It is a never-ending cycle of questioning, with no easy answer. The student is asking, begging their parents for a car. The parents are asking the college if their student really needs a car. All family and student circumstances vary. The following information will help your family explore the issue further and make the best decision for you, and your student.

The pros and cons of cars on campus

If your student lives on campus, one of the driving issues may be whether or not to have a car at school. Here are some pros and cons to add to your own personal lists:

Pros
  • Increases the student's ability to get to an off-campus job.
  • Student able to travel home more frequently and easily.
  • No one has to go pick up the student at the end of the year because they can drive themselves and their belongings home.
  • Going to town for supplies or groceries is less of a hassle when you have a car.
  • Student can get away to study somewhere quiet, or go to a movie.
  • Opportunities for involvement in off-campus efforts.
Cons
  • Cost of gas remains high.
  • Students may travel home too frequently and lose out on campus experiences.
  • The costs associated with car upkeep, including oil changes and maintenance, can eat into student's meager funds.
  • College students are considered higher risk drivers, therefore insurance rates may increase and strict regulations may be placed on the college student driver.
  • Students with cars are often pressured by those without cars to provide rides, be a designated driver when others choose to drink and to loan out their cars. 

Alternative transportation for college students

  • Bike: More and more communities are developing bike paths for easy access in and out of town.
  • Bus transit.
  • Car-pooling: Great transportation alternative for students who come from the same hometown or work at the same location.

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