Away from Home and Money Gone: How College Students Spend More Money When Living on Campus


People always hear about the “struggling college student,” and how college students either have poor money management skills. Or that there is a lot of money that gets spent for things such as groceries, books, etc.

When living on campus, many students say that their money goes fast, and sometimes they don’t even know where it’s going because they forget they spent so much. The transition from high school to college is different for people, since freshmen are used to living with their parents and not worrying about buying certain things.

Siena Heights freshman Alex Garavalia had some insight to share about what changes he has seen in his spending since coming to college.

“I would say I spend more here because I don’t have my parents breathing down my neck, telling me what I can and can’t eat,” said Garavalia. “I feel like I have more money because I don’t get an allowance. I just worked a lot over the summer, but I for sure use more money on fast food here because sometimes you need a break from the UC food.”

It’s not just here at Siena, but at most colleges around the country. Students will get tired of the food offered on campus and choose other places in the community to spend their money. A lot of people are used to home-cooked meals, and having something different some nights. But at school, students tend to eat the same exact thing, which forces them to go out and pick up some fast food.

Rob Oliver, a junior, said his spending changed from freshman year to now and also gave some advice for saving money while in college.

“Freshman year I spent a lot of money eating out because I was away from home, and the hours here for the cafeteria were terrible so I was forced to eat out.” said Oliver. “Now, as a junior, I’m starting to go grocery shopping more and do things like that so I can stretch my money out more, instead of spending a lot of money on just one meal. My advice to freshmen is to go grocery shopping more instead of going to Applebee’s every night or things like that so you can make your money last.”

It seems that most money being spent by students on campus is going towards fast food. Many students said they grow tired of the food served on campus, so of course they are going to spend their money on their favorite food places here around town. With so many different restaurants in Adrian, students are always going to spend some money, especially at Wendy’s, due to it offering a 50 percent off discount for college students.