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      So Junior wants to go off to college and your mind begins to reel at the expense of a
good education. Most parents and college students often forget to figure in
their living expenses as a real debt factor in overall college expense. But as it turns out, it's a big chunck of the college budget. The national average for dorm expenses alone average $19,000 a year. That's over $76,000 for four years of campus housing!

Thankfully many new dorm alternatives are springing up around campuses across America, one of which is college RV Parks, or parks in close proximity to colleges that offer substantial student discounts. Yep. An RV dorm may be just what the budget doctored ordered. And if you think about it, it's not a bad idea!

The benefits of using RV's for college housing are enormous, and not all of them are financial. However, saving as much as $50,000 over a four year college stay is hard to ignore. Those savings could go a long way in paying off student loans quicker, or getting a better financial start after college - which is fast becoming one of the nation's biggest financial disasters.

Many college campuses recognize the financial strain students and the families are facing and several are paving the way for this new idea. Rv park housing
is just one of the many dorm alternatives being offered at universities who have established campus living-learning programs. Most of these programs are structured for first and second year students and are designed to prepare them for independent living.

One of the first colleges in the nation to implement such a program is the University of California at Santa Cruz. The on-campus trailer park has been in place since the early 1980's. Samuel Bersola, the director of residential and family support services at the university says it is a real bargain compared to dorm living expenses,

"Students pay between $385 and $428/ month and then there is the aspect of graduating seniors passing on RVs to incoming freshman at a great price!", he reports.

Though the park is small, just 42 spaces, the standards are high, and it is a fun and safe environment within the campus for students to learn independent living skills. Each student must provide their own camper, RV or motorcoach, which must pass inspection.

Even though the U of C took the lead on this alternative college
housing issue two decades ago, it didn't catch on until recently. Perhaps the rising cost of a college Educatin, the price of energy, food and basic living costs,
are pushing this alternative idea forward now more than ever.

One of the chief complaints of college students is the issue of personal space. Often
they are thrown into a dorm roommate situation which makes life unbearable or at least a negative experience, and certainly non-conducive to their studies. And college apartment complexes aren't much better and tend to be large and noisy and can be even more expensive than dorms. So it's no wonder students and parents are considering the RV option.

In addition to the financial benefits, there are many other wonderful aspects to RV park living. You must be careful in your choice of parks of course and should look for one that functions more like a community rather than servicing strictly tourist traffic. Most RV parks offer the same amenities of any nice apartment complex, but the community is smaller and more intimate. And students can expect great services as cable, hi-speed internet, recreation halls, pools, exercise facilities, laundry services and more. Some parks have activity directors and seasonal gatherings, pot luck dinners, group field trips and mpre. The student is exposed to all age ranges - from senior travelers to vacationing families to local citizens who've opted to RV full time.

It is a microcasm of a small town neighborhood and everyone learns to get along despite their age and background differences - much like the real world. When you think about it, dorm living with people their same age with the same set of life skills does little to prepare them for the real world.

Learning to care for the RV alone is a good lesson in adult responsiblity. While it
isn't an overwheliming obligation, simple maintenance tasks must be done and can easily be learned - or they can learn to schedule those maintenance issuses with professionals.

Needless to say, you want to get an RV that has been safety tested and make sure your student is aware of all saftey issues in RV living.

You'll also want to get an RV large and comfortable enough for Mom and Dad to come for a weekend visit And an RV is perfect if your student is involved in sports or other extracurricular activities that requiew travel. Some students even opt to RV during Spring Break, a much cheaper alternative to the expensive and dangerous hotel situations that can occur during spring break.

Then there is graduation and life after they've earned that degree - which usually means moving to a new city or state. Think how convenient it would be to move the
RV to the new location and let them get grounded in their work and get the income
machine flowing before having to rent a house or an apartment. There is also the choice of selling the RV to another college student and using the proceed to get started in the real world.
Even though you will not be able to find an on-campus RV park at every college in the
nation, chances are there any number of RV parks in the near vicinity of the college.
Many of these commercial RV parks offer student discounts and if it is not advertised, be sure to ask for a reduced rate, You'll probably get one. Especially if they know your student will be there for an extended period of time and they will follow park rules.

Perhaps left unsaid but known to all dedicated RVers is the sheer joy and simplicity in RV living. You will have introduced your college student to the joy of RVing  a lesson they will keep with them the rest of their lives!

More College RV Parks

University of Texas/Austin - a list of RV Parks near the UT campus

Holiday RV Park - closest RV park to Texas A&M

Out of State College RV Parks

Toccoa Falls College RV Park - Toccoa Falls Georgia -  Great park for passing through. Can see the beautiful Toccoa Falls while on campus. Campground is located on the southeast end of a beautiful 1100-acre wooded campus. Sights are all gravel and level. Not much to look at, but the on-campus scenery is nice. Just call the college and make a reservation; pay at the guard-shack.

River Ranch RV Park -  1 mile from Quincy, North Carolina and on the banks of the Feather River. The park is  adjacent to the campus of the Feather River College. This makes us the perfect place for college students to stay while attending FRC, and families wanting to come up and visit their college student, or catch a baseball tourney, college rodeo, or football game.

Williamette, Oregon - The first University in the west and located adjacent to Oregons State Capitol facilities. This campus has three rv Parks within a 6 mile radius of the campus that offer student discounts .

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