Living off-campus locally lowers commuting costs

Gas Station
Menasha Kwik-Trip’s sign advertises lower-than-usual gas prices · photo by Samantha Milliren

Living arrangements are a consideration every student must make when attending a commuter college. Because of the proximity of the UW-Fox campus to students, many choose to save money and commute. If one lives nearby, it will always cheaper to commute to school, and not have to pay for housing.

A Wisconsin resident pays about $2,500 on average per semester to attend UW-Fox, and that doesn’t include housing. Corresponding to the tuition, students often commute to UW-Fox and chose to live with parents, or somewhere else rather than live on campus.

Recently, gas prices have been relatively low. During the past few weeks, though, everyone was surprised to see the price per gallon drop below $2. Now, it is on the rise again at about $2.23.

Gretchen Boesen, a sophomore at UW-Fox, lives in Appleton and commutes to class every day.

“I pay for my own gas, and I earn my money from working,” Boesen said. Regardless of where she goes to school in the future, she will always choose to commute.

The price of gas does not affect her right now, but once she attends UW Oshkosh next year, her wallet will be taking a hit more than it does now, considering she lives about 10 minutes away from UW-Fox.

Another student, Anna Valeri, a freshman, commutes to UW-Fox as well. She lives in Hortonville, Wisconsin, which is about a 20-minute drive, or 40 minutes there and back.

Valeri also pays for her own gas right now, but says that her car is very good on gas mileage, so she is thankful for that. She also said that with gas prices being a lot lower than usual lately, it’s easier get gas without paying a fortune.

Valeri also saves money by living at home.

“I am basically living for free right now living with my parents, but once I transfer, I will live on campus elsewhere. So for the time being, I am using this to my advantage,” Valeri said.

Sarah Noel, a sophomore, lives in Appleton, so the drive to UW-Fox is a lot more efficient and cheaper than living on campus.

“I pay for gas, and the money comes from my job that I work at every day,” Noel said.

She lives with her parents right now, but does not plan to for the rest of her life. It is just helping her save money, so the prices of gas going up and down don’t affect her as much, compared to someone who has to pay for housing and filling up a gas tank as well.

Once she transfers to UW-Stevens Point, she will no longer commute.

“I will be getting an apartment, so I will not have to make the hour drive there and back every day,” Noel said.

Noel thinks that in the long run, it would be smarter to live nearby campus than rack up the miles and pay gas money day after day.

All in all, there will be a price to commute or live on or nearby campus, whether it be paying for gas or housing. For those who live nearby a two-year campus, though, commuting is by far the cheapest alternative.