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Would it make any sense to live on campus a mile from home??


Replies to: Would it make any sense to live on campus a mile from home??

  • bethievtbethievt Registered User Posts: 6,759 Senior Member
    Two options to look at are Lewis & Clark outside of Portland and Goucher outside of Baltimore. Both are highly internationally focused--Goucher REQUIRES time abroad, I think the only US school that does. These would be good "safety" schools for your daughter, would probably offer merit $$ and would get her to another part of the country. Both have pretty campuses, but Lewis & Clark's is absolutely gorgeous. Mac is a wonderful school too and I agree she could have a great experience there and feel separate from home if she lives on campus.

    Reed, while a great school, is less internationally oriented. Only 25% of students study abroad, we were told.
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,308 Senior Member
    TCMom - My daughter, who is a freshman, was in the same dilemma. The school she concluded was the best choice for her out of all her acceptances is located 12 miles from our home and 1 block from my office. She had other acceptances in the same type of programs from 3 1/2 hours to 6 hours away but the best school for her that matched her needs and fit her the best, that she wanted to go to the most, was the one that was a 5 minute walk from my office and a 45 minute commute by car from our home.

    We felt strongly that attending the school she felt matched her best was of paramount importance. So she goes to that school. At the same time, we felt it important that she have the experience and independence of living in a dorm and as part of a college campus community. There is important growth that comes from that. It also enables a freshman to better immerse his or her self in college life. The residential college experience is a lot different than that of a commuter. At the end of her freshman year, she will be moving out of the dorms and into an apartment (as most residential students at this school do).

    The proximity has its fringe benefits. We are able to see our daughter and have dinner with her whenever we all choose to do so. It's nice to be able to do that but we have the kind of relationship with her where we can get together without her feeling that we are being intrusive. In this kind of situation its important to work out the "rules of engagement" in advance so that neither parent nor student feel that the proximity is stifling or intrusive. We let her seek us out and otherwise treat her like she is 6 hours away. We are all very pleased with the way this has worked out and have no regrets about her either attending school so close by or about her living in the dorms her freshman year.
  • StickerShockStickerShock Registered User Posts: 3,781 Senior Member
    I believe that MichaelNKat's D is a performer. That's another consideration. For kids who perform, or are athletes, it's certainly nice to know the family could still make it to shows & gigs & games. That's more for the family benefit, of course, but certainly quite a nice bonus that comes with the local choice.
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,308 Senior Member
    StickerShock - That certainly is a nice fringe benefit, as is the ease of getting together for holidays and family occasions, coming home for school breaks etc. If our daughter had concluded to attend a school in upstate NY or Boston, we certainly would miss these opportunities! Also, my daughter was able to keep her weekend job as an entertainer/dancer for for a local DJ company that works Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet 16's, various types of corporate parties.

    However, in all fairness, proximity to home, while attractive for many reasons, was not the basis for our daughter's decision nor would we have wanted it to be. Having made that decision, though, and getting back to the OP's original inquiry, we felt it extremely important to our daughter's growth and experience that she not live at home but instead live in the dorms.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,218 Senior Member
    My son attends our state university, which is 40 minutes from home and on my husband's commuting route to his job. It would be very easy and convenient for my son to attend this school as a commuter. However, he has never done this.

    Throughout college my son has lived in the college community (he lived on campus his first two years, and now lives in an off-campus apartment), and neither he nor my husband and I would want it any other way.

    Although there are students from our immediate area (including one of my son's high school friends) who commute from home to the same campus, my son felt that he wanted the experience of living at college, and did not want to be a commuter. We saw no reason to say no to this just because the college he ended up at was nearby.

    If your daughter ends up at Macalester, I think that she will have just as good an experience as she would at a similar college farther from home, but with some extra convenience thrown in. My son, although he has been just as independent as his sister -- who attends a college seven hours from home -- has been able to take advantage of some things that only students who live nearby can do -- such as using the same doctors and dentist year-round and taking courses in the three-week winter session without having to look for a short-term sublet. Moving in and out at the beginning and end of the year has also been a piece of cake. We don't ship anything. We don't have to rent a larger vehicle. We simply make two trips!
  • historymomhistorymom Registered User Posts: 3,467 Senior Member
    Yes...financially,maybe not. But as far as the social and emotional sides are concerned, living away from home and in the dorm for a year is a key part of adolescent development which, if affordable, makes sense.
  • worknprogressworknprogress Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    New posters - $50
    Comforter, sheets, blankets - $200
    Rug, curtains, $75
    Microwave - $100
    refrigerator - $100
    towels, bath caddy, robe, $100

    Living away from home? Priceless
  • blackeyedsusanblackeyedsusan Registered User Posts: 2,521 Senior Member
    TC Mom -- We live about a mile from the school my son decided to attend, and we encouraged him to live on campus. Actually, it didn't take much encouragement, as he probably would have chosen a different school if he knew he would be living at home.

