So, your friends are talking about how they “can’t wait to go away to school”. Parties, new people, a bigger city, more freedom and fewer people on your case all the time.
That’s what the crowd says, and maybe it is the right decision for you. But, if you think staying close to home, mom’s cooking, free laundry and your own support system is pretty great, there could be another path.
Here’s how you can make it work.
Find a college that is within 30-50 miles from home.
You can choose to:
Live on campus.
Get your own apartment.
Live at home and drive to classes.
Power Move: Live at home and make some great friends who have an apartment or dorm room and stay over with them a lot.
It’s like winning the college life lottery.
Win - You crash with friends and have plenty of time with your family when YOU want it.
Win-Win - You won’t have to pay thousands of dollars to share a tiny room or be forced to eat bad cafeteria food.
Win-Win-Win - You can work part-time and still be part of the close-knit community you love.
POWERBALL!!! - Your friends come to your house for free home-cooked meals and a washing machine free from community germs. Meanwhile you save anywhere from $6000 to $10,000 on room and board costs!
Look at community colleges – in your state and in neighboring states.
All the perks of #1, with the added benefit of:
A smaller price tag.
Smaller class sizes.
More academic program options.
(Nearly everything from classroom-heavy classes like accounting and business to hands-on learning like agriculture and welding.)
Every state has community colleges, arranged in districts. Locate a few colleges around you, then look at the driving distance between your home and one of these campuses. It may not be in your state, but will likely be closer than you think.
Tip: Although not all community colleges have dorms, all of them have affordable off-campus housing options for students. If you live off campus but in the community college’s district, you get the freedom and savings you want, and the benefit of qualifying for in-state tuition!
Not sure what a community college is?
Community colleges offer the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. Exact same courses as you take as a freshman or sophomore at four-year institution, but more affordable – and the credits transfer to four-year universities. Community Colleges have the added bonus of tons of career and technical programs that can be completed in two years or less so you can immediately enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year school.