With Thanksgiving around the corner, The Whit wants to reflect on what the university does to create a family-friendly environment on campus.
The campus has a great number of resources for students who are going to school while also raising families. Most notably, James Hall has an on-campus daycare center, which allows students with children to attend classes without having to worry about finding childcare at an off-campus facility, leaving their children with family, or having to bring their children to class with them.
There’s even a program that allows qualifying student parents to receive childcare from the center at no or low cost to them.
Several buildings around campus also have private spaces dedicated to students and faculty who are lactating, to make the campus a more inclusive place for those balancing raising a family with school.
While all of these resources are great to have on campus, and hugely assist parents in the ability to succeed in school and obtain their degrees, there’s still one huge element that is lacking to make the campus more family-friendly housing.
Rowan currently does not offer any family-friendly on-campus housing. This makes it more difficult for students with children to obtain their degrees from Rowan.
If the student is from a different state or country, or even a part of New Jersey that would be too long or inconvenient of a commute, they will need to find off-campus housing. This can be more expensive than on-campus housing and is undoubtedly less convenient.
Without on-campus housing for students raising children, there is more of a burden on the student, as they now have to travel farther than the campus housing which would leave most buildings within a safe and reasonable walking distance.
This also means the student will need to take on other financial burdens as well, like rent, potentially without the benefit of a roommate, and a parking permit, which can run if their classes are out of reach.
According to Zillow, the average rent for a two-bedroom residence in Glassboro would be around $14,400 for the nine-month period the academic year covers. However, on-campus housing ranges from about $9,700 to $12,698, some of which can be subsidized by financial aid and scholarships. This difference of thousands of dollars could greatly reduce the stress and burden on student parents.
This lack of family housing also closes the university off to a larger number of grad students, researchers, and the revenue streams those bring with them. As grad students tend to be older, they are more likely to have already started families they need to care for. If Rowan cannot provide them with the space they need to do that on campus, they may look to other nearby schools like Rutgers that offer family housing.
If the university wants to expand, have more influence in the world of research, and attract more grad students, this is a necessary step.
It would be great if at next year’s Thanksgiving, students could be grateful for family-friendly student housing.
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