While housing prices have fallen dramatically in the wake of the last recession which is still somewhat in effect, the cost of dorming at a college has, if anything, increased conversely to the sharp decline in the value of the real estate. The rising cost of university housing, at least for public schools, can be explained by the declining funding for them. The funding has significantly declined since more people are unemployed and the government is generating much less income through taxes.
If you can afford housing, by all means, take it but consider your options thoroughly. Rather than dorming, it is almost always cheaper to rent an apartment with roommates. I've had an apartment for two years, and my rent is $320 a month, as compared to the nearly five thousand dollars a year that my school (Rutgers) charges for dorms. If you can't afford to pay the rent, or just prefer to live at home, commuting is the option available for you.
There are some ways to save even more money through commuting provided you know other people in your area who are also commuting. Get in contact with these people, and if one of them has a car, arrange a carpooling system. You will split the cost of gas, and wind up spending much less money getting to your classes.
One problem with commuting is the lack of social interaction and the fact that you miss a lot of elements to the college experience. Take advantage of your classes for more than academics. Interact with the other students in your classes and get to know them, make some friends. People living on campus have the advantage of seeing each other every day, so you have to be proactive to enter the social scene of your school and enjoy your time in college. College is a learning experience, but the college years are also some of the most fun times you can have in your life, so try to get into the experience and enjoy your time in school past the educational aspect of it.