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Old 10-04-2012, 11:13 AM   #286
westjones
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If you can afford it, dorm life has it pluses.

But if you can't afford it, and you don't want to finance the dorm room through loans, then I just wanted to say that from what I am seeing with my twins, it is possible to commute and still make friends and be a part of the college life and have a really good college experience!

With so many things, it is all about money. Just like so many kids have their own car. We can't afford that. We bought one extra car and my twins have to share. I am sure it is a great experience to have your own car. But we can't afford it.

So I think it is great for those of you who can pay for all of this for your kids. If I could I would. If I won the lottery today, my girls would be in the dorms next semester! (won't happen though because I don't buy lottery tickets).
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:41 PM   #287
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For me personally living in a dorm was a great experience. I was basically dropped off at college and said have fun, you can't come home for at least a month. I did much better academically in the dorm than I think I would have at home. I am one of those people who does not like to be hovered over or interrupted when I am studying. I am dyslexic so I have to occasionally read things several times before it sinks in, and knowing my mother, she would be CONSTANTLY hovering over me, "did you your homework? Why Aren't you studying?" etc etc. which would probably have led me to not do anything and borderline fail out. At the dorm I had the freedom to do my work around my schedule and not feel like I was being nagged. I was also co-dependent on my parents at the time, and needed to be two states away from them to learn to figure out problems on my own. I had a ton of debt when I graduated (which was finally paid off this summer, and now I am trying to buy a condo), but I do not regret for one minute my decision to move away and live in a dorm. My last two years of school I had a kitchen and no meal plan, so I had to learn some life skills as well. I was much better in the classroom than the kitchen though.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #288
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I paid most of it, however we plan to pay for our kids. I just think it's kinda setting them up for failure and teaching an example opposite of what we generally do as far as spending money, taking out loans etc. I know many people can't afford to, and you never know, we may end up in a position one day that we are not able to keep saving and putting away money for them for college, but if we are fortunate enough to afford it, then we'll absolutely be paying for it (with the strict understanding that we will only be paying for the classes needed for whatever BA they choose only once, and they must get a C or better in all classes etc.) I'm all for helping them and getting them on their feet, but I won't just waste my money.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #289
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As I have experienced both I can tell you that save for the fact one isn't living at home, they aren't at all similar.


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Unless you went to boarding school from the age of 8 until you graduated from high school.

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #290
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Then your experience was far different than mine.


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As I have experienced both I can tell you that save for the fact one isn't living at home, they aren't at all similar.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:26 PM   #291
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OP, the answer to your question depends on a family's financial situation and values. For us, I feel like college is one of the things I want to give my kids to help them get a solid start in life. Education is very important to us and has given my family the life we are lucky to lead and enabled me to be able to give that same opportunity to my kids. I don't like the thought of them starting out with lots of debt from college. I have close friends who have told their kids that they are responsible for paying for their own undergraduate degree (two are in college now). This is not based on their financial situation but purely on their values. I feel badly for those kids, as they are very smart and hard workers. But on the other hand, there is a benefit to not being handed everything! I have no doubt they will go on to great things. My college roommate, who is still a close friend, had to pay for her own education, which she did through working/saving, and government grants. Her mother was the sole support of 4 kids and no way could afford to pay for her. She managed, but that was 30 years ago. With the cost of college now, I don't see how any young person could get through college without help.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:36 PM   #292
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You either had an overly liberal boarding school or a ridiculously restrictive college dorm experience. I don't recall having to gain permission from my parents to wander off my college campus whenever I wished to do so...

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Then your experience was far different than mine.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #293
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No on both accounts.



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You either had an overly liberal boarding school or a ridiculously restrictive college dorm experience. I don't recall having to gain permission from my parents to wander off my college campus whenever I wished to do so...
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #294
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You do what works best for your kids and your family.

It will be different for every family.

I certainly will not argue that our way is the only way, but I will not sit back and be told my way is wrong and I must do it the way another decides for me.

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Originally Posted by westjones View Post
If you can afford it, dorm life has it pluses.

But if you can't afford it, and you don't want to finance the dorm room through loans, then I just wanted to say that from what I am seeing with my twins, it is possible to commute and still make friends and be a part of the college life and have a really good college experience!

With so many things, it is all about money. Just like so many kids have their own car. We can't afford that. We bought one extra car and my twins have to share. I am sure it is a great experience to have your own car. But we can't afford it.

