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Should I dorm or commute?

spacedude123spacedude123 12 replies8 threads Junior Member
Hi, I'm currently a college student at Three Rivers Community College and I plan on transferring to Eastern Connecticut State University. I trying to figure out whether or not I should live on campus or commute. I live in Norwich and according to the GPS, it will take me 31 minutes just to get there. I've always wanted to live on campus and have the whole college experience. The cost of housing is the reason why I reconsidering this, but at the same time I'm not willing to drive back and forth. I've never had a scholarship and wonder if it covers housing. I don't know what to do, so any advice would help.
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Replies to: Should I dorm or commute?

  • collegehuhcollegehuh 67 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited January 20
    Live near campus in an apartment with a roommate or roommates so you could save money and don't have to drive back and forth from home.
    edited January 20
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  • spacedude123spacedude123 12 replies8 threads Junior Member
    No off campus apartment 😕
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited January 20
    I do not recommend commuting, even a drive nominally 31-minute each way can be draining, for example, for an 8 am class, you might need to leave the house as early as 6:45 am to account for traffic and walking from lot to class room. Dorm is ideal. I hope that you can swing it financially to capture the complete college experience.
    edited January 20
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9345 replies352 threads Senior Member
    Were you awarded a grant by the college? If so, they can tell you what it covers. If you don't get a scholarship can your family afford to pay for you to live on campus?
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  • spacedude123spacedude123 12 replies8 threads Junior Member
    My family can’t afford it. That’s why I have financial aid
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9345 replies352 threads Senior Member
    The total cost of Eastern Connecticut State (tuition + room + meal plan) is $26k per year. You can take the $7500/year federal student loan, so you need roughly $20k/year in grants to cover the gap.

    What grants have you been awarded and how much is each one?

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  • spacedude123spacedude123 12 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I Don’t know anything about the grant
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  • EconPopEconPop 494 replies8 threads Member
    edited January 21
    @spacedude123 , scholarships and grants come in many different forms and amounts.

    Some are for a specific amount, like $1000, or $3000, or $10000. ECSU's web site lists tuition+Room+Board = $25,924. Subtract the amount of the scholarships and/or grants you have been awarded, and you (or your family) are responsible for paying the remainder.

    Some scholarships and grants are for the full cost of tuition. If you're lucky enough to get one of these, the cost of attending the college will be covered, but not the cost of living on campus and a meal plan. If you're a Pell Grant student, you might be able to cover the cost of R&B with your Pell Grant and your guaranteed student loan. No guarantee, but maybe.

    At the top of the pile are scholarships that pay the full cost of tuition and room&board.

    It's up to you to apply for these scholarships and grants. I assume you have already applied for FAFSA. That is the first step in addition to actually applying to the university.

    ECSU has four grants (aside from Pell and SEOG) listed here: https://www.easternct.edu/financial-aid/types-of-aid/grants.html .

    ECSU has dozens of scholarships in various amounts listed here: https://www.easternct.edu/scholarships/index.html , and State of CT scholarships listed at another link on that page.

    You should go through the qualifications of each of those scholarships and grants, then apply to every one for which you qualify. There is no guarantee you'll be awarded any of those scholarships or grants, but you have to apply to have a chance.

    If you have already applied and been accepted to ECSU, you should call or visit the Financial Aid office and speak with someone. They should be able to help you get started with this stuff.

    Good luck!
    edited January 21
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2638 replies6 threads Senior Member
    It's still cheaper to live at home and commute. The college experience is different if you're the one paying for it. You'll be way too busy working and studying all hours of the night to actually enjoy it. The kids that have the "true college experience" are the ones with mom and dad paying for everything.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9345 replies352 threads Senior Member
    edited January 22
    How are you paying for community college? Do you get a Pell Grant? Does your state offer grants for lower income families?

    Unfortunately, transfer students don't generally get a lot of aid. You can take the $7500/year federal student loan and you may be able to earn $3k if you work all summer, but that leaves $16k/year to cover. The full Pell Grant is only $6k/year, so even if you qualify for the full amount there's still a gap of $10k/year. If CT has state grants for low income students that might help. And you can apply for any grants the school offers, but the gap is pretty large.

    I would make plans for commuting just in case funding doesn't work out. Try to avoid really early and really late classes. Schedule multiple classes over a few days instead of 1 or 2 every day. Find out what clubs and activities the campus offers and make a list of some you'd like to try. If funding for dorming works out, that's great. But if not, you'll have a backup plan.
    edited January 22
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  • spacedude123spacedude123 12 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I get financial aid for Community college and my pell grant is $992 and $1166 from CC
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4348 replies56 threads Senior Member
    Really, this is only a choice to these who can afford it. Is it really a question?
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9345 replies352 threads Senior Member
    It looks like you get $2k/year between the federal (Pell) and state grants. You can take the $7500/year federal student loan, and if you work summers you can probably raise another $3k. That's ~$12k. Can your parents pay $14k/year? Does Eastern CT offer large grants to transfer students? (You could call their financial aid office to ask). If the answer to both of those questions is no then you'll have to commute.
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