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Will school let me live at home in my first year?

pleasehelpme1212pleasehelpme1212 2 replies2 threads New Member
I live in the Boston area, so I am driving distance away from many incredible schools. I am a junior in high school starting the college search, and I know this factor sounds strange to most people but I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to continue living at home with my family. Obviously, I am around AMAZING schools (BU, Harvard, BC, Wellesley, Tufts, Northwestern, etc.) and I am very interested in applying. However, when I look on the websites, most schools say they require first-years and sometimes even second-years to live on campus. Would schools let me live at home if my parent's residency is within a close radius? Doesn't that seem like a fair accommodation? Please do not give me the college-is-a-time-to-go-off-and-grow lecture; this condition is currently very important to me and I want to fully understand how attainable it is at these amazing schools.
12 replies
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Replies to: Will school let me live at home in my first year?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9813 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Generally speaking, schools that have residential requirements are not going to waive it just because you are in the area. That said, there may be more flexibility now because of C-19. I would ask the question but be prepared for the answer to be a firm 'no'. There are plenty of schools without residential requirements.
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  • MamaFx3MamaFx3 58 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I would also say that it can't hurt to ask. If there is a compelling reason for the exception that can be shared with the school: elderly parents need help, for example, maybe they will consider your request. If it's simply preference, I think it will be hard for them to justify an exception.
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  • ASKMotherASKMother 240 replies1 threads Junior Member
    This is a great question to ask each school when you are touring - whether that is virtual touring or in person. If you are interested in a particular school, I would simply ask them... is living on campus 1st year mandatory. No one on a forum will be able to tell you definitively unless they actually work for the college (which most on here do not).
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  • compmomcompmom 11547 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited April 24
    BU allows off campus housing, not sure about freshman year.

    A total of 2% of Harvard students live off campus, as I remember. I am pretty sure it's not an option for first years.

    A lot goes on campus during that first year (and subsequent years). If your parents live in Harvard Square I guess you could have some of those experiences, but many friendships happen in the dorm and later the houses.

    If you have responsibilities at home, let them know. If you have disabilities (of any kind), be aware that they can be accommodated.

    You can also look into Harvard Extension. BU Metropolitan College, UMass Boston, Lesley's adult learner program, probably many others in the area that accommodate non-traditional students. Northeastern?

    Wellesley has a program but I think it's for students who are not the traditional age, not sure though.

    Any state or community college of course.
    edited April 24
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15728 replies1052 threads Senior Member
    edited April 24
    I doubt if Harvard will let you commute. If that is the type of college experience you want they will tell you to look elsewhere.

    Northeastern (not Northwestern) allows freshman whose family is within 20 miles of the campus to live at home. I hink BU and Tufts are the same.
    Please do not give me the college-is-a-time-to-go-off-and-grow lecture; this condition is currently very important to me and I want to fully understand how attainable it is at these amazing schools.
    But really if you just want to be a commuting student you should go to UMass Boston.
    edited April 24
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  • compmomcompmom 11547 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Not necessarily on limiting yourself to UMassBoston (which now has dorm by the way). I would check with all the schools you are interested in.

    The idea that commuting students should only go to UMass is wrong, and I say that with all respect for that school.

    Be aware that if you get financial aid it may cover apartment expenses at some schools. If saving money is a goal, and you qualify for financial aid, the aid covers room and board so it is cheaper to be on campus- if that is an issue.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15728 replies1052 threads Senior Member
    @compmom You are corrrect but Northeastern, BU, BC and Tufts are geared to the residential student. Even once commuter Northeastern has 97% of freshmen living on campus. A commuter student at any of those colleges would feel like the odd person out. Wheras UMass Boston is still geared to serving commuters.
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  • compmomcompmom 11547 replies81 threads Senior Member
    UMass Boston is moving away from that, and is an entirely different environment. Don't get me wrong, I have taken classes there and love it.

    Whether 2% or 3%, the OP does indeed have the ability to live off campus. The OP stated that our advice on missing out on the growing experiences on campus were not what they were interested in.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6417 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I have seen some schools that require freshmen to live on campus, but make exceptions for students who can live at home. Sometimes you can find this on a school's web site if you look around, or you could ask admissions.

    I do not recall the answer for any of the schools that OP is asking about.
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  • mathmommathmom 33084 replies160 threads Senior Member
    edited April 29
    I don't recommend living off campus. Some of my best Harvard learning experiences happened at odd hours. It's been many years since I graduated, but the only freshman I knew of who didn't live in a dorm was a forty year old married woman who'd been a nurse in her previous life.
    edited April 29
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  • happy1happy1 23823 replies2384 threads Super Moderator
    edited April 29
    Contact the schools directly and ask. That is the only way to get the answer with 100% certainty. As noted above there may be some flexibility especially with the covid-19 outbreak.
    edited April 29
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  • jazzingjazzing 82 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited May 8
    If you have a compelling reasons, schools might grant an exception if you have extenuating circumstances. It would be on a case-by-case basis, so you'd need to speak to each school about your specific situation. Someone I know lost both of her parents just before starting college at Harvard, and she needed to live at home to take care of her younger siblings. Harvard allowed her to do that, and she made it work for herself and her siblings.
    edited May 8
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