to park the car in an off-campus garage? Is the lot well lit and patrolled by security guards for extra safety? The answers to these questions can affect the cost and your child's decision to transfer to college.
Living on Campus May Mean More Independence
While living at home, parents are more likely to continue to do what they do best: parenting and motherhood. She will ask about homework, remind your son or daughter of upcoming responsibilities and offer help with difficult decisions. You may mean well, but that could be seen as a threat to nascent independence. This may cause friction in your parent-child relationship.
On campus, your child makes decisions. If they go to an event and put off work on the class paper, your child will have to figure out how to get it done or handle the class. These life lessons can be a good introductory guide to adulthood, including the world of work when they have to make decisions for themselves regularly. The rules you both are happy with. Make a plan for scenarios such as how your child will tell you that he is going to stay on campus at night or what you will do to give him some quiet time to study at home. Having these expectations allows the student to explore their independence while still respecting your relationship and the home you share.
Make New Friends
Students will make friends whether or not they live on campus, but when the student is surrounded by people their own age most of the time, Links can grow deeper. These are relationships that are built on late-night study sessions and a shared passion for sports, music and food. It's those relationships that can also last a lifetime. Even if your child lives off campus, he or she will have plenty of other opportunities to build new friendships through classes, volunteering, working part-time, or starting an off-campus study group for other students on the move. On the other hand, moving to college while staying at home can allow your child to keep in touch with existing friends who might otherwise have lost touch.
The decision to go to college is an important step for you and your child. If they make the decision to drive to campus, help them stay protected with the right car insurance for their needs.