Dorming Should Be the Students’ Decision

Vanessa Jaquish, Staff Writer

   Imagine getting a college acceptance letter in the mail. While pricey, it has appealing classes, good student life, and best of all, it is local. Getting there is only a short bike or trolley ride away. Thousands of dollars would be saved by not having to pay the cost of living in a dorm. However, the college, like many, requires all first-year students to live on campus regardless of origin, notably increasing costs. These institutions should not force students who live locally to stay in dorms their first year of school, instead allowing them to choose their lodging preference.

   For the vast majority of students, particularly those from middle and lower classes, every dollar makes a difference. Though the total cost of the college experience will vary depending on a range of factors, it is understandable to want to save as much money as possible for daily necessities like groceries, taxes, and utilities. It is greedy and unfair for colleges to force local, already financially-strained students to spend their first year dorming.

   According to a site that measures financial costs, “It isn’t clear how many colleges and universities currently require most freshmen to live on campus. The Department of Education does not collect this data, though 74 schools report requiring all first-time degree-seeking students — no matter their year — to live on campus, no exceptions” ( No matter what, dorming should be left as a choice for the students. Whether they want to opt in or not should be up to them.

   Like all controversial topics, there are many pros and cons to the issue. However, it seems that most people are against being forced to dorm, including many seniors at UC High. “I personally think it is a bad idea. Sometimes new students might not be able to afford dorm living but may live in the area, making commuting more doable,” said Senior Rowan Allen. Senior Sophia Boehmer agreed, “Not everyone is able to afford it, nor does that kind of environment work for everyone. [Students] shouldn’t be forced into a living situation they may not want.”

   Furthermore, dorming is not for everyone. Many people choose to attend local college for this very reason. According to an article on the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s website, some of the cons of dorming include “shared bathrooms and having to wear shoes when you shower,” and the chance of having dorms that “can get loud at night, and that can distract you from relaxing, studying, or sleeping” ( However,  a website that ranks colleges says that some pros of dorming are “higher academic success rates, a stronger sense of belonging, and increased use of campus resources” (

   At the end of the day, colleges want to make as much money as possible. It should be in students’ hands to decide their housing options. Colleges cost an unbelievable amount of money as it is. Forcibly adding dorm costs on top of this is an unnecessary burden on students.