The average cost of owning a car is now over $9,000/year. Yet the higher cost for students bringing a car to college is only one many costs that continue to rise on campus. Higher tuition, university fees, student housing, on campus parking, insurance and technology costs keep rising faster than incomes can keep pace.
To offset the rising costs, students and parents alike are searching for ways to cut back in other areas. The first place to look for many smart students and proactive parents is transportation.
With so many advances in transportation + technology, does a student really need to bring a car to campus in 2014?
The answer may surprise you. Many schools are facing budget cuts and in return are looking to reduce the number of cars coming to campus as enrollments increase.
Here are 5 Alternatives to Bringing a Car to College:
1.) Research: Find a school that embraces alternative transportation as an asset rather than an afterthought.
2.) Bike: Whether you bring your own or use a growing number of bike share programs – biking saves more than just money.
3.) Share: Car share services (like ZipCar) and Ride share programs (like RidePost) are becoming standards on campuses across the country. Make sure your school has both, if not – ask for it.
4.) Public Transportation: Find out how close the nearest train station, bus station or airports are. And how accessible are they from campus?
5.) Walk: Even students who bring cars to campus leave them parked over 90% of the time. Make sure that the campus you are looking at is walkable and is safe to do so.
Bonus: Several schools now have a safe ride home program – for when you are studying or otherwise late night and need to get home after dark, but do not want to walk.
Gone are the days of being stuck in your cramped dorm room if you do not bring a car to campus. With a new generation of post-Facebook era students – innovative transportation programs and mobile technology on college campuses allow you to save money on cars even if other college related costs continue to rise.