As college students, most of us are pretty anal about where are money goes to and what we spend it all on.  I mean, come on, I know most of us decide to spend it on pretty stupid things but at the same time who wants to waste it on a parking pass?

After going to school for three years and always, and I mean always, getting free parking, it was a huge change to find out just to park on campus I had to pay $335 for a full year of parking.

I tried to figure out if there was a way I could carpool with someone and split the cost or even if there was free parking that wasn’t on campus.  It was easy to figure out but not right away.  I heard about students parking and taking a shuttle on to campus but then you’d have to worry about shuttle times and whether or not you could make them.  The pros and cons of parking on and off campus goes on and on and on.

Campus parking is pretty limited depending on where you need to go and at what time.  “They definitely need more parking. If you don’t get to campus at 8 a.m. it’s so difficult to find a parking place close to where I need to be,” stated sophomore Haley Griffin. “My classes don’t start until 2:00 P.M. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and being a commuter student who lives twenty minutes away I sometimes have to leave an hour and a half early before my class just to be able to park.  A lot of the time parking is so tight that you could easily get your car messed up.”

UNC Charlotte has a huge amount of commuter students and you can tell from how full the parking lots always seem to be.  Not to mention all the faculty and staff who also have to pay for their own parking.  It’s constant chaos everywhere in the parking lots.  As soon as classes get let out in the afternoon cars are zooming in and out trying to get away from the school or even trying to get in.

I’m not going to lie though, it seems like we have so many parking spaces available on campus.  The only thing is finding one that is close to your classes. Everyone even warns you to keep an extra roll of quarters in your car in case you have to park at a meter if you’re running late for class that day.  If you don’t have early classes you’re most likely going to be walking a long distance.

I, unlike most students, refuse to pay the price to park on campus.  As an out of state student I already have to pay extra just to attend school at UNC Charlotte so I don’t feel it’s necessary to park on campus and pay the fee.  Instead, I walk.  I really don’t mind it though because after getting rides with friends on days when I’m at school later in the day I’ve realized I walk just as far as my friends do, and I don’t pay a cent for it.  I’m not trying to diss on anyone or say anything rude, it’s just that I don’t have the money to spend on a parking pass.  It doesn’t seem fair that we are getting charged such obnoxious rates just to park our cars for the day.

“I park in lot 6A because it was the cheapest and closest parking lot,” stated Junior Emily Langston, a commuter student at UNC Charlotte. “I just know that I walk across lot 6 and through a lot of woods.”  Lot 6A is 235 dollars to park in.  Only $100 cheaper than being able to park anywhere else on campus.  It doesn’t seem fair that these students have to walk through some crazy, dark woods that could potentially be dangerous for any student or faculty member.

“We have campus shuttles, safe ride and more to help students and faculty commute from their parking spots,” replied Carol Ross from the Office of Transportation when asked if they were doing anything to help make the walk to campus any easier on us.  “We have safe ride for students and faculty to use if they don’t feel safe walking from anywhere on campus.”

I guess what I’m trying to understand is why we are charged so much for parking?  I feel that we should know what all this extra money is going to and why it has to be so much.


  1. Why do parking permits cost what they do? Three articles that address that and other often-asked questions were posted on AuxNews ( last year. A condensed version appeared in a two-page advertorial in NinerTime’s Welcome Back edition in August and updated versions will be available in preparation for next fall semester. If you really want to know where the money is going and why it’s so much, reading all three will help your understanding.
    Truth about Parking I – How permit price is determined:
    Truth about Parking 2 – What do permit fees pay for and where the money for citation fines goes:
    Truth About Parking 3 –  Why more permits sold than the amount of actual spaces
    Thank you for the opportunity to further the dialogue (and clear up some misunderstanding) about parking on campus.
    LouAnn Lamb
    Marketing Director for Business Services
    UNC Charlotte

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