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Dorm or commute

johnwb5johnwb5 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited April 2018 in College Life
Hi. So i committed to west chester U and I was accepted as a commuter student. It’s about a 30-35 minute drive, not a big deal for me. I live with just my mother and our dog(haha). Commutting will cost me around $5k/year and living in a dorm will cost around 13k/year. Financials isn’t a huge issue for me but I would obviously love to not have any loans. I was always thinking about commuting until the past month or so. My best friend since 1st grade wants to dorm together, and I don’t know what to do. I want to be somewhat involved on campus (intramural sports, maybe sga) but I don’t want to leave my mother all by herself, not to mention what we are going to do with our dog. while no one is home until 4-5ish. thoughts?
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Replies to: Dorm or commute

  • thomas4881thomas4881 Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    If you don't want to leave your mother all alone then don't.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,636 Senior Member
    https://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg05_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=207 indicates that West Chester is a mostly residential school (92% of frosh in dorms), so there probably is some advantage in living there during frosh year. However, if finances or family circumstances make that difficult for you, then commuting from home is still a valid option.

    What does your mother think about living at home versus living at the school for frosh year?
  • WeLoveLymanWeLoveLyman Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Living on campus definitely has its advantages, but so does commuting. As a commuter, you don't have to deal with all of the issues students living in dorms have to deal with. That said, dorming with friends isn't always easy, so I wouldn't make that decision lightly. I am a commuter who with the same 30-35 minute commute on a normal day, and I'm involved heavily on campus.
  • jerseygirl188jerseygirl188 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Dorm freshman year and come home on the weekends.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,385 Forum Champion
    Ideally I would say to dorm freshman year. It is much easier to make friends and get involved with campus life.
  • InfiniteWavesInfiniteWaves Registered User Posts: 416 Member
    edited April 2018
    My niece grew up 30 minutes from West Chester and has lived at school the entire time. She also sees my brother- and sister-in-law all the time. If you can afford it, get the best of both worlds!
  • AthenaCAAthenaCA Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Personally I believe that being in a dorm is a lot better socially for the whole college experience rather than commuting. You'll be able to meet a lot more people on a closer level. It'll also help you develop better social skills when dealing with other people.
  • RandyErikaRandyErika Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    This particular college does have a significant off campus presence (I live 10 minutes away), and commuting isn’t unheard of. However, I agree that participating in the dorm experience, at least as a freshman, would be ideal to facilitate the transition to college life.
  • noname87noname87 Registered User Posts: 1,198 Senior Member
    Many find living with their best friend to be a mistake so proceed with caution.

    Since you are in PA you need to consider weather. It is likely that your school will not close for bad weather. Will that be an issue?

    I also favor living on campus as a Freshmen but it is a luxury. It generally makes life easier and frees up time. The downside can be dorm drama and low quality - high cost food (varies greatly by college).

    As for the dog, most dogs can adapt to long times alone. When we worked, our dog was alone for 11 hours a day without issues. You mom will survive (assumiong no health issues). Both will miss you greatly.

    I would not go in with the idea of coming home every weekend. That would negate most of the benifits of living on campus. It will be more difficult to form and maintain friendship if you disappear evrey weekend.
  • johnwb5johnwb5 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    edited April 2018
    thanks for the feedback. any more is appreciated
  • johnwb5johnwb5 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @WeLoveLyman have you ever had any trouble getting involved? What activities do you do (If you don't mind me asking)
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,844 Senior Member
    You can only borrow $5500/year. Will your mom pay the other $7500? If finances aren't an issue, you could dorm for one year then commute the other 3.
  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 3,231 Senior Member
    You could dorm for one year and apply for a position as an RA. If you are hired, you will get a free room the next year. My D's school offered a break on meal plans as well while my son's offered a smaller break on meal plans but a $250 stipend per semester. If you aren't hired, you can move back home for the second year, but you will now have friends in whose rooms you could possibly spend a night if a bad storm is coming, etc.
  • WeLoveLymanWeLoveLyman Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Not at all! My university has an activities expo at the beginning of each semester, and everyone is encouraged to sign up for anything they may be remotely interested in; also, it is not uncommon for students to show up to meetings for the first time halfway through the semester. I'm on a dance team; I write for the school newspaper; and I am also involved in two political organizations; one is bipartisan, and in the other I was recently elected to the executive board. I am also a student ambassador and a I will be an incoming student mentor over the summer.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,754 Senior Member
    Is the dorm experience worth $8000 to you? That's the question.
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