So I'm attending a state university's Honors college and my parents have agreed to cover full tuition for 4 years of undergrad (whoo!) I'm on my own essentially for books, etc. (I have three younger siblings one after the other right after me, so they can only give so much.) Here's the thing. Ideally I'd like to live on campus for various familial reasons. The padre thinks it's a good idea to try for at least the first semester... but I'd have to take out a loan. Room & board is $9243 for full year... that's a pretty big loan and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that much debt. I was not approved for any financial aid & the review we requested for the FA doesn't appear to be going as planned.
I could always live at home and commute - but I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that, either. The madre is pushing this option. I'd come out with no debt from room and board, but I'd be living in the house for at least another semester, probably another year to two years till I could find some roommates and save up to get an apartment nearbye. Aside from personal reasons for wanting to leave I've heard horror stories from friends about living at home for freshman year and then having an excruciating time connecting with people. I don't want college to be a repeat of high school. I've always wanted to get out of state for undergrad and that turned out to be financially ridiculous, so I'd at least like to get out of the house... but if it's not worth taking on the financial debt, I won't.
I am getting a job (hopefully full-time this summer & part-time during the rest of the year) but I really don't expect to earn more than minimum wage ($7.25 an hour in my state), so I don't think I can pay off much more than books, car bills, and putting a bit away toward next year.
Full disclosure: I've not declared yet but at this moment am leaning toward majoring in Psychology, and that means grad school - and I mean PhD, not Master's. That definitely contributes to my wanting to keep the burden as low as possible, but if the payoff is worth it, I'm willing to live on-campus.
Preferably from people who have graduated from undergrad in recent years: from your experience, is it worth it to room at the college or is it a better bet to get out debt-free (or nearly so)? I realize this is an opinion question, but I'd appreciate getting as many as possible.