Students of all ages, shapes and sizes are starting a new school year right about now. They've packed all of their books, clothing, sheets, towels and good luck teddy bear into a suitcase or car (or suitcase and then car) and headed to campus. Many move into apartments near campus, and others move into dorms, right on campus. Some schools offer more campus housing than others; some even require students to live off campus after a certain time. And law and business schools traditionally offer little to no student housing. (Though there are some exceptions, such as Harvard Business School, which requires MBA students to live on campus both years.) But before you decide to live on or off campus, ask yourself: How will it affect my social life and overall quality of life?
Should you live on campus or off campus?
In this year's student surveys, we asked full-time law school, business school and undergraduate students if they've ever lived on campus. About 72 percent of full-time MBA students say they never lived on campus and a whopping 81 percent of full-time law school students say they didn't either. On the flip side, 86 percent of undergraduate students say they lived on campus for at least a year. How did this impact their school experiences? For law and MBA students, almost none at all. Students who'd lived on campus rated their social life and overall quality of life less than 0.3 more than student who'd never lived off campus. Whether you live on campus or off, life is pretty darn good.
However, for undergraduates, living on campus raised social life and overall quality of life significantly. Students living on campus rated the two a full point higher than students who never lived on campus. So if you're an undergraduate considering living off campus, you might want to reconsider and live on campus at least one year. Communal bathrooms, dorm furniture, a roommate or two--it'll all be worth it.
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