Smart Dorming: Navigate Rising Tuition with Shared Housing
Go Back To Previous Page
College life is exciting. It’s filled with new experiences and academic growth. And as each summer ends and students anticipate the start of a new school year, you can almost smell the excitement — and the dread. The age-old question of, “Where will I live?” looms large because, let’s face it, most students aren’t financially stable, and the rising cost of tuition is becoming a significant concern for many.
It’s even worse when these costs are coupled with increasing student fees. Student life is stressful enough, with exams, preparing for your future, and maintaining a social life. The last thing students want to worry about is where they’ll be living or how they’ll be paying for it.
Searching for Solutions against Rising Tuition
In response to this financial burden, one practical solution for cost-conscious students is opting for co-living apartments or shared accommodations. Smart Dorming is a strategy that more and more students are using to cope with the escalating costs of higher education. The concept of Smart Dorming isn’t simply making an informed choice about where to live but also includes other factors such as planning meals and managing transportation expenses.
By following these money-savvy principles, college students can lessen the impact of rising tuition and make the most of their academic pursuits.
The Tuition Hike and Its Impact on Students
The recent announcement of a 3.5% tuition increase at Iowa’s state universities has sparked student concerns about the financial challenges they will face. Many students have already experienced the struggle of paying higher tuition and are now being further burdened by the simultaneous increase in mandatory student fees.
Out-of-state students have it even worse. Carly O’Brien, a UI Undergraduate Student Government Vice President, is an out-of-state student and said, “Last year, I found myself working three small part-time jobs to offset the cost of my education.”
Most students already wish there were 25 hours in a day to manage all the responsibilities of being at college full-time. Now, they must hunt for part-time jobs — sometimes more than one — to make ends meet. Though the payoff at the end is sweet — a college degree truly is the gift that keeps on giving throughout your life — the path there can seem impossible. So, what are students to do? What is the solution?
Embracing Smart Dorming as a Viable Solution for Rising Tuition
The best way to save money is for students to move out of their dorms and look for more cost-effective off-campus housing. By finding roommates to share the housing expenses, students can lessen their financial burden and share the responsibilities of running a house, making it a win-win for everybody.
Although this is a viable option, it will be easy. You may face long waiting lists because of the housing crisis and a lack of accommodation. It is still the best option, and students shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start looking.
Learn to Cook
As living costs skyrocket, expensive meals at restaurants and from takeout joints can significantly impact your daily expenses. Student life is jam-packed with activities and responsibilities, but learning how to fend for yourself in the kitchen can be your secret weapon for saving money. Budgeting on food also becomes more manageable if you share responsibilities with a roommate. Cooking for one is never easy, but making smarter grocery choices becomes a breeze if you share accommodations.
With your kitchen, it’s also possible to batch-cook and meal prep much more quickly. Set a weekly cooking date with your roommates and cook ahead for the week. Cooking together is more fun than cooking alone and gets the job done much faster. Once all your meals are made, store them in the refrigerator or freezer and take them out as needed. There are many places to find inspiration for batch cooking — try Pinterest or TikTok for meals you can prep ahead on a budget.
Take the Bus
Although having a car is a nice luxury, it is just that: a luxury. Consider the actual cost of owning a car on campus and weigh the pros and cons. Do you need a car on campus? Always try to take advantage of student discounts on public transport and take the bus or other public transportation whenever you can. Another benefit of co-living apartments is carpooling, helping you save money and the environment.
Looking for Deals
Textbooks are expensive and getting more so year-on-year. Looking for used or digital options whenever possible is a bright idea. Most universities and colleges also run book exchange programs to help with the cost of learning material. You could also sell your old textbooks to help offset the cost of new ones.
Smart Dorming is a practical approach to rising tuition costs. Your education is essential, and you’re not the only student having to make sacrifices when chasing your dreams. Although it may not be easy, following these principles will help you to make the most of your college experience.