When preparing for college, young people have a vast and seemingly endless list of decisions they must make. One surprisingly difficult decision is whether to take their own personal vehicle with them or not. Here are a few things to consider when determining which course of action is best.
What does the college or university allow?
Many institutions of higher learning simply do not allow students to have vehicles on campus. This is especially true for first-year students. Having a vehicle comes with a wide array of safety considerations and liabilities which some colleges and universities do not wish to contend with. Also, many places require freshmen students to live on campus and encourage on-campus activity and participation over the off-campus alternatives which can be academically distracting.
What are the student’s transportation needs?
If the only anticipated travel is going to be on-campus, such as class to class, then a car may not be necessary at all because the majority of campuses are designed for pedestrian travel overall. However, if a student lives off-campus has an off-campus job or is attending a split-campus school, they may find that being without their own vehicle is challenging.
What are the alternatives?
This may seem like an easy question with the question being public transportation or walking. However, depending on the school and the location of the school, there may a greater variety of options than one might think. For instance, some colleges and universities now offer ride services and ride sharing programs for getting around the city while others have on-campus transportation for getting from class to class. It is important to research the alternatives and the potential cost of those alternatives from the start. A bicycle is also a great alternative for many students, however, it’s important to obey all traffic laws to avoid accidents. If you become a victim of a bike accident, be sure to speak with lawyers as soon as possible. Because campuses are busy, walking, driving and biking requires paying extra attention to others on the road.
What is the cost of having a car on campus?
The obvious costs are those of purchase price, registration, insurance and repair. Some colleges and universities require a separate on-campus registration of student vehicles as well as parking passes and permits. These usually do not cost a lot on their own but they can certainly add up throughout one’s college years. It is also important to consider current and future fuel rates as well as the vehicle’s mileage rate and the average distance to be traveled each day. A personal vehicle may offer convenience to the off-campus student but may also be costly.
Lots of research will help students to make the most informed decision. Whether you are staying close to home for college or traveling to another state, having a car on campus as benefits and risks.