Should You Bring Your Car on Campus?

One of the most common questions I am asked is whether students need to bring their car with them to school. And the honest truth is that, well, it depends on a few things.


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Parking can be limited on campus, especially during event weekends such as homecoming, Dad’s weekend, Mom’s weekend, and graduation. Having an assigned parking space certainly eases the stress when guests come to visit. However, campus is full of metered parking, as well. Students can even purchase temporary parking through Champaign Public Parking for visiting guests.

Pro-tip: Check to see if nearby apartment complexes/leasing companies offer non-resident parking near your dorm or apartment. Oftentimes, these companies will offer leased parking for students!


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There is no doubt about it—bringing a car to college is pricey. Leasing a parking space can cost anywhere from $400-$1,300 a year. On top of that, there’s gas, meter parking, and vehicle maintenance. The silver lining? Parking is competitive. Many apartment agencies will offer free parking promotions at signing or reduced rates at the end of a semester.

Pro-tip: If you plan to lease parking, consider waiting until later in the summer or semester to sign. Many companies will offer deals in order to lease out the available spaces.

The Convenience Factor

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The main reason students bring a car to campus? It makes just about everything more convenient: grocery shopping, heading downtown for dinner, and traveling to and from home. That being said, odds are at least one of your friends will have a car on campus. Carpooling can be a great way to make friends all while utilizing the pros of having a car.

Pro-tip: Champaign has a great public transportation system that all University of Illinois students have access to! Bus routes run throughout town. Stops include grocery stores, the mall, and the campus area.



Class of 2020
I am studying Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Sciences and Literacy in the College of Education. Although I now reside in Champaign, I am originally from Vernon Hills, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.

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