Thursday, July 19, 2012

Colleges And Universities Offer Alternative Ways For Commuters To Get An Education

For students who are planning to commute to school, the college search will be a little different. After all, non-resident students will have different needs than students who choose to live at school. While the quality of campus housing will be of little concern to you, you'll likely be very interested in the layout of the parking lot. As a prospective commuter student, the typical campus tour may not answer all your questions. When deciding if a college or university meets your needs, you'll likely have to do some detective work on your own.

If you are planning to commute to your college or university, you may have one of many reasons for doing so. For many students, saving money is a big factor in the decision to commute to college. For returning adult learners, living in a dorm is likely not very feasible, and these students may have homes of their own. Some students even decide to take courses online, which eliminates the need to be on campus. Whatever your reason for deciding to commute, you have the right to expect your college or university to be accommodating.

One of the first calculations you should come up with is the length of your commute and the time it takes you to make the trip from home to school, and vice versa. You should make an effort to drive to your prospective college or university during rush hour, so you can get an accurate picture of what it will be like to commute to a morning class. Is there a lot of traffic? Can you take an alternate route in the event of an accident? Also pay attention to toll fees, as these can add up. If you are taking public transportation, you should similarly consider all that your commute entails.

Next, check out the parking facilities on campus. If your college charges you for a parking permit, you'll want to make sure your money is being put to good use. Are there enough parking spaces for every student even during the busiest days and class times? If there is overflow parking, you may want to find out how far of a walk it is from the buildings where you'll be taking classes. If the parking lots are inconvenient, you may experience regular frustration and annoyance.

Another factor to consider is the percentage of students who commute to the college or university you are currently looking at. If the school is primarily residential, you may feel left out. Many schools have large numbers of commuter students, however. These colleges and universities are more likely to have nicer amenities for commuters.

If you will be spending long hours at school in between classes, comfortable lounges are a necessity. A microwave, refrigerator, and snack machines are some amenities to look for if you will be making use of the commuter lounge at a prospective college.

Finally, you may want to ask if your school sponsors activities that allow commuters to meet one another and socialize. It can be harder to make friends as a commuter, but joining your college's commuters association or club can help.

Commuting to college is a necessity for many students. Some students may even choose to take online courses through an online accredited university as another alternative. Keeping your specific needs in mind throughout your college search will help you to find the school that best satisfies your needs.


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