Calabrese: Commuting the Secret Sauce for Keeping Costs Low


Olu Famule/Unsplash

Students often overlook the cost savings that come with commuting.

Allysa Calabrese, Reporter

WOODBURY — College is expensive, but some students found ways to save some money and still get that college experience. 

Students who are looking for schools close to home want the option to either stay on campus or make the drive back and forth. This begs the question: Is commuting worth it? Or will I miss the college experience everyone talks about?

Most students pick colleges and universities out of state which are far enough away to take a plane instead of a car to get there, but the question remains: What if you can get the same education somewhere you can just drive to, which could save money, time, and energy?

Commuting. It’s possible and better in the long run. 

“My parents recommended it as a good way to transition from high school to college,” said Maddie Roden, Nonnewaug graduate from the class of 2022. “Although my parents voiced their opinion about commuting, the final decision was mine.”

Though some students have options close to home and on the top of their lists, the fear of missing the college experience is a big factor for most.

“Everybody’s college experience is different, but it’s all about what you want to do,” says Roden. “Even though I commute, I can still go to sports games, or hang out, or even sleep over on campus with friends. Commuting doesn’t take away any experiences I am able to have.” 

Living on campus can often be one of the largest expenses students can anticipate when applying to schools. (Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Unsplash)

Students may overlook the option of commuting as it’s not just a means to ease the transition to college life, but also a way for students to lessen the financial burden of post-secondary education. 

Debt — the loathsome four-letter word all undergraduates fear most. It’s the question that haunts thousands of students across the world when they take their next big step in life. Congratulations, you graduated — oh, and by the way, you still owe thousands of dollars. 

“More students are going to Naugatuck Valley Community College,” said Kathy Green, Nonnewaug’s College and Career Resource Center counselor. “It’s more appealing for students, especially because it’s free.” 

At this time of year, seniors are making college decisions since acceptance letters are rolling out to high school students. Seniors are starting to narrow down their options with specific factors that play a huge role in their decision. 

Senior Jamie Paige, who will pay for the cost of college, is in the middle of making this decision. 

“I would commute to save the money that it costs to have a room and meal plan on campus,” said Paige. 

When trying to decide which college to attend, Paige agrees with the idea of trying to commute and how others should as well. 

“I think that people should look at more schools that are local not just for the benefits of commuting but for the financial savings. Who knows when or if you are going to change your mind, and it’s a lot easier to do that when you are $5,000 in debt compared to $20,000,” Paige said. “Commuting is a great money-saver when trying to keep college at a low cost.”

This is the opinion of Chief Advocate reporter Allysa Calabrese.