To maximize your chances of success in college, you should try to keep your commuting distance to less than 10 miles, or 30 minutes (whichever comes first), each way.
Students who commute are at a natural “disadvantage” when it comes to academic success. Commuting presents an added difficulty for college students. It takes time, money, and mental energy to commute to classes. For these reasons, we recommend minimizing your commute distance as much as possible.
How do most commuters get to college classes?
It depends on the location of your school, and the available public transportation options, but Evergreen State College found that, in a given week, over 60% of their students drive to school, 20% walk, 13% bike, and 40% take public transportation. (Note that “Percentages do not add up to 100% as many students reported more than one way of getting to campus.”)
How far do college students commute on average?
The average commute to college is approximately 10 miles. Just under 20% of freshmen commute to classes. This number rises to 94.5% if you focus in on community colleges, in particular. An Evergreen State College study found that the vase majority of their students (80%) have a commute of under 10 miles.
Is college harder for commuters?
Ed Source has found that proximity to schools is a strong indicator of achieving academic goals. For community college students who planned to transfer to a four-year degree program, the percentage who actually achieved this goal was twice as high if they had options of four-year colleges in their town or city. In short, proximity to school(s) equals options and opportunities.
The closer you can be to school(s), the more likely you are to be able to make the most out of the college experience. Accordingly, per CCC News, “Several studies indicate that freshmen commuters graduate at lower rates than their counterparts who life on campus.”
A 2016 study in the Journal of International Education Research found that, “increasing travelling distance is related to students’ [GPA]. It may be that students who have to drive significant distance for classes are aware of the sacrifice they are making and want to make that sacrifice count by doing well academically. It may also be that the students who are living this far from the university may be taking online courses and therefore are not required to sacrifice family or study time to drive to campus.”
Put simply, they actually found that there is some evidence that a longer commuting distance can lead to better academic performance. However, this conflicts with some other research. Furthermore, the reasons for this potential relationship remain unclear. More research needs to be done before definite conclusions can be made. For now, we recommend trying to minimize commute time so you can spend more time focusing on your studies and your life outside of classes.
Noah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Worcester state University with a Communications major and Writing minor. At school, he was the Executive Editor of the online newspaper, a tutor at the school’s writing center, and an all-around good guy. He is the Founder and Content Manager of Edu FAQs, and is here to clear up your questions and make your college experience as exciting as it is educational.