"Drip" has given you some worthwhile information, and I agree with that answer. Some, more ignorant high schoolers define the "college experience" as getting drunk, acting like jerks, and doing all the things their parents would prevent if they were living at home. I had a roommate who followed that path and was kicked out of school before the first semester of freshman year ended. The real "college experience" is living on your own, being responsible for your own welfare, developing new friendships with others facing the same challenges you face, and growing, not only in intellectual abilities but generally as a person. Living on campus provides some experiences which only "resident students" have, but the same can be said for students who commute. Nobody prevents commuter students from taking advantage of what the college has to offer. The ones who are left out are those who jump in their cars as soon as class ends and rush off-campus to be somewhere else. Commuter students who do their studying on campus at a library, on a bench in the outdoors, in a dining hall, at a student union, or wherever other people gather will certainly develop similar friendships to those who live on campus. Commuter students have the same opportunities to work directly with professors, join "work/study" programs, get into clubs, and participate in college activities which "resident students" have. Commuter students who feel that they are not getting the "college experience" always have the option of increasing their involvement in college life.