The page you are visiting was formerly part of the Which? University website, but is now being provided by The Uni Guide — part of The Student Room. For more information please click here.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

Student accommodation guide #4: living at home

Heading to a local university – or one within commuting distance? If you're considering living at home, here are the pros and the cons...

If you’re within commuting distance of your university, living at home with family while studying is definitely worth considering  23% of students told us they did just that*, while a Sutton Trust report found that just over half (55.8%) attend a university less than 55 miles away from their family home.

Paying rent for university halls or private accommodation is often the biggest drain on students' budget. Even if you're paying a small amount in rent to your family, plus your travel to attend classes a couple of days a week, it may be significantly cheaper than living at uni (though it depends on your individual circumstances). 

As a result, there has been a rise in 'commuter students', with some universities reporting that around half of their undergraduate students live at home.

But as we see below, you may lose out on some of the social benefits of living close to the action, at uni...

Living at home: pros and cons

Before ruling out other accommodation options, weigh up the pros and cons of staying at home…

Pros of living at home:

  • Cheap option: even with commuting costs, you should save money overall
  • No moving out: one less hassle to worry about when starting university
  • Home perks: someone else to sort out your cooking, washing, cleaning (or at least help out)

Don't turn your whites, pink. Read our beginner's guide to laundry.

Cons of living at home:

  • Commuting: could take up a lot of your time (and money!)
  • Someone else’s rules: expect less independence than your living-in-halls peers
  • Away from the action: you’ll need to find other ways to meet students. Plus, it can be difficult to socialise in the evening if you need to get the last train, unless you have somewhere to stay.
Lived with my mum for two first years. Plus points: food, no noisy neighbours, no rent or money issues, free laundry service. Downsides: making friends can be harder and the rules of the house are made by parents.  Third Year Film Studies Student | University Of The West Of England - Bristol

Typical costs: staying at home vs. uni accommodation 

Whatever your arrangement, chances are living at home will be by far your most affordable accommodation option.

According to the National Union of Students' 'Homes Fit For Study' report, the average rent for those staying at home was just £72, compared to £426 for university-managed halls or £366 for privately-rented housing.

And the majority of students surveyed who were living at home weren't actually paying any rent at all!

That said, when comparing with other options, do factor in the cost of your commute into university, as well as other costs you agree with your family to cover (eg utility bills, food).

About our data
* Which? University Student Survey 2018

Search The Uni Guide

Find further advice or search for information on a course or university