Married life affects college student lifestyles
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Campus

Married life affects college student lifestyles

Published 1/30/19

Alex McBride

TNE Writer

Most students get married after their collegiate career. However, some decide not to wait. Trent and Maddy Cantrell got married the summer before their senior year.

“We felt led to get married pretty early,” said Trent Cantrell, Broken Arrow senior.  “We were younger than most, and it was not really anything other than the fact that it was the right time from God. We felt like we were being led to do it.”

The Cantrell’s were 21 years old when they tied the knot. This is six-to-eight years younger than the average American getting married for the first time. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2018, the average woman was 27.8 years old and males were 29.8 years old when they got married for the first time.  

Housing and Residence Life has seen the effects of the rise of age in first time marriages. Three years ago, Courtside Apartments were open as marriage and family housing, but have since opened up to other students as well.

“We don’t have a lot of students in the scenario of needing on campus family housing,” said Craig Reinehr, resident and housing life director. “That is why we have turned a lot of it over to the upper class of junior, senior and graduate students to make sure the apartments are full.”

There are advantages to students living on campus, and married students are no exception. Just because the number of students living in family housing is dropping does not mean there are no advantages to living on campus.

“The biggest advantage to living on campus is first and foremost the convenience,” said Reinehr. “You are close to the places you need to be at whether that is meetings at night, resources or advisers. People who live on campus do better.”

Apartments on campus include appliances such as a fridge, microwave, stove and washer and dryers. Other amenities include internet and cable access. The cost of Courtside Apartments for family and married housing ranges from $3,150 to $4,000 a semester depending on how many bedrooms are in the apartment. Leases run from the beginning of August until the end of May for each academic year, and the university offers summer housing as well.

“For the apartments, the payment structure for someone who is married or has a family is a little different than if you’re a single student,” said Reinehr. “We set up a charge not too different than any other apartment complex. They can go to the business office and do a payment plan that is similar to monthly rent payments.”

Finances can be a stressful factor for any student. For single students, finances are something that can be hard to acquire. Depending on the situation, students who get married in college could see an increase in their financial aid.

“It helps a lot,” said Maddy Cantrell. “Right as we got married we filed our taxes together. We were one of the first to get financial aid. We both got the maximum amount of Pell grants we can get.”

Learning continues outside of the classroom in college. Students learn how to manage money, time and homework. Adjusting to living apart from parents can be a stressful time. Maddy Cantrell believes marriage could help alleviate the stresses of college.

“My favorite part is you get to go home to your best friend.” said Maddy Cantrell. “It is not like you have to plan a date to get together now or get together later. College is stressful sometimes so it just makes things easier getting to do life with your best friend. It is just less stressful.”

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