Student Life

Should College Parents allow a Car at College?

Your student may have bought a car, may have been gifted one, or is perhaps in the middle of making a soulful plea to keep the family car during college. For a college student a car represents freedom to travel independently, in some cases it’s status, and in others it’s privacy – dorm rooms not exactly places for solitude.

This is why it may be hard for your student to part with their car or go without one when heading off to college. College parents may be torn whether they should allow their student to have a car on campus. However, a car is a luxury not a right, and here are some things for college parents to consider before making their final decision.

Availability – Some campuses do not allow new students to have a car on campus. If a college does allow freshman and sophomores to have vehicles at school, then parking spots may be limited and reserved first for upperclassmen. It is essential to reach out to the school and see its policy for registering a car with the college; there also may be a fee necessary for parking on campus for each semester. It is necessary that your student registers her car since not doing so can result in a costly expense (such as their car being towed).

Reasoning – Explore the reasoning why your student wants to have a car on campus. If he has a job or internship off campus, then a car may come in handy, especially if there might be some late nights getting back to campus. Also, if the school is mostly a commuter school your student may find himself coming home often on the weekends. If this is the case having a car is well worth it.

Prepare them For Worst Case Scenarios – If your student decides to bring a car to campus, she should be warned that other students might constantly ask for rides or to borrow her car. Word spreads fast on campus of who has a car and can provide free transportation. Your student should never allow another student to drive her car, nor plan to drive if they have been in a drinking environment.

A car is another responsibility that your student needs to add to their list of college responsibilities. A car can come in handy or quickly become a hassle, depending on the situation and college policy.

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