With the cost of higher education in the U.S. rising tremendously each year – over 500% since 1985 – it is no wonder students and parents get into so much student loan debt. I mentioned that there are proposals being written to try and change that, but until those proposals are put in place, we have to deal with this price gouging if we want to get a college degree.
There are a few things we can do to avoid student loans, like 529 plans and working through college, but the fact remains that we still have to pay for tuition – unless we get a scholarship.
A college education is becoming more and more of a necessity. Study after study has shown that people with a bachelor’s degree earn on average 66% more than people with only a high school diploma.
That being said, there are definitely ways to lower the cost of a college education. You could go to a in-state public school for example. But even if you go to an out-of-state school, you could potentially save a lot of money by living off campus.
The folks over Movoto Real Estate, put together an infographic showing how living on campus costs substantially more than living on nearby apartments off campus. They looked at over 1500 schools and compared the cost of living on campus to the cost of local off campus housing. They found that 99% of on-campus housing is more expensive. And this is not including meals, which may or may not be included in the prices of dorming.
As you will see in the infographic below, living off campus makes a lot more financial sense than living on campus. But don’t get me wrong, there are benefits of living on campus that should also be taken into consideration – at least for freshman year.
Chances are, going to college will be the first time your child is going to be on his/her own. And if they are going to a school far away from you, it might be a better idea to live on campus the first year. Most kids don’t even know how to do laundry or pay for utilities. They also won’t know the area too well and might have a hard time finding where to buy food and how to cook it.
I’m not saying they must stay on campus, all I’m saying is that it might be easier the first year. After that, have them get an apartment nearby and save hundreds of dollars a month.
Living off campus will teach them a lot of valuable lessons, such as learning how to pay rent and utilities, and maybe, just maybe it will teach them how to cook something.
Anyways, take a look at the infographic below and tell me what you think.