Is student housing worth it during a pandemic?

The Villages. Photo courtesy

College is an exciting time. However, it’s a costly one as well. From tuition to books, going to college is expensive.

And probably the greatest cost is living in a dormitory and off-campus housing. Room and board charges cost thousands of dollars per semester. Be that as it may,  is it worth it for building bonds, meeting new people, peace of mind, and the traditional college experience during the pandemic while many students don’t have classes on campus?

According to College Data, the average cost of living in a dorm is $10,440 for a public university and $11,890 at private colleges.

The fall 2020 academic school year looks very unique at each university in the nation. Some colleges and universities have reported that they will be almost primarily online this fall due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

College students have the opportunity to make some smart money moves this fall semester.

“Even though I would like to be in Tallahassee this fall, I feel like it was a smart move to stay home and save money. I’m working two jobs and saving for when I go back up there in the spring hopefully. I feel like the only advantage of me going back this fall was the freedom so that sacrifice was hard, but it was worth it,” Brandon Holloway a business administration student at Florida A&M University, said.

With a modified on-campus college experience expected, financial experts say that some students may want to consider staying at home this fall semester to save money this year.

“I think it was a waste of money to stay on campus for the semester because my classes are remote, so I don’t have to be in classrooms at all. I saved more money staying home than staying on campus and I received a nice sized refund from doing so,”  Calvin Carmelien, a criminal justice student, said.

Many colleges and universities will require that everyone, including all students and faculty, wear masks in campus buildings, and practice social distancing. So, they won’t be getting the full college experience.

“For me personally it wasn’t a waste of money staying in Tallahassee because although I am not on campus, I do get to feel somewhat of an experience being away from home. While I understand people not wanting to pay for housing or a place in Tallahassee since we are learning virtually, I think being on your own whether in an apartment or a dorm is as close to the college experience as we are going to get during this pandemic,” Tazjhani Baker, a public relations major, said.

The fall semester is looking different at almost all colleges and universities. Remote instruction is offering many students the opportunity to save thousands of dollars by staying home rather than living in a dorm or an apartment to try to get the full college experience during a pandemic.