If you're married, have a spouse and children or are a single parent, you may have the option to live on campus with your family. Forty-seven percent of university students are considered "independent," according to the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. This statistic includes students who are married or responsible for dependents. Colleges that offer family housing can help you to attend school while still meeting your family's basic needs.
More Than Dorm Rooms
Family housing at a university isn't the same as a traditional student residence. Unlike single dorm rooms, family units are more like apartments. For example, Texas Woman's University offers two- and three-bedroom, on-campus family apartments. The housing that a university offers you and your family may include separate living and sleeping areas, home furnishings and possibly even laundry facilities. For example, Arizona State University offers family houses in three village groupings. These two- to five-bedroom residences are separate from non-family housing.
Accommodating Diverse Families
Heterosexual couples aren't the only student couples who have the option of family housing. Some universities offer this type of residence for single parents or domestic partners. For example, the University of Oregon has on-campus apartments for married couples, domestic partners or students who live with their children. Likewise, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville also offers student housing for domestic partners. To qualify at Southern Illinois University, students must demonstrate they are in a domestic partnership by having three documents of proof.
Year-Round Campus Apartments
Unlike dorms, that provide housing during the academic year, family units are often year-round options. The year-round leases allow your family to stay on-campus in one home without the disruption of moving. For example, Ohio State University's Buckeye Village family apartments have leases that go from May 16 to May 15 of the following year. Delta State University in Mississippi also offers year-round housing options; however, students must enroll in a minimum of three academic credit hours of summer classes to remain in the family units during the summer. Students with families at the University of California, Santa Cruz can rent on-campus, one- or two-bedroom apartments from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. This year-long lease also includes cable TV and Internet services, a parking space and use of the facility's laundry center.
Best Family-Friendly Colleges
Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., is rated as one of the top colleges for women with children by U.S. News & World Report. The website The Best Colleges rates Wilson College as number one on its Best 20 Colleges for Single Parents list. The school's Women and Children program provides students and their children with a two-room suite that includes a private bath. The family residence halls include shared playrooms on each floor, group computer rooms and storage spaces. St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, Minn., is also rated by U.S. News & World Reports and The Best Colleges as a top school for students with families. On-campus family housing includes one- and two-bedroom apartments. Another top family-friendly college is Mills College in Oakland, Calif., according to U.S. News & World Reports and The Best Colleges. The school's Underwood Family Housing unit features two-bedroom apartments, reserved parking and a children's play yard.
- Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success: Yesterday's Nontradtional Student Is Today's Tradtional Student
- Texas Woman's University: Family Housing
- University of Orgeon: Home for Everyone
- Ohio State University: Family Housing
- Delta State University: Family Housing
- University of California, Santa Cruz: Housing for Students with Families
- The Best Colleges: The 20 Best Colleges for Single Parents
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.