The real value of on-campus living

March 12, 2015

by Grant Miller, Director of Community Life

A big decision that students at every stage of collegiate education have to make is whether or not to live on campus. And let’s be honest, most colleges don’t like to talk about this. That big line item on your bill for a few thousand dollars each semester can be pretty intimidating. When you’re making a decision in which you need to weigh the value of each dollar you spend, considering options to reduce costs by living off campus can seem appealing.

In the area of residential living, NNU sets itself apart from the rest of the pack when it comes to pricing and transparency. The first way we do that is by our pricing structure.

Let’s do some simple math.

We have to admit, rental costs in the Nampa area are relatively inexpensive. A one-bedroom apartment can run between $425 and $500, which is actually pretty good. If you want to try to find a roommate to share costs, a two-bedroom apartment can be had for between $550 and $750, which will still save money. Let’s be generous and say you have a sweet old great-aunt’s friend living in the area, and you can rent from her for $250.

Now, let’s add utilities. Again, utilities are pretty cheap in Nampa and will only run between $100 and $150 a month, and let’s say you split utilities with someone you live with, so $50 per month.

You’ll need internet if you’re in school full time. This can get tricky…depending on where you live your service providers can vary. The very bare minimum slowest speeds will cost at least $40 a month. To be reasonable let’s say $50 per month.

on-campus students earn higher grades, are more likely to finish their degree on time, and become more involved with extra-curricular activities and campus personnel
You’ll also be commuting. There are different ways to calculate this cost, but the most consistent way is to calculate per mile. When I was at NNU I interned with a state senator and got $.54 per mile, but let’s be generous and say its costs you $.50 per mile and that you live close enough to only drive five miles per day; you’ll spend $2.50 per day on driving.

Let’s add those sums up: $250 (rent) + $50 (utilities) + $50 (internet) + $75 (transportation for 30 days in a month) = $425 per month. We won’t add in the price of food, since everyone eats and shops differently and different meal plan prices on campus can affect budgets in inconsistent ways.

Now, anyone in the U.S. will tell you that that’s a steal, an incredible deal to get all those things for only $425 a month.

The cost breakdown of living on campus at NNU is only $350.00 per month.

That’s for everything…fully wired internet and campus-wide wireless. Furnished rooms. Utilities.

That’s to say nothing of the fact that over the last three years the price for the cost of living on campus has not gone up, and our Residential Life office is always striving to keep those costs low.

The math adds up to say that there is enormous value to living on campus, but the fiscal side can only communicate so much. For instance, did you know that research has shown that on-campus students earn higher grades, are more likely to finish their degree on time, and become more involved with extra-curricular activities and campus personnel?

Living on campus also helps make our services more accessible, putting career advising, counseling services, academic tutoring and gym facilities just a short walk away (all of these services are free to all students).

Value is something that NNU cares about deeply, and living on campus can be a way to get even more out of your college education.

Learn more about campus life at NNU→

Editors note: Updated March 28, 2016 to reflect current numbers.