Sending kids off to college is often a stressful time for parents, as well as students. In addition to the financial obligations of providing a college education, parents also have practical concerns about their students' first experience living away from home for an extended period of time, especially if students are not accustomed to life in a big city.
University College (UC) participants have the benefit of belonging to a close-knit community of like-minded students with common interests right from the first day they move into the residence halls. All UC students are paired with a roommate who is also in the UC on a floor with their whole class. This arrangement easily facilitates group study sessions and opportunities to keep discussions and debates going outside of class. The Program Associate or Teaching Assistant plays a vital role in encouraging these activities and acts as a peer mentor and group organizer. Students rate the University College living experience as being a highly valuable aspect of the program as students tend to develop close and lasting friendships with the people in their UC class. In many cases, groups of students will choose to continue living together after their UC experience has ended, often moving off-campus into group houses in their junior or senior year.