The transition to freshman year of college can be challenging even when the college is a good fit. The four areas of fit are academic, social, financial and vocational. Contrary to what most may think, the biggest adjustment for college freshmen is social. By “social”, I’m referring to life skills, independence, roommate issues, organizational skills and time management.

College life is busy and requires tremendous discipline as freshmen adjust to life away from home with more freedom and independence. For my freshman son at Stanford, it’s been a major adjustment for him to manage his time given all the social distractions that come with college, like meeting new friends, joining clubs, and going to parties!

When my son came home for break, I was pleasantly surprised that he had no dirty laundry. I thought to myself, “Wow, how impressive that he made time to do laundry.” Well, what I quickly learned is that Stanford has free laundry. So, I guess it’s not that impressive. 🙂

Having free laundry in college though really makes life a bit easier because there’s one less thing for him to worry about. Just finished studying at 1 am in the morning . . . do laundry. No quarters . . . do laundry. Need a clean shirt for an interview . . . do laundry.

When I was in college at Stanford, there was no such a thing as free laundry so I spent a lot of wasted time dreading the thought of getting quarters to do laundry. Even though there was a bank on campus, it was a hassle because the bank’s 10 am to 4 pm hours didn’t always work with my schedule.  Sometimes, my fellow dorm mates may have had extra quarters but still . . .

Free laundry is a game changer for saving time in college.

When the high school junior is developing their college list, free laundry may not be at the top of their list of considerations for fit. But once they are in college, it will make a difference.

Here’s a short list of colleges with free laundry to consider:

Colleges with Free Laundry

CollegeLocationUndergraduate SizeAdmissions RateMost popular majors
Columbia UniversityNew York, NY8,712Wildcardsocial sciences, engineering, biology
Curry CollegeMilton, MA2,11170+%nursing, criminal justice, business
Davidson CollegeDavidson, NC1,79620%political science, economics, biology
Murray State University Murray, KY6,98070+%integrated studies, nursing, agriculture
Nazareth CollegeRochester, NY2,03470+%health professions, education, business management
Randolph CollegeLynchburg, VA64570+%biology, psychology, English
Rider UniversityLawrenceville, NJ3,68569%elementary education, psychology
St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY2,60765%nursing, biology, management
Stanford UniversityPalo Alto, CA7,034Wildcardcomputer science, human biology, engineering
State University of New York at Geneseo Geneseo, NY5,31667%psychology, biology, business administration
University of AkronAkron, OH13,82770+%business, health professions, engineering
Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MA2,04318%economics, math, English, psychology

This essay is adapted from Pamela Ellis’ book What to Know Before They Go: College Edition (Volume 1).


Author: Pamela E

Dr. Pamela has helped thousands of teens attend the college of their choice. She brings her 25 years experience in education to assist families, schools, and employers with college selection, admissions, financial aid, and more. Dr. Pamela holds a PhD from Stanford School of Education, and an MBA from Dartmouth.

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