Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Out-of-state students struggle to go home for the holidays


With the increasing number of out-of-state students attending the University, some of them face a tough decision when it comes to breaks for the holidays. Stay in Tuscaloosa or pay a high fee just to get a couple of days back home?

That’s a question many are faced with since out-of-state students now make up 51 percent of the UA population, and the fall and thanksgiving breaks last only a few days.

“I wouldn’t say it’s worth it just because it costs so much for a plane ticket and gas to the airport, and it costs so much more than if you were to stay in Tuscaloosa,” said Hillary Marshall, a graduate student studying women’s studies from Cambridge, Maryland, when referring to Thanksgiving break. “I know you want to go home and see your family, but just four days is not even worth the price.”

Marshall flies into Baltimore and said her tickets are usually around $330 to $350, and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for traveling.

“I know Wednesday is the busiest day to fly,” she said. “It’s harder to get flights closer to Thanksgiving. I think that with all the money we pay to go here you could at least give us a week off for Thanksgiving.”

Other out-of-state students echoed the same sentiment.

“It’d be kind of nice to have the full week off because I could probably go back if I did have a full week,” said Amanda Horowitz, a freshman majoring in math and theatre from Los Angeles, California. “That also means two weekends, so I would actually have time to see people.”

Horowitz said her father told her from the start that it’s just too much money to pay for a plane ticket for just a few days. She said she doesn’t think the break being just a few days is unfair, but having a week would be better, and many students will probably just skip their classes on those days.

“I think it’s not necessarily unfair,” she said. “It’s just the point of consideration for the University that many students would rather have the week off and will skip their classes anyway.” 

But for Horowitz, skipping her classes and leaving early is not an option.

“I have two math tests on the Tuesday before break, so I cannot miss any of my classes,” she said. “It’s kind of difficult to have two tests right before I get off for break. Plus I’m trying to deal with organizing everything else I have to do.”

Horowitz said she feels it can be difficult for some students since some haven’t been able to see their parents since the beginning of the semester.

“I probably would be going home if we had the full week off, but I am not going back, and I haven’t gone back at all this semester, so I have not seen my family since I’ve moved in,” she said.

Some students said they were willing to give up fall break in exchange for having a full week off for Thanksgiving.

“I would even give up the fall break just to have the full break for Thanksgiving,” said Nic Wolfe, a senior majoring in anthropology from Fredericksburg, Virginia. “I mean fall break is nice. It just feels like an extended weekend.”

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