Living in the Dorms
The best living option for new, incoming freshman to Iowa State University is to spend at least there first two semesters in one of the on campus dorms. Other options available to these students are to find off campus housing in an apartment or a fraternity or sorority, to live at home and commute, or to live for one semester in the dorms and one semester off campus. By examining the alternative options to on campus residence, it is clear that none of these other living options will give incoming students the same variety of benefits or experiences as living on campus.
The types of benefits and advantages being compared for these various living options are those of closeness in proximity to the college campus and classes, cost effectiveness, availability of easy and nutritious meals, development opportunities and additional educational benefits to the student.
The first alternative to examine, for new incoming freshman is that of living off campus (not in the school's dorms) for the first two semesters of college. This could be through living in an apartment, or living in a sorority or fraternity. This living option does not have the benefit of closeness in proximity to classes. Some students who live off campus have to travel tiring distances each morning to get to there classes, compared to those students who already live on campus. The research (interviews) I have done has told me that this problem has lead to many students not wanting to get up, and actually come to class in the past, and it only gets worse in the winter. In the winter students find that their beds are far more inviting than their cold commute to school.
The cost of living in an apartment can be really high. Advertisements for local apartments range from $250-450 per month, not including the cost of utilities, and this is after sharing the cost with several roommates.
Students choosing to live off campus frequently find themselves having to find a job to make payments, and will not only have to worry about making the grades they need, but possibly continuing to pay tuition and also about making enough money to pay for their utility bills, groceries and rent. Some students would even have to take out personal loans very early in there college careers, for very large amounts of money and it may be a long time before they can pay off that debt. Sometimes in the struggle to maintain a place of residents, grades and goals can suffer.
Students who live on their own in apartments have to either pay to have their food prepared in fast food restaurants (which can result in really poor eating habits and nutrition) or take time out of a busy schedule to shop for their own food and prepare meals for themselves. This can be a big disadvantage.
For students living off campus the academic support is little to none in there living environment. For many students they find it distracting to live among other people who may not share their same...