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How Much Does Moving Away to College Cost?

Posted: April 29, 2022

Moving and cheap don’t exactly go together, which isn’t exactly ideal for a college student. Tuition, housing, and the essentials of college life already take a large amount of money. However, there are many ways to transport your stuff to your dorm or apartment and it’s possible to budget properly to save yourself money.

A lot of people tend to go with the do-it-yourself route by renting a moving truck and packing it themselves. But not everyone wants to go through the tiring and demanding process of driving cross country and setting up a schedule to move in. Most colleges also start in August, during the peak moving season which causes the prices to go up. This is one of the many considerations in the cost of moving to college. Collegeboxes is here to help you compare the prices of different services.

The price of college moving

There are few better moments in life than opening a letter from your dream school to see that you got accepted. Unfortunately, the reality sets in that your dream comes with a cost. It’s likely you earned scholarships and were rewarded grants to help with the actual education costs. The bad news is moving companies don’t exactly take scholarship money.

It might be a one-way move, but there’s not just one way to move. Rental trucks and doing-it-yourself is a popular choice, but there is a variety to choose from. People will send moving containers to college, a rarity but it happens, or they pay professionals to do it for them. Schools also offer the option to have your things shipped to campus and held for you, but generally, the school quickly runs out of space for that option.

You as a college student and your family will likely decide between driving and shipping. Let’s compare the cost.

Is a rental truck the best way to move a college student out of state?

In this exercise, we’ll take a student from the Chicago area that is attending the downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State. With the student living in the dorm, the best-suited rental truck is generally the 10’ to 15’ foot option that holds a one-bedroom apartment. A dorm room will be smaller than a one-bedroom apartment. But it gives you plenty of room and is generally the smallest-sized truck unless you rent a cargo van.

The trip will take over 2,000 miles, meaning it’ll be a hefty price tag for your truck. With it also being a busy moving time, the price will be high even if made far in advance. On average, a moving company will quote you somewhere between $1,800-$2,200 to rent the truck, even with unlimited miles.

That’s the foundation of your moving budget. But you need moving supplies to move. Boxes are needed. You’ll also need a roll of tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, scissors, a marker, labels, and more than likely furniture pads or blankets to avoid damage being done to bigger items.

It might seem smart to reuse boxes that are floating around trash cans. Not all boxes are of the same quality. It’s in your best interest and your belongings to buy strong and sturdy boxes that won’t be crushed in the back of a truck. A good, large box should cost you around $4 or $5. For a studio or one-bedroom apartment, the number of boxes you’ll need is estimated at anywhere between 10-20 boxes based on how much stuff you need. If you’re moving into an apartment rather than a dorm room, you’ll likely be on the higher side because of kitchenware, furniture, and décor.

How much does all this cost for moving supplies? There are a lot of variables, however, for all your moving supplies a good estimate is $250-$500 with it depending on how many boxes you need.

For a freshman and a parent to drive in a rental moving truck from Chicago to a college dorm in Phoenix, we estimate your move to be around $2,500-$3,000 when adding in hotel stays and gas. A moving container or full-service moving company will cost you more but take the work from you. But how does shipping compare?

College shipping services

Shipping isn’t always cheap either. It can also be complicated for a lot of people. But it doesn’t have to be. With Collegeboxes, all you have to do is sign up and pack for an affordable price. We offer two different shipping options; Ship to School and Direct Shipping.

With either process, you just have to put your belongings in a box and our services will do the rest. For Ship to School, your boxes and luggage are shipped from home to the local U-Haul near campus. Your items are temporarily stored until the delivery day when they are delivered directly to your residence on the day you choose.

Direct Shipping works well for those that live in an apartment or a house. The experts in college moving provide an easy and affordable way for students to move to and from school! You pack, FedEx picks up your boxes from your home or mailroom and ships to your destination.

Collegeboxes provides low-cost shipping. On average, you will pay less than national carriers:

On Average

  • In-State Shipments: $35-$50 per box
  • Regional Shipments: $50-$80 per box
  • Coast-to-Coast Shipments: $65-$90 per box

Collegeboxes also has premier boxes. The Signature Collegeboxes Box has 24” x 16” x 18” dimensions that hold up to 106 lbs. and an edge crush test rating of 51. The Collegeboxes Supply Kit is also an excellent choice for your move as it’s cost-effective. For the low price of $39.99, you can get five boxes, one bonus box, one roll of tape, 10 shipping label pouches, five zip ties, and one marker shipped to you.

Instead of making a trek in the middle of summer, let Collegeboxes and its dorm room movers handle it for you. See if your school is one of the 350-plus that we serve and sign up today! For parents, please visit our Parents page for more information on how to support your child moving to college.