Parking gets spendy for students

Finding a place to park at Washington State University Vancouver can sometimes be very expensive. Most new students, returning students, and faculty members would probably want the best deal on parking. There are many things a student should consider when buying a parking pass: the price the student is willing to pay for parking, which buildings are close to the student’s classes, and how full parking can get.

There are three different parking lots available on campus. Orange is the most expensive parking lot, followed by green, while gray is the least expensive. Two other options are the blue parking lot and metered parking. There are two kinds of metered parking on campus. The campus offers thirty minute free parking located between the Classroom Building and the Dengerink Administration Building. There is also two-hour parking located within the two orange lots in front of the Student Services Center. The blue lot and the two-hour meters are ideal for people who want to visit campus for a longer period while the thirty-minute meters are ideal for people who just want to take a short visit on campus. They are also ideal for students with an expired parking pass. Between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., parking regulations are strictly enforced, even in the summer semester.

At WSU Vancouver, a student or faculty member has the option of purchasing an annual parking pass or a semester parking pass. These parking permits can be purchased online or at the Facilities Operations located at the Physical Plant Building. Some students may prefer to purchase an annual parking pass so that they will not have to re-purchase another parking pass when the spring semester is about to begin. An annual orange lot pass costs $252.95 plus tax, a green pass costs $216.35 plus tax, and for gray, the cost is $141.98 plus tax. Meanwhile, a pass for a single semester costs $105.73 in orange, $90.14 for green and $52.89 for a gray pass. Prices are, however, subject to change for the school year 2014 and 2015.

For students who find themselves a little short on cash after paying out tuition and a stack of textbooks, then purchasing a semester parking pass may be more appealing. Some students may not have the extra money to pay out all at once, making the smaller purchase more appealing. Likewise, students not planning to take summer classes would favor the semester passes, since the annual pass is good through the end of summer session and includes that in its price tag.

Another factor to consider is the location of the student’s classes during the semester. If price is not an issue, it is a great idea to buy a parking pass that provides quick access to specific buildings. For instance, if a student has more than two classes located in the Multimedia Classroom Building, then purchasing an annual or semester parking pass for the orange parking lot would be a good idea due to the fact that the Multimedia Classroom Building is located near an orange parking lot. If a student has most of his or her classes in the Science and Engineering Building, then green or even gray can be as close to the building as an orange pass.

Katelynn Edwards and Jessica Trafton, biology majors at WSU Vancouver, both agree that the gray parking lot is the best parking deal for students on campus due to its affordability. Even though the gray parking lot is the most affordable parking lot on campus, it can have its down side. Since it is the most affordable, it can often be more difficult to find parking in a gray parking lot than a green or an orange. Students with gray passes may have to come to school earlier to deal with the added difficulty of finding parking.

Overall, parking at WSU Vancouver largely depends on a student’s budget, the location of a student’s classes, and how fast a parking lot fills up. To purchase a parking permit online, go to van-parking.vancouver.wsu.edu/. For more information about campus parking, a student may contact parking services by calling during their office hours at (360) 546-9009 or by at parkingservices@vancouver.wsu.edu

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