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Student accommodation guide #4: living at home

Heading to a local university – or one within commuting distance? If you're considering living at home, here are the pros and the cons...

If you’re within commuting distance of your university, living at home with family while studying is definitely worth considering  23% of students told us they did just that*, while a Sutton Trust report found that 55.8% attend a university less than 55 miles away from their family home.

Paying rent for university halls or private accommodation is often the biggest drain on students' budget. Even if you're paying a small amount in rent to your family, plus your travel to attend classes a couple of days a week, it may be significantly cheaper than living at uni (though it depends on your individual circumstances). 

But as we see below, you may lose out on some of the social benefits of living close to the action, at uni...

Living at home: pros and cons

Before ruling out other accommodation options, weigh up the pros and cons of staying at home…

Pros of living at home:

  • Cheap option: even with commuting costs, you should save money overall
  • No moving out: one less hassle to worry about when starting university
  • Home perks: someone else to sort out your cooking, washing, cleaning (or at least help out)

Freshers' survival: laundry and washing at university


Cons of living at home:

  • Commuting: could take up a lot of your time (and money!)
  • Someone else’s rules: expect less independence than your living-in-halls peers
  • Away from the action: you’ll need to find other ways to meet students. Plus, it can be difficult to socialise in the evening if you need to get the last train, unless you have somewhere to stay.
Lived with my mum for two first years. Plus points: food, no noisy neighbours, no rent or money issues, free laundry service. Downsides: making friends can be harder and the rules of the house are made by parents.  Third Year Film Studies Student | University Of The West Of England - Bristol

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    Typical costs: staying at home vs. uni accommodation 

    Whatever your arrangement, chances are living at home will be by far your most affordable accommodation option. According to the NUS' 'Homes Fit For Study' report, compare average rents of just £72 per month for those staying at home with £426 for university-managed halls, or £366 for privately-rented housing. And the majority of students surveyed who were living at home weren't actually paying any rent at all!

    That said, when comparing with other options, do factor in the cost of your commute into university.

    Calculate your living costs
    See how much you'll need to live on at your chosen university, with our student budget calculator.
    See your living costs

    About our data
    * Which? University Student Survey 2018

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