Are you looking to live off campus or bring a car to school? Almost everyone feels like they have more freedom and access to the surrounding city when the have the own form of reliable transportation. Despite this, parking at school can be limited or non-existent for students. If you’re going to bring a car, parking is something you’ll need to be thinking about ahead of time to avoid expensive tickets and be able to get to class on time.
Parking fees add up
Parking on campus can put a huge dent in your wallet, especially if all available spots are based on meters. When finding a spot, fees can be as much as a couple of dollars an hour, which quickly adds up if you have daily classes. According to Nerdwallet, It’s estimated that college students can send anywhere from $40 to $2,500 per semester nationwide, depending on the size of your school. This isn’t even mentioning parking violation fees, which can be upwards of $20 or more per ticket and can come with late fees if not paid in a short timeframe.
Ways to avoid campus parking
There are many solutions you can use to avoid parking on campus.
1. Public transportation:
Research online as to what public transportation is like for the area around your college and coordinate around bus schedules to get where you need to be on time.
2. Alternate forms of transportation
Consider bringing a bike, scooter, or even something like an electric skateboard to campus. These help to effectively save on gas and parking without having to walk. If there’s a bike lane on the roads for your campus, it’ll be even faster and safer than biking on the sidewalk.
3. Park near campus
Try to find out what parking is available off campus or if your college has a commuter lot. It won’t be as close, but if you coordinate with public transportation or use an alternate mode of transportation from where you park, it will be much cheaper than parking on campus.
Budgeting your time
If you end up not parking on campus, the trade-off for saving money is that you’ll need to start budgeting time for commutes from home and to lecture halls. This may require getting up earlier than normal for class or having to modify your work schedule to fit your daily commute. Researching the average travel time and forming a fixed routine is incredibly helpful to stay on track and eliminate the worry of being late. You can even try out trial-runs to see how long it takes you to get around, just to be sure.