With high school seniors getting ready to graduate within the next month or so, they might also be mentally preparing themselves for their freshman year of college, thinking about important questions like, “What will my roommate be like?” and “What should I bring?”
There’s also the ever-important question of whether to bring a vehicle to campus. Bringing a car to campus is something that hypothetically sounds good, but when your car gets a flat tire as you’re leaving for Thanksgiving Break, you might be thinking otherwise.
Here’s a list of considerations for all you upcoming freshmen (and maybe even upperclassmen!) thinking about lugging your car with you to campus next semester.
1. Price. How much does it cost to keep a car at your school? If the cost is out of your budget, then you may want to seriously think about whether having a car on campus is worth it. However, if you know you’ll be headed home a lot, spending the money might outweigh the disadvantages. Take a look at College Prowler’s ranking of Most Reasonable Permit Costs to see where your school lands on the list.
2. Parking availability on campus. At many schools, students will register their vehicles on campus, but are still unable to find parking spots. Thus, sometimes a parking permit does not guarantee a student a spot. Check out College Prowler’s ranking of Best Parking Availability for schools that rank highly in terms finding a spot.
3. Public transportation in the area. If your school lies in a metropolitan area like New York City or Chicago, you probably won’t need a car, what with transit like the MTA and the “El.” However, if you’re going to a small liberal arts college in the middle of cornfields, then having a car might not only be beneficial, but it might also make you popular (be prepared to be the go-to person for grocery store trips!).
4. How lenient is Parking Services when it comes to tickets. Sometimes, a parking permit is the gift that keeps on giving in a sense that you purchase the permit and keep “paying” through parking tickets from Campus Safety. While there’s no surefire way to know whether a school is going to be incredibly strict or lax when it comes to parking, College Prowler’s Most Lenient Parking ranking is helpful in getting an idea of what to expect.
5. Campus shuttle offerings. Many times, schools supplement a lack of public transportation options and parking lots by offering campus shuttles to students, which take them around campus and into downtown areas. Usually, the transportation sections of school websites include such information.
Sometimes, having a car on campus can be an added responsibility, like a pet. You have to keep it clean, keep it fueled, and make sure it’s safe at all times. With so many considerations, you want to make sure that having a car on campus is worth all the effort.