Originally Posted by wholeheartedly
On that note, how many mandatory hours do you spend on campus each day/week?
I'm currently commuting quite a ways for graduate school and I hear you on the social and extra-curriculars. I'm just wondering, in case I can't sell my house right away to relocate, what others experiences are with the balance of req'd hours vs commute time? Also, the price of gas sucks, but you've been ok financially with commuter costs?
My school has required attendance for everything. If you are planning a long commute it would be better if your school did not require lecture attendance and had lecture podcasts. Since my school has a PBL curriculum I'm not on campus all that much, though. The first semester with anatomy had a packed schedule and I had to go in every weekday and most days were fairly long, about 6-7 hours. The second semester was better in that I only had to be on campus 2-3 hours a day, though it was 5 days a week - we had PBL group on Mon, Wed, and Fri and Tues was OMM lecture and lab and Thurs was H&P lecture/lab.
If you were in a more traditional curriculum with lectures all day every day and you had a long commute I could see it possibly interfering with your grades (i.e., if you spent 10 hours a day in class and commuting). I do not feel the long commute has impacted on my grades at all. The problems I had at the start of the year were related to being out of practice as a student and not my commute time. A student in my class told some other students her academic problems were stemming from her one hour commute but IMO that is not a valid excuse at our school.
I not only pay for gas but the only sensible way for me to commute to and from school is on a toll road. I estimate that I pay about $12 in gas and tolls for every day I commute to school. Thinking about this is painful but I haven't had trouble financially, probably because like I said before, you don't have time to do much that costs money during school.