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Leaving The Nest For Springfield College

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — It’s the day just about every parent dreads — college move-in day.

About 600 freshman moved into their dorms at Springfield College today.

If Nancy Engelbrecht had her way, her daughter Brielle would still be living at home. Of course, deep down, Nancy knows college life is something Brielle needs to experience.

“Well she’s going to be more independent, she’s going to learn to be a little bit more responsible about day-to-day things — budgeting, eating, planning ahead, you know getting up on time, getting everything done without being reminded,” says Nancy. “So she’s just gonna grow up a little bit.”

“I’d like to get the dorm room experience,” says her daughter Brielle. “I mean I get to meet all these new people and it will be fun.”

But, if homesickness does set in, it helps that Brielle’s parents live about 15 minutes from Springfield College.

Her classmate Grady Bergin’s drive is a bit farther — it’s about two hours to his home in Cape Cod.

“It was just my mom here today and her boyfriend and they were both really awesome, they’re actually still here putting whatever was left in the car, but yeah, they’ve been really helpful and they got me on my feet nice and quick,” says Bergin, who’s mom was already starting to miss him.

Brielle and Grady are just two of the 600 freshmen moving into Springfield College today. But, at a school where 92 percent of freshman live on-campus, their class may be part of a shrinking majority.

According to a Fidelity survey of 2,000 families, 49 percent of parents are considering having their children live at home and commute to school. That’s up from 34 percent in 2007.

That’s because, on average, room and board makes up about a third of college expenses. And, those expenses seem to continually rise.

But, if you ask the parents and students at Springfield College, it’s a price worth paying.

“She definitely wants — she wanted me off the Cape,” says Bergin, when asked if his mom wanted him to move out. “She told me just to get out and start living on my own and see things in another way, so I’m looking really forward to it. ”

Class at Springfield College starts on Tuesday, which will give freshman a nice, long weekend to adjust. Staff at Springfield College say they’ve also planned plenty of activities over the next few days to helps students adjust to life without mom and dad.

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