Many people who enter college become preoccupied with having an “authentic college experience”. They imagine late nights spent poring over text books, engaging classroom discussions, and even wild parties on the weekend. But the truth of the matter is that there is no one true college experience – each college and each student is unique. But there are certainly things about going to college that can enhance or detract from your experience – one of them is on-campus housing.
When you look at the price of a four-year school versus a two-year school – especially a community college – the difference is staggering. But what you may not realize is that much of that price difference isn’t related to tuition or education fees at all – it is for housing. For many colleges, room and board is just as expensive (or more so) than tuition costs and fees. Going to a community college can save you a lot of money, but do you have to forgo the opportunity to live in on-campus housing? Maybe not.
How Many Community Colleges Offer Housing?
According to a recent poll conducted by the American Association of Community Colleges, about 25% of community colleges in the United States offer their students on-campus housing. This number has risen dramatically since 2000 and it continues to rise. Among the latest community colleges to open on-campus residence halls for students are Jefferson Community College in New York, Rose State College in Oklahoma, and Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, to name
Community colleges are now realizing some of the benefits of living on campus that four-year colleges have known for generations, including:
- Better proximity to college resources like the library and recreation center
- Exposure to international lifestyles that comes from living near fellow students from around the globe
- The ability to fully immerse oneself in the college experience by remaining in the environment after classes are finished for the day
- Ease of meeting other students and building relationships with those in a similar season of life
- Apartments or dormitories that are often fully furnished and affordable, providing an economic housing option to cash-strapped students