MADISON (WKOW) -- Surveys say about one in two U.S. college students are choosing to live at home to save money.
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the number of college students living in dorms and in off-campus housing has fallen nearly three percent and one percent, respectively, and the students who are commuting to campus from home has risen from about 43 to 48 percent in one year.
"It's nearly a 5% increase. That's really substantial in terms of the amount of people who are saying, ‘You know can't afford to live off campus, can't afford to live in the dorms, so we're going to save money as a family by living at home and commuting,'" said Betty Hurd, director of Fashion Marketing at Madison College.
Pollsters say it's because families are still nervous about the economy.
"Multiple factors go into a family's decision on where their child will live during college, and it is likely the economy has something to do with parents wanting to keep their costs down and forgo the traditionally expensive room-and-board route," said Pam Goodfellow, director of Prosper Consumer Insights, which conducted the survey for NRF.
Some college students say saving money takes priority over moving out.
"I'm not like embarrassed or anything," said Anna Heron, a first-year college student. "I'm currently living with my dad and sister and I don't plan on moving out for a couple of years still because I'm still making money on the side and going to school, so that costs a lot of money."
Heron says she currently has two part-time jobs and attends school, but there are perks of living at home.
"I like it because my dad pays for my food and my clothes still," Heron said. "He's helping me out with college also. I would just miss my family if I'm away from them. I've never been away from my family before."
The NRF polled more than 5,600 people between July 1 and 8. The Pew Research Center has found similar data on the rising number of American millennials living at home in previous years.
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