So I think it is great for those of you who can pay for all of this for your kids. If I could I would. If I won the lottery today, my girls would be in the dorms next semester! (won't happen though because I don't buy lottery tickets).
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #295
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...
But I do agree with you that, if it is financially viable, living in a dorm gives the student the best shot at success in college. ...
I haven't read this whole thread - but had to comment that MY experience varies DRASTICALLY from this statement.

I have experience with coaching HS teenagers for 20+ years (and in turn watching them go off to college). I base my thoughts on overwhelming evidence for the situations I've watched happened (as well as my own familys experience.)

I've found that what I've seen is that living at home and/or commuting to college has shown that they have a better shot at success at college. I've seen WAY too many HS kids "party" their way thru a year or 2 of college and then drop out/fail out. In almost every single case...the student was living in the dorm and couldn't separate "fun" time vs. "school" time. However, in cases where the student was commuting and at home...they typically understood that school was for learning...and was separate from their "social" life. In the large majority of cases (again - only from what I HAVE SEEN) the % of people I watched not make it thru school were largely the "dorm" kids. (And I watched their parents throw away tens of thousands of dollars to allow their kid to party....so sad.) The majority of kids that stayed home for school...did really well...because school was simply that... "school."

NOW - before everyone jumps on this...I'm speaking from what I've seen... I do NOT believe that every college kid in a dorm is drinking their college years away. I'm simply speaking for what I've seen transpire over the past 20 years...with the kids I've known.

Edited to add: Of the 5 sbilings in my family...the only one who didn't finish school was the one that lived AT school. He sure had fun and talks about that year and half of college fondly...but never finished. Don't get me wrong...I had MORE than my fair share of fun in college...I even got beach homes with my friends each summer in order to "live away" from my mom and be independent. BUT - school was school...I was paying ALOT for school...and it was to get a degree regardless of what was happening on campus on the weekends. YMMV.
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Last edited by disneyfan2kids; 10-04-2012 at 03:44 PM. Reason: SO many typos...LOL!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:05 PM   #296
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I haven't read this whole thread - but had to comment that MY experience varies DRASTICALLY from this statement.
This may've been your experience, but your experience is drastically different from the norm. Most people who live in dorms do not spend all their time drinking and do not drop of out school. This is rehashing this whole thread, but studies do show that students who at least start out in dorms are more likely to go on to graduate from college. That's why so many colleges require students to live on campus for at least a year.

Yes, clearly these studies are somewhat flawed in that 1) colleges who participate in these studies may not be completelyl unbiased in their methodology, and 2) students who can live in dorms come from middle and upper-class families, and those students are more likely to arrive prepared for college and are more likely to graduate anyway. But that doesn't negate that numerous studies have shown that for most students, dorms make for a good start.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #297
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I've found that what I've seen is that living at home and/or commuting to college has shown that they have a better shot at success at college. I've seen WAY too many HS kids "party" their way thru a year or 2 of college and then drop out/fail out. In almost every single case...the student was living in the dorm and couldn't separate "fun" time vs. "school" time. However, in cases where the student was commuting and at home...they typically understood that school was for learning...and was separate from their "social" life. In the large majority of cases (again - only from what I HAVE SEEN) the % of people I watched not make it thru school were largely the "dorm" kids. (And I watched their parents throw away tens of thousands of dollars to allow their kid to party....so sad.) The majority of kids that stayed home for school...did really well...because school was simply that... "school."
Having seen this happen to many students at the large university that I attended, I noticed a common trait. Generally speaking, the students that partied too much and failed out usually had extremely strict and controlling parents. They were not given any freedom during their high school years and when they went away to college and were away from their parents, they went crazy.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #298
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Having seen this happen to many students at the large university that I attended, I noticed a common trait. Generally speaking, the students that partied too much and failed out usually had extremely strict and controlling parents. They were not given any freedom during their high school years and when they went away to college and were away from their parents, they went crazy.
Very good point... I bet that contributes!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:08 PM   #299
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Having seen this happen to many students at the large university that I attended, I noticed a common trait. Generally speaking, the students that partied too much and failed out usually had extremely strict and controlling parents. They were not given any freedom during their high school years and when they went away to college and were away from their parents, they went crazy.
Interesting. I've seen something opposite. Kids whose parents expect them to party often end up doing it.

I think both extremes probably encourage that behavior.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #300
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Interesting. I've seen something opposite. Kids whose parents expect them to party often end up doing it.

I think both extremes probably encourage that behavior.
I have seen this also.
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