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3 College Sophomore

Parking: I have no idea. I just know parking is expensive so nobody really has a car on-campus.

1 College Freshman

Parking: It's the city and you won't have your car there unless you're commuting.

1 College Junior

Parking: I'd love to driver versus taking the train but the cost of parking is too high. My weekly parking costs would far surpass my weekly train costs. Depending what time you get downtown, it can be difficult to find open parking let alone parking lots that offer student discounts.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: I take public transportation.... No parking needed.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: There is not a parking lot for students and staff. We have to you foreign garages and lots like everyone else. There is street parking with a paybox and it's over priced per hour. Everything about Chicago is over priced. I think people still come here for the culture, vibe, and opportunities.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Parking is expensive in the city, but always available. Though street parking is available at metered locations along the street, most visitors to Columbia's South Loop campus park their cars in paid lots located along Wabash Avenue between Congress Parkway and Roosevelt Road (600 South to 1200 South). Daily rates start at about $8. 

The one occasion when parking is not available would be move-in day for the dorms. On this busy day, come prepared to wait for up to two hours on a parking space. The best and most honest answer to the parking problem within the city is—drumroll—don't bring your car. Walk, ride your bike, or take the CTA. It'll save you money and a headache.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
There is not a designated student parking lot. There are several parking garages and lots around campus.
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
Columbia does not offer student permits.
Common Parking Tickets
Parking Violation: $30-$75
Getting a Parking Permit
Most students do not have parking permits, nor do they seek them out. Most students don't have cars, but if you are interested, there are parking lots on Wabash, State Street, and Michigan Avenue that offer parking passes for monthly rates.
Parking Services
Safety and Security
(312) 369-6988
Did You Know?
There are other lots in the South Loop that offer parking: Loop Auto Park, S. Wabash Ave.; Park One, S. State St.; Park One, E. Harrison St.; Park One, S. Wabash Ave.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 162 responses

  • 1% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 1% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 10% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 22% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 41% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 25% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 158 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost

What are the best places to find a parking spot on campus?    Based on 78 responses

  • 38% I live in Chicago and don't drive in the city.
  • 37% Most students don't drive.
  • 16% Don't drive. The parking cost is killer
  • 9% There's some parking spots on wabash nearby.
  • 1% Parking Lots located near Congress building. $15!

What are the worst places to look for a parking spot on campus?    Based on 53 responses

  • 32% Most non-commuter students don't have cars.
  • 24% 600 S Michigan
  • 19% Anywhere
  • 14% Wabash and Congress
  • 10% State and 8th
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