"Housing guide 2020"

For many students venturing into their collegiate careers, living on their own is a huge rite of passage. Moving away from the comforts of home can be liberating for many. It can, and will, teach you about yourself and about growing up. That being said, it’s not the answer for everyone—and that’s OK. 

The University of Nevada, Reno is home to over 20,000 students. Of those 20,000 plus individuals, over 12,000 are from the state of Nevada. Now, obviously, not all of those students are from Reno. Nevada is wide and vast, with many students coming from all over the state—including many from Las Vegas. 

That being said, if you were to ask a handful of your friends where they lived, it’s a safe bet that one of them would say at home. Don’t shame them. Don’t belittle them for this life choice. Living at home during college is perfectly normal. 

In a 2019 report by Sallie Mae, the idea of living at home was at the center of many students’ decisions. According to the report, 23 percent of students made the decision of which university/college to attend based on the ease of a commute from their family home. 

The same report also detailed that 26 percent of college students chose their institution of higher learning based on its close proximity from home. This compares to 12 percent of students that chose their university/college because of its further distance from home. 

Beyond the emotional reasoning to stay at home during your college years is the benefit of having more concrete financial stability.

As most should realize, higher education is expensive. At the university, total yearly bills regularly run over $20,000. Of that $20,000 plus bill, a large portion of that is typically going to housing and food.

To live in the dorms at the university, prices fluctuate based on the living arrangements—the number of roommates—and which dorm you reside in. According to the university, yearly prices can range from $5,800 on the lower end to over $9,300 on the higher end. These numbers don’t include meal plans. 

If you were to add to any of the meal packages, dorm-housed students can expect to pay at least $4,360. That price comes from Meal Plan D, which provides the student with 10 meals a week—and $350 worth of FoodBucks for the Spring semester. FoodBucks can be used at a variety of dining options around campus.

The point is that living on campus is expensive. But living in an apartment isn’t much cheaper either. 

Some apartments near the university regularly have rents for over $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom unit. In the long run, this will be cheaper than the dorms—but not by a wide margin.

For those that have the opportunity, living at home during their collegiate career may be the best financial decision available. And to those that made that decision to stay at home with their parental units, let’s not shame them.

Ryan Freeberg can be reached at rfreeberg@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @freeberg_ryan.