The Top 5 Benefits of Living on Campus

portrait of Stefanie Grodman
by Stefanie Grodman

Published on August 5, 2021 · Updated on November 19, 2021

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The Top 5 Benefits of Living on Campus

Many colleges give their students the option to live on campus. These on-campus residences allow students to easily access classrooms, academic resources, faculty offices, and other facilities.

A campus environment can nurture students' evolving worldviews and their extracurricular interests. Living on campus can give students more opportunities to socialize with individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests. They also may have greater access to a variety of campus activities and organizations, adding to their sense of community.

Here, we look at the top five benefits of living on campus in college.

You Can Feel More Connected to Other Students

Students who live on campus often enjoy a greater sense of community than commuters. Living close to school facilities can make it easier for students to connect with others through campus activities and events.

Diverse campus groups — intramural athletics, career or major associations, Greek life, and community service organizations — allow students to build smaller groups or networks within the larger school community.

Students living on campus often can choose from a variety of housing options. While some students live in traditional dorms, others may choose organization-specific or suite-style residences. Although the availability of certain housing styles varies by school, most students eventually share their living space with one or more college roommates.

Living with other college students can pose challenges. Some individuals, especially those living away from home for the first time, may deal with homesickness at college. Other students may have trouble coping with the lack of privacy or having to share amenities.

Despite potential obstacles, living on campus can be an enriching opportunity for students. They can form social bonds and enjoy their newfound independence.

Resident Advisors Are There to Support You

Most dorms have resident advisors (RAs) available to offer support and help students transition to living on campus. These individuals can help oversee the safety and well-being of residents on designated floors or within small groups. RAs often have designated "on-call" shifts to handle emergencies.

Although living in close quarters with strangers may seem intimidating, residence halls can be great social centers. RAs can help with this by creating a welcoming space for students. They might even host community-building events to encourage students to mingle with others in the same building.

On-campus living can present endless opportunities for students to make new friends in college. Students often form close bonds with other individuals in or near their living spaces.

This close proximity allows students to easily meet their neighbors. Many choose to leave their dorm room doors open, allowing passing residents to introduce themselves and build a rapport. Residence halls also tend to have shared spaces and lounges where students can congregate.

Colleges Help Keep You Safe on Campus

The availability of security personnel can be a benefit to living on campus. College students, especially those adjusting to being away from home, may worry about their safety on campus. To maintain a safe campus, colleges usually employ security personnel to help prevent misconduct and respond to emergencies.

Security personnel are usually positioned around residence halls, academic buildings, and other campus facilities. Often, they will look out for illegal substance use and other high-risk activities to help students stay safe at college parties, sporting events, or social gatherings.

Some schools even offer shuttle services for students who feel uncomfortable walking across campus, particularly at night.

In emergency situations, students can usually contact security through traditional phone calls or texts. Many schools have installed additional infrastructures, such as blue light systems. These systems allow students in crisis to alert security from a variety of locations without dialing a phone number.

You Can Minimize the Stress of Commuting to Class

Balancing academic obligations and transportation can be difficult and stressful for many students. Living near classrooms and other campus facilities eliminates the stress of commuting.

However, not all campus housing is located within walking distance of academic buildings. To address this issue, some colleges may offer a bus system or shuttle if the campus is large.

Commuters may face issues just getting to campus. For example, many off-campus residents must navigate the logistics and reliability of public transportation. Students with cars also must follow a school's protocols. Some institutions charge parking fees and other expenses. Others may not allow students to have cars on campus at all.

Meal Plans Save You Time

Not all on-campus housing facilities are equipped with kitchens. Many students living in residence halls may rely on dining halls and other available food vendors. Campus residents typically purchase meal plans, which usually provide a set number of visits to dining halls or credits to spend on food items.

Campus dining can be a time-saving resource that spares students from buying groceries or cooking meals regularly. Many college students say campus dining halls are among their favorite places to socialize.

Students with dietary restrictions may worry about food options in their college's dining facilities. Although each school's dining options vary, colleges have grown increasingly conscious of dietary inclusivity. Many offer designated vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher foods to address students' dietary needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living on Campus

Do students living on campus do better academically?

With greater access to classes, faculty, and study groups, students living on campus may earn better grades than those who commute to class. Some surveys and studies suggest a correlation between on-campus residence and higher GPAs. For example, according to a 2012 student study conducted at Brigham Young University, commuters were almost twice as likely to earn a GPA below 1.0.

Is living on campus cheaper than living off campus?

The affordability of on-campus living largely depends on the school. Students should compare the yearly cost of room and board with that of a year's worth of rent to estimate any potential savings. The cost of off-campus living depends greatly on the college's location and additional fees, like security deposits and moving and commuting costs.

When should students live on campus?

If finances and logistics allow, students should consider living on campus at some point during their time in college. The first year can be a fantastic time to live on campus. First-year students often are very open to making social connections, trying new extracurricular activities, and attending school functions.

Can you live off campus in college?

Some students choose to rent living spaces near campus to experience the additional independence that more traditional housing offers; however, off-campus residents may lack certain conveniences and opportunities that on-campus learners enjoy. Some schools own nearby houses or apartments so that residents can experience the feel of off-campus living while still living under the school's jurisdiction.

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