While most community colleges were traditionally designed to provide local students convenient access to higher education, many community colleges are now designing dormitories and on-campus housing venues to increase the academic, social
, and networking benefits for students.
Benefits of Living Near Campus
As students are seeking increasingly convenient accommodations, many new community college dormitories are drawing in a wider variety of students. As U Magazine explains, “More and more community colleges are building dormitories on campus. Some are doing it as a recruiting tool, to lure a better grade of students, while others are adding beds simply to serve their community and students better.” Ultimately, dormitories are intended to be a convenient and fully inclusive option for college students.
As community colleges
are increasing their funding for dorms and campus housing, many community college students assert that living near campus, specifically in community college dorms, helps students to gain access to unique advantages. As one community college student reveals to U Magazine, “on-campus housing helps students achieve better marks on their report cards.” Added to this, the student explains, "I would say it's had a factor in some grades. I mean, you're right here and have all the things that you need, and so long as you're willing, there are people to help you […] and there's support groups for them.”
Additionally, many students assert that living on campus, specifically in the dorms, allows students to save money
on high gas prices, as the commute to class is far diminished.
Community College Dormitories
Central Wyoming Community College
, located in Riverton, Wyoming, is one of the many schools that have recently developed much needed dormitory options for students. As Central Wyoming is the only college within its surrounding 100 mile radius, this school was facing a unique set of struggles. As Central Wyoming explains, “some students drive 90 minutes each way to attend class,” and adding to this issue, Central Wyoming’s enrollment went up over 15 percent in the past decade.
Now, with over 1,500 students enrolled, Central Wyoming has incorporated dorms to serve more than 135 students, stating: “School leaders say the dorm is just one new way to better serve students.”
Fon Du Lac Tribal and Community College
Located in Cloquet, Minnesota, Fon Du Lac Tribal Community College is considered to be a relatively smaller school; however, in an attempt to raise the enrollment rates among Native American students, in addition to providing all residents with the chance to have a more convenient access to the school, Fon Du Lac has designed dorms to meet the diverse needs of its student population. The Fon Du Lac leaders focused on the main priority of giving an “opportunity to kids to get the education they wouldn't have if the dorms weren't here.”
Aiming to provide students with advanced accommodations, Fon Du Lac’s dormitories include amenities such as a state of the art heating system and security system. In fact, the dorms have gained such rave reviews that Fon Du Lac has “had dorm directors come from other schools to look at this facility.” Overall, Fon Du Lac’s accommodation developments are intended to be a 10 year project, as the housing directors are seeking to provide students with the most convenient and supportive dormitory options as possible.
Collin County Community College
, located in Plano, Texas, is one of the many community colleges gaining national recognition for its state-of-the-art facilities. Collin County’s brand new dorms include amenities such as “a pool, satellite TV - even personal computer networking lines to hook up with campus computers.” Currently, Collin County Community College
has a 296-bed dorm unit available for students.
How to Find a Suitable Housing Option for Community College Students
Community College Housing Office
When seeking college housing, community college students can take advantage of local housing sources and organizations. As College Board explains, “go to your college's off-campus housing office where you can get housing, landlord, management company, and roommate listings.” A housing office can provide information about the community college dorms in addition to nearby off-campus accommodations.
When visiting a housing office, students should be aware that, if seeking information outside of the school’s dormitories, most housing offices do not always inspect the properties provided; instead, most housing offices are designed to provide students with a variety of listings and options.
Furthermore, ask your community college’s housing office about strategies and tips for the local area. When should you conduct your search? What should you do if you encounter discrimination? Which areas are safe or unsafe? Working with your housing office, who has solid insight into the local area, will help you find the best housing option for your college endeavors.