I went to college a long time ago, but fishing and cycling kept me sane. I went to a small school in the Ozarks where river fishing is some of the best in the country and the landscape is like a gift from God and most people don't even know it.
I digress. I've been using both kinds of rods off and on since they came out with them about 30 years ago. Even before that - there was cheap ones. However, either Shakespear or Garcia was making a decent graphite rod back then under the house brand for Bass Pro back when Johnny Morris still had one store in Springfield, Mo.
Bottom line: they work well. I find them to be a tremendous advantage when rafting with other people, inner tubing, and canoeing in heavier water than class 1. Anytime that it becomes extremely important that I take down the rod instantly or lose it, that's when I pack the telescoping rod. They are also good for backpacking or flying on a plane when you don't want to babysit a tube carrier.
Keep in mind that all of my comments here apply to telescoping and not the segmented ones that come in about 5 sections. Those are convenient - but you can't make them short and stash them in a cooler when your 60 seconds from hitting whitewater, and if I can't do that - then there's no advantage to having it. For the telescoping ones, I leave my lure on, and reel in the extra line so that the lure and short line help keep the rod stay short.
There are some disadvantages. They aren't as strong. I have had fish break several. I'm usually using 8 lb test - preferably spiderwire - in small to medium sized rivers (50-500 cfs) fishing for smallmouth, largemouth, and whatever else will hit my lure. Sometimes I get a surprise.
Several times (as in 3) in the last few years I've had fish break these poles. In one case