Are You On Or Are You Off?

By Other Staff
February 21, 2002

photo by Bern Hazel

Which would you rather have? Being five minutes away from any class; being able to wake up five minutes before class and still be respectively on time; having school resources at you finger tips, having your friends five minutes away; not having to drive home from a campus party after you’ve gotten completely wasted, or ordering a chicken finger hoagie at 1a.m. from campus corner and sharing it with your roommates are just some of the perks of living on campus.

Then we look on the side that has the greener grass according to Cabrini students. If you have your own apartment off campus then you lose a lot of the perks of being so close. You must deal with traffic, lose sleep, come back to school when you need materials and you must dial 902 before calling any of the faculty on campus. However you will never be in the Loquitur Public Safety report, you can drink and not hide the bottles when there is a knock on the door, you can smoke in your room, your computer server will be up more often, when you do the walk of shame nobody knows you and you don’t need a food plan.

To live on Cabrini College campus you must pay $7,860.00 for room and board, an extra $250.00 for a private room, an extra $350.00 to live in the apartments and a $350.00 security deposit. To live off campus with in a 20 mile radius the cost varies from $500.00 in the Conshohocken area to $1500.00 in the King of Prussia area, a month for a one bedroom apartment. You can get a full list of varieties on www, but for the basic one bedroom, one bath, unfurnished apartment it will run you around $500.00-$650.00 in rent per month. Let’s figure this out: $600.00 X 12 months in a year equal $7200.00. Plus a security deposit, which is normally, the first and last months rent, so now we are up $8400.00. Utilities for one person will run roughly around $200.00 with phone and basic cable. Now the bill is up to $8600.00.

This does not include food. At Cabrini, students have something called meal exchange. This meal exchange gives you three options, 19 meals per week with $12.00 in flex money, 14 meals per week with $25.00 flex money or 10 meals per week with $50.00 flex money. Flex money is attached to your student ID like a credit card. This money is used for a meal, or a snack between meals. A student may only get the 10 meal deal if they live in the Cabrini apartment complex. “Why you must have a meal program when you live in the apartments is beyond me,” Christ Swift said. “We have a kitchen, why travel to the cafeteria to eat. If our flex time worked at Giant food market it would be more feasible.” While Cabrini students have this meal program more often than not they spend money at the grocery store and fast food joints regardless of the meal program. Therefore food for an off campus commuter saves you money. I don’t eat three meals a day,” said Kit Dewey, an apartment resident. “Plus the fact that flex money does not carry over.”

Dustin Farrell, a former Cabrini resident who moved off campus in 2001. ” I find it a lot easier to live off campus because of the freedom you have,” Farrell said. “I have more money that I don’t have to worry about giving to public safety. Seriously, I save about $3000.00 a year. Don’t get me wrong, my sophomore and freshman years were a blast, but I have grown up and need more independence. I mean I am over 21; I should be able to invite friends over and have a cocktail whenever I want. The beauty of your own place is that you can have a party, or a get together and on the other hand you can be completely alone which is impossible on campus. I am a private person and don’t let everyone know my business, which was impossible to make happen with Cabrini’s gossip queens. Cabrini just got too strict for me after my junior year. C’mon were in college, we are supposed to have fun.”

Between the two living off campus saves money because there is no meal exchange, and one can control money going out for bills by being thrifty. While the bill is higher for living off campus this is for 12 months, not two semesters. Two semesters equals about eight months in which students must move twice on and off campus.

For those students who live with their parents the bill is minimum. “I live home with my parents and don’t have to pay for food or rent,” said Lauren Socia a Cabrini commuter. “I hate the drive especially when I have to come back five or six times for class or study materials but I like having my own shower and my own room.”

Living off campus, where it is cheaper, accounts for more responsibility. Paying bills once a month and keeping a good job to pay these bills is a big step into the adult aspect of life. Plus keep up with school is a major challenge. Living on campus does not require a student to have a job as long as tuition is paid. This allows the student to pay more attention to his/her studies. However it is possible to hold a job and do well in school, it is all about motivation.

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