    At first he almost didn't even apply to this school (Rice) because it was too close to home. He ended up getting into wonderful schools across the country (from Cornell to Johns Hopkins to Wash U to USC and others), but in the end when he compared the programs he was interested in, the environment of each school and the cost, Rice was one of his top 2 choices. And when he visited in April for admitted students weekend he realized that once he was on campus he felt a million miles from home. For example, he went out with a group of 5 undergrads to a Vietnamese restaurant at 1 am on a Monday night. (He didn't do that in high school.)

    The residential college system at Rice is so wonderful and supportive and inclusive that I think he would be missing out on a lot of the social aspect of college if he was living at home. He has met people from all over the world and has grown tremendously over his first semester as a freshman. I can't imagine it would be any different if he was going to school farther away. His roommate is an international student, so he's experienced a different culture even though he's only a mile from home. (And it made it possible to bring his roommate home for Thanksgiving this way!)

    There are a lot of great schools out there, but just because one of them is "in your backyard" doesn't diminish its value to your child if it's a good fit. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
  • Just_A_MomJust_A_Mom Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    We live in a university town and our state university is a five-minute drive from our home. Although my D is not attending this school, most of her high school friends are attending, and I can't think of a single one who is living at home.
  • nngmmnngmm Registered User Posts: 5,708 Senior Member
    In a college where most of the students live on campus, living at home, especially during freshman year, can be very "socially taxing".
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,991 Senior Member
    Lots of my Ds HS friends in our university town live in the dorms. 5 minute drive from home. My kids wanted more diversity, so are farther afield. But...it's a great school, as is Mac.

    Just 2 days ago had a family over for dinner. The D is a Mac Senior, French major, who had an internship in Paris as a 'study abroad' semester. About the most culturally and educationally involved semester abroad I've heard of. I was jealous, as my French major D at another LAC doesn't have that opportunity.

    There are many ways to be away from home, summer jobs, abroad semesters, moving to a different part of the country after graduation. Luckily she'll be at a school drawing from the entire country, if not the world, so diversity of experience will be possible with roommates and classmates.
  • goldstarsgoldstars Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Luckily (or not, depending on which way you were leaning) you wouldn't have to make a choice if she ended up at Macalester. Students are required to live on campus for the first two years. There might be a loophole, but I couldn't find one (Macalester Admissions.
  • ticklemepinkticklemepink Registered User Posts: 2,764 Senior Member
    Post #8 and #18 are absolutely right in what I know.

    In reference to kid not coming home- my uncle went to school an hour away from his home with a car. Not once in his five years at that University (he did BA/MA) did he come home other than school breaks. He loved his experience so much. Parents were shocked- they thought he'd use his car to come home on weekends on occasion! But everyone's pleased.

    Same goes for me- I go to school 2 hours away from home. Location was a factor when I decided to transfer out of school that was physically isolated and 5 hours away by car (and I didn't have a car and not too many people drive this way). Unless there's something going on at home (big family gatherings or holidays), I don't go home. I'm perfectly happy to stay at Colgate and there is soooo much work to do! But my family and I manage to see each other at least once a month- either I go home with a ride or they come down for a meal and a sports game. Also, sometimes I get so fed up with the craziness on campus that I really appreciate being around my family whether they come for dinner or I go home for a night just to take a breather and see something from outside the bubble.

    Also, in case you haven't quite been reading between the lines, the relationship between the parents and children often change quite a bit once the children go off to college. There is more respect in a way that the parents aren't the children's enemies anymore and the parents don't see their children as babies ready to fall at any time and want to catch them before they get hurt. You're all adults here. So your D shouldn't factor location too much unless she wants a far more diverse campus (which cities can do very well).

    Besides, your D will really appreciate having home-cooking whenever she wants to! And free laundry.
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 8,195 Senior Member
    Also live in a University town. The school is popular with local students. Can't think of a one who is living at home.
    From what I have seen some come home often, some not at all. I have one friend whose son doesn't come home but likes his Dad to come take him out to dinner one night a week to get away from the cafeteria food.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    Tc= one question to ask Why would you want her to live at home....what would be YOUR motivation for that, money aside?
This discussion has been closed.