How Far Is Too Far To Commute To College

How Far Is Too Far To Commute To College

An educational institution, or a component of one, is called a college. A college can be a secondary school, a branch of a federal university or collegiate institution, a further education institution, an institution providing vocational training, or a tertiary educational institution that grants degrees.

You should think about staying at home instead of commuting to school if you have the option. However, you should carefully consider whether or not the cost and effort of commuting to college is worth it before making a snap decision. For instance, did you realize that living with family members will probably result in you receiving less financial aid? Continue reading to learn more benefits and drawbacks and whether it makes sense to commute to college.

How Far Is Too Far To Commute To College

You should strive to keep your commute to less than 10 miles, or 30 minutes, each way, to increase your chances of succeeding in college.

If you specifically concentrate on community colleges, this percentage increases to 94.5%. According to research conducted by Evergreen State College, 80% of its students commute less than ten miles each way.

Understanding Commuting

When we hear the word “commuting,” the first things that come to me are: independent, exhausting, public transportation, and home, sweet home.

The term “commute” refers to local travel within a city or municipality. Traveling is the act of moving from one town or city to another.

Commuter Student

A student who does not reside in accommodations owned by the institution is considered a commuter. They need to discover a way to get from their off-campus residence to the campus of their classes. Walking and bicycling are options for some people. Others might have to drive their own car or take public transportation to get to campus.

Pros And Cons Of Commuting To College

1. Complimentary Accommodation

The financial savings is by far the biggest benefit of commuting to college. The average annual cost of on-campus dorms in the United States is $10,440, which is expensive if you also have to pay exorbitant tuition. You will most certainly spend significantly less (if anything at all) if you are lodging with family.

If you choose to commute, you can probably locate homes nearby for a lot less money, depending on where you live.

2. Coziness and Relatives

Commuters get to stay where they already feel at ease if they decide to remain at home or in your neighborhood. You already know how to succeed there and perform well in school. There are a lot less unknowns, and you probably won’t have the nerves before college or have a hard time adjusting as a freshman.

You will be near your friends and family if you live at home and commute to college. This implies that you’ll be more available to care for ailing family members and maintain better communication with them. It is an excellent choice for those who come from close-knit households.

3. Free Laundry and Food

Living at home allows you to keep all of the freebies you were accustomed to receiving in high school; you are not required to pay for bills, food, or laundry.

4. Privacy

You will at least have your own area of privacy even though you will be living with your family, which may imply less privacy for them. Roommates must share bedrooms or living quarters with other college students. However, when you wish to study at home, you have your own place and a peaceful time.

5. Opportunities in Social Life

Off-campus students have the same access to on-campus and after-class activities as on-campus students. Attending these events may be simpler for residents living on campus, but commuters can nonetheless lead active social lives.

You become aware of social opportunities beyond your campus as you commute to school. Through volunteering, attending unique off-campus events that pique your interest, and working off-campus, you can make new friends.

Benefits Of Commuting To College

You have a lot more influence over your college experience if you commute. Some enjoyable benefits of being a student who commutes are:

1. Decide How Much Time to Invest in Friendships

Since you don’t live on campus, nobody may unexpectedly interfere with your study sessions, nap times, or other daily activities. You have the freedom to select the precise moments to interact and engage in social activities.

2. Being a Commuter Makes You Productive

You have a window of opportunity to make the most of your commute, free from outside distractions. You can use the time you spend driving to listen to lectures or audio textbooks. If you ride public transit, you can read or watch lectures to be productive. If you have the room, you can even finish a few assignments!

3. Harmony between work and life

There is such a thing as a commuter-friendly balance between work and education. You have the freedom to determine that you are “off school” when you get home, just as others are “off work” when they get home. Living on campus makes it virtually impossible to avoid school reminders everywhere you look.

