Mom Monday-Finding the Right College Dorm Room

23 Aug

If you have ever sent a child to College, you know there is so much to know that you didn’t know you needed to know! That sentence will make complete sense to you if you have survived or are going through sending a child to college! Our son is entering his Senior year in HS and is college bound. I started my college research months ago, he has applied and I still am learning so much.

I like to find articles that guide us through anything from admissions process to finding the right college dorm.  Between reading articles and attending Junior Day this past spring at a college our son is interested in, we learned a lot about the dorm situations. I will share these with you as I gathered from many sources and wanted to put these tips ion one post.

Finding the right college dorm room at Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

Visit the schools


I cannot emphasize this enough! Not only does it give your child that college life itch that keeps them motivated, you also can see the layout of campus. When you visit the campus, have a pen and paper handy as well as a campus map for notes. We found a few dorms located directly across from the Engineering department and lab which is the study he is majoring in.  No matter the degree, the majority of your child’s classes will be clustered in buildings near each other-the medical classes may be on one side of campus, Engineering on another and Business may be spread out. Knowing how your college groups the study areas and noting the dorms nearby may save your child from living on the complete opposite side of the campus than where they will spend class and lab times.


Co-Ed or not?


All dorms are either co-ed or same sex halls. In most cases the co-ed still has some sort of separation I am comfortable with as a Mother of a son, but perhaps to you or your child may feel distracted in co-ed dorms and worse yet, you run the risk of that roommate who loves the opposite sex hanging out and that gets hectic. You can narrow down the dorms even further by knowing your preference and noting which sex or sexes reside at each dorm.


Don’t be afraid to ask alumni or students


Welcome to the age of social media! For the schools our son is interested in, I have found parent pages for these colleges on Facebook and joined them! I read and learn a lot in the discussions. It is not uncommon to find shout out such as ‘Does anyone know best dorm for…students?”’, etc. The parents on these pages are very active in these groups and it is a great way to get your questions answered from those families a step ahead of you.




Each dorm has its own study lounges and support groups. I noticed on the walls of the dorms we toured that some were littered with events and study times, study parties and some dorms had empty bulletin boards. As you step into a dorm, grab a student and visit the lounge as you pay attention to announcement boards. An active dorm is a great experience for a new student who needs to meet other students and feel support around them.


Remember, your child will be looking for the high energy, good time dorm. In the end, they are not thinking everyday treks across campus to classes or having a support group when studies get tough! Visiting, asking questions and using a process of elimination by location, atmosphere and support can be the difference of a dreaded day at school or a world of support and convenience available to your child.  Good luck finding the right college dorm for your teen.

Have any tips to add to this list?


Erinn is a Writer, Wife and Mom to 3 boys. She writes about products and tips to help us raise happy, healthy and active families. When she is not writing you will find her camping or in theErinn Sluka sand dunes riding ATV’s with her boys. She is a PTA President and works in the local High School as well.

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