U.S. College Travel: Student Housing Options for Your TeensBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
Many parents fear the day they send their child away to college, despite it being one of the most exciting and transformative events in their lives. As a parent, your core responsibility is to ensure that they have a roof over their heads and that they're safe from danger, so sending that first child away can be a truly terrifying experience for all involved.
As we're sure you're aware, there's a lot of stigma regarding the type of college accommodation your child could be placed in, often for the worse, but this couldn't be any further from the truth. There are quite a few options available for your teenagers that will keep them safe and sheltered and provide them with the perfect location to pursue the next stage of their education.
This article will examine the most popular student accommodation options for parents and soon-to-be college students.
1. University residence halls
As the most well-known accommodation type for students, university residence halls typically consist of dormitories, and it's not uncommon for students to share a room with one or two other students. This accommodation type is most popular for first-year students new to the area. At the same time, some more remote campus-style colleges will also consist mainly of dormitories split between faculties or in-school houses.
When living in university residence halls, students will likely have their pick of shared communal spaces and easy access to all of the amenities you would expect. This is the more convenient choice for many students because they will have everything they could possibly need within a few minutes walk, which is excellent for those enrolled in particularly demanding courses. Many residence halls will be located centrally and are often very close to the college.
2. Off-campus apartments
Off-campus apartments are often more popular among older students who have had their freshman fun and are ready to take their studying a little more seriously. The variety of rooms can change significantly depending on your location. For UCLA student housing occupants, for example, off-campus apartments are great for solo students and groups of friends wanting to share a space and reduce their share of the bills. This can be an excellent option for those looking to reduce their outgoing expenses and can also be a lot more flexible than college-administered accommodation. These apartments are also much more private than student dormitories, and you won't need to worry about having a roommate.
This type of living offers a more independent way of living, ideal for those looking to settle into the area but still want to be located fairly close to their college and would rather not have a long commute to class every day.
3. Fraternity and Sorority Houses
If your teen is looking for the classic - if slightly unrealistic - college experience, a fraternity or sorority house may be high on their list. While it may not be a go-to option for freshmen - as they won't have met their brothers or sisters yet - it may be an option in the second or third year. This will be similar to the off-campus apartment option but with a much larger group. These houses can sometimes enjoy partial funding from previous occupants and house alumni.
This is a great way to experience college, like in the movies, and while it may not be as dramatic as you might expect, it still plays a key role in many colleges. They are a wonderful way to meet new friends and participate in more social events while having relationships that can be very beneficial later in life. At colleges like UCI, fraternities, and sororities play an essential role in college life and will often leave a lasting impact on those who attend.
4. Cooperative Housing
Cooperative housing is a housing solution that involves students collectively managing and maintaining property themselves, paying a fair share of the bills, and often reducing the total cost. In cooperative houses, students will split chores between themselves and live in greater harmony, fostering a strong sense of community and collaboration and strengthening relationships. Living somewhere like this will often come with more responsibility, so it may not be suited for freshmen. However, it can still be an excellent option for those looking to settle down and integrate into a more caring community.
It's essential that you choose the right accommodation type in collaboration with your college-bound teen, considering their wishes while making sure that it'll give you the peace of mind that will ease the whole process for you. Accommodation is essential to student life, and at colleges like USC and Temple University, it's an essential cog in the wider student experience. Colleges will take huge steps to ensure that all students have access to excellent accommodation, and there are many great providers that you can choose from online.