4. Watch Up on Shows (With No Guilt)

You can utilize your commute to catch up on your favorite podcasts, sports radio broadcasts, or television series if you have trouble focusing or if the ride is a little choppy. You should even be pleased with yourself because it means you won’t be watching your shows later and will instead be working on something more constructive.

How Commuter Students Can Be Effective

Being productive as a student who commutes is not difficult. All you have to do is approach it correctly and use your time management skills to your advantage! Consider your journey as an opportunity to do tasks rather than a break from your hectic day. During your commute, you can read, study, watch TV, meditate, catch up with friends, listen to podcasts, set goals for the day, and more.

Advice for Commuter Students Looking to Make Friends

Participate in Social Groups and Intramurals

If you’re a student who commutes, there are tons of ways to meet new people. While it may take a little more work for commuting students than for on-campus students, it is still very much doable.

Consider signing up for a team in an intramural sport or taking fitness courses in the school gym. In college, there are lots of student activities you can participate in to explore your interests and meet new people. A database of all of the clubs and student organizations at your school ought to exist. Choose a few, dive in, and see what sticks!

Arrange Your Weekends

Don’t only visit your friends who live close to college. Bring them over to your house! Look into enjoyable things you and your college pals may do together in your neighborhood or nearby.

Organizing Your Life as a Commuter

1. Status of Commuters

Before making any decisions, find out if you are eligible and if you may apply.

2. Parking Pass

In the end, a parking pass will be beneficial, even though it may be tempting to simply park wherever you can in order to save money. You’ll save any parking fees as well as wasted time and irritation!

3. Locate Parking Spots That Are Convenient for Commuters Near Your Classes

Take some extra time to drive around and look for parking spaces close to your classes if you truly want to save money on a parking pass or if you know that your class is distant from the school’s parking lot.

4. Schedule Your Morning Travel Time

Make the most of your commute. Perform a few practice runs before school time.

Things to Consider Before Choosing To Commute

  • Examine each of the aforementioned benefits and drawbacks. To begin with, figure out how much it will cost you to commute to college as well as any other options you may have, such as living at home or renting an apartment. Don’t forget about financial assistance.
  • If you didn’t have to go to college, consider what you would do with your spare time or during your journey.
  • Examine probable traffic issues and routes to school before making a decision. Check carefully if there are feasible routes to go to school, as well as backup routes in case of construction, accidents, or other obstacles, to prevent missing tests or being late.
  • Lastly, take a look at your current workspace. Is it set up properly for you to be a productive student? Libraries and dorms have them, but do you have them at home?

Online Education for Commuter Students

Online learning offers commuter students a fantastic way to complete their coursework without having to make the trip to school. You can enroll in online courses offered by your university or through other colleges that provide recognized courses.

A whole degree can also be obtained online, for example through the University of the People. Additionally, the University of the People provides tuition-free degrees, so you’ll save even more money!


Students who commute are at a natural “disadvantage” when it comes to academic success. Commuting presents an added difficulty for college students. It takes time, money, and mental energy to commute to classes. For these reasons, we recommend minimizing your commute distance as much as possible.

So, is commuting to college worth it? Only you can decide. Now that you have all the pros and cons laid out, you to think hard about the best option for you. Commuting to college can be a great option for some or not ideal for others. The greatest part of college is that you get to choose what’s best for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do most commuters get to college classes?

Depending on where your school is located and what public transportation choices are available, approximately 60% of students at Evergreen State College drive, 20% walk, 13% cycle, and 40% use public transportation to go to school each week.

2. Is college harder for commuters?

The closer you can be to school(s), the more likely you are to be able to make the most out of the college experience. Accordingly, per CCC News, “Several studies indicate that freshmen commuters graduate at lower rates than their counterparts who life on campus.”

3. How do most commuters get to college classes?

Depending on where your school is located and what public transportation choices are available, approximately 60% of students at Evergreen State College drive, 20% walk, 13% cycle, and 40% use public transportation to go to school each week.

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