by Guest author Kristal
The question as to whether to buy a car while you are studying in your undergraduate or graduate student in US schools depends on several factors like city size, convenience of local businesses/grocery/etc, bus system availability, parking availability, distance to university, etc.
If you are living a bigger city and you like to enjoy life by going out a lot, you may need a car. But, the reality is, bigger cities have better transportation and you may not need a car…it totally depends on the city. In small college towns, you would not need a car if everything is situated around campus. But, if the university is away from town, then you may need a car. You may not have proper transportation in smaller cities, so you may need a car. It totally depends on the city. So, it can be very tricky depending on city.
If you are living in a large city, some convenience or grocery stores may be farther away, so a car may have its perks. You should also consider that larger cities tend to have higher gas prices as well and better public transportation, so that may be a better alternative. In smaller cities, public transportation might not be an option, so buying groceries and other misc personal items might be a hassle.
Public transportation system:
You should also consider whether the city has a public transportation system. Generally, students can ride free or for a reduced fare. If the city in which you live has a rather extensive bus routes, riding the bus may be a cheaper alternative. Also, check into the hours of operation…you don’t want to get stuck on the other side of the city !
Parking Expenses and Availability:
Parking is also another issue that should be taken into consideration. Depending on the university, on campus parking may be readily available or extremely difficult to find – you will also probably need to purchase a parking permit for on campus. If you decide to park on the street, watch for no parking zones, or places that have time limits – these are closely monitored, especially during peak times and by the university. For overnight parking on the street, most cities will require a city night parking permit.
Distance to University
Another consideration would be how far you study and/or work from where you live. If it is a long distance, a car might be a good idea. If it is few minutes’ walk, there is no point…it might be extra expenditure to have a car because you would have to pay for parking.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered, and these are just a few. It is a decision that needs to be made on a case-to-case basis. Just remember that a car is a huge investment, and the expenses are never ending, from gas to repairs to registration, etc… If you can afford to have a car, it can be a nice convenience, if not it can be a huge hassle…and at the school level, you are there to study…you have the rest of your life to cruise around town.
Do you have any other things to share that one should consider ?
About Author : Kristal recently graduated from a State University in US with B.A and B.S in Economics, Mathematics, and Spanish Majors. She is going to attend a reputed University for PhD in Economics in fall 2010 with full funding. She will share her undergraduate experiences and PhD admission tips with our readers.
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