Parking on and around VCU's campus causes a major headache for all drivers. Freshmen are allowed to bring their cars to VCU, but it can sometimes be more of a problem than a convenience. When students need to go home or even go shopping, having a car is nice. However, parking in the garages is on a first-come, first-served basis. Students need to purchase parking permits the day they go on sale for a chance to get spots directly on campus. Permits are expensive, and some students who commute and need one can't even afford it. When students live in an on-campus apartment, they receive one parking permit as part of their living expenses. Students use their VCU IDs to swipe in and out of their assigned garage. If you don't have a pass and forget to bring your ID to prove you're a student, it will cost five dollars.
There is on-street parking around campus that is limited to two-hour increments, and even that is hard to find. Students can find some of the unlimited streets a few blocks from campus, but those spots tend to fill fast with professors and University staff who don't want to pay for parking, either. Except in the parking decks, most parking around VCU is parallel. A lot of students who come to VCU are intimidated by parallel parking and get annoyed. It's something you get used to—you just need to practice.