Nicole Freebersyser

Nicole Freebersyser is cutting back school costs by exchanging independent living with living at home with her family.

Between tuition, rent and textbooks, college students are left with a lot of expenses at the end of the year.

Students often find ways to cut down on those expenses, and UK junior accounting major Nicole Freebersyser has eliminated one of the biggest costs—rent.

During Freebersyser’s freshman year she lived on campus in Jewell Hall during her first semester, but then decided she wanted to cut down on the cost of UK’s dorms and moved to a house near campus for her second semester.

Moving from the dorm to off-campus housing saved her around $3,500. She continued to rent houses near campus her sophomore year with friends, and by her junior year decided to move back home with her parents.

“Some of the reasons I moved home, for one, is a lot of the houses are really old and falling apart, and on top of that there’s always roommate drama, it’s really expensive, and the main perk is just living close to campus, but honestly I found that parking near campus is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be,” Freebersyser said.

Freebersyser’s housemates now include her mother, step-father, sister and young niece. Her parents said they are more than happy to have her back at home again and help her succeed in school in whatever ways they can.

“I think the thing that I like most about having Nicole back home is it feels like we just get to be friends now. I don’t want to say roommates, it’s better than that, but I feel like I don’t have to be her parent,” said Keni Parks, Freebersyser’s mother.

Living off campus means not being close to resources that many students would count as essential for college, like the library. Freebersyser finds other places to study to ensure she is successful in school.

“I usually study right here in my dining room unless the family is being kind of loud or the house is crazy. I usually just go to a coffee shop,” Freebersyser said.

Living off campus has many benefits and is by far the most cost friendly choice. However, Nicole has faced a few struggles adjusting to living at home again.

“Honestly, living at home has been a lot better than I thought it would go. The only main issue that I run into is I live with a two year old, so being a college student that is kind of hard to find quiet study time. But other than that, there’s really not much of a downside,” Freebersyser said.

Freebersyser plans to live at home until she graduates next year, and by the time she graduates she will have saved over $10,000.

“The overall benefit is the cost that I saved but also its really nice not living in the heart of downtown near a bunch of other college students,” Freebersyser said. “It’s a lot more peaceful and quiet.”