Top on the priority list for high school graduates is often, “Move out of mom and dad’s house.” And while sometimes mom and dad can’t agree more, this is not always the best financial move for teens.

What are some options for room and board while you are in college? There are plenty. Weighing the financial and personal benefits and downsides to each living situation can help you find the best possible option. Here are some possibilities for you to consider:

|Staying at Home

This is often the most affordable option, especially if your parents will let you live in their home rent-free. If your college is within driving distance, you can live for free, eat for virtually nothing and have the moral support of your parents nearby. The downside is being an adult and living in your parents’ home. This is not always an ideal situation for some new college students.

|Living in the Dorms

The dorm life will help you meet people on campus and make it easier to get involved. However, the convenience comes with a price tag. The cost of living in the dorms varies by college and you often have at least one roommate in a very small room. There’s also the added cost of campus meal plans to consider.

|Finding an Apartment

An apartment provides you the privacy of a home but at a lower cost than a house or some dorms. Finding a roommate will help defray some of the cost so you don’t have to foot the bill all on your own. The downside is that apartment living can be more expensive than a dorm room when utilities and other expenses are added in. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of food as well.

|Live with Family

If your college is away from home, living with other family members that reside in or near the college town is a great option. You’ll get to know your extended family a bit more, plus live at a relatively low cost. Perhaps you can babysit for younger cousins to help cover expenses. The downside, again, is living in someone else’s home. If you’re looking to reconnect with family, though, this could be a great option.

Whatever housing option you choose during college, make sure you do your research and find an option that works for you – both financially and personally. Once you decide where you’d live, check out our low budget college decorating tips.

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