Finals week brings a list of challenges – tests, projects, cleaning and checking out of dorms, packing, etc. But some students have the added challenge of trying to find a way home at the end of the week.
The majority of ACU students are from a nearby or relatively close town in Texas, making it easy for them to drive home for winter or summer break. But there are many from out of state who need to fly home. Just this fall we had 741 students from other states and 184 from another country. That’s 20 percent of our student body that is probably buying a plane ticket home.
It’s easy enough to find a ride to the Abilene airport, get a connecting flight at Dallas/Fort Worth and get home. But that costs a good deal more than flying straight out of DFW. If students want to save money, it’s better to find a ride to Dallas.
Now, if you’re a student who’s ever attempted to do that, you know how hard it is to find a ride to Dallas from someone who lives close to the airport, has room in his or her car and is willing to schedule the drive home around the time of your flight.
That’s why we think ACU should begin offering transportation to and from DFW for summer and winter breaks. There are few enough students who would need the ride that it would not be too costly, but just enough students to make it worthwhile.
Sending a few charter buses from campus to the Dallas airport would save these students the hassle and panic of trying to find a ride. It would also ensure their rides would not bail on them, leaving them stranded on campus at the last minute. And finally, students will have a way to get back to campus at the end of the break without having to ask a friend to rearrange any plans.
Obviously, some details need to be worked out – how many buses will make the trip, what will happen if flights are delayed, whether students need to be charged – but the idea remains solid. It’s safe, and it’s a service students would use.
It’s a step that could make a lot of students’ lives a lot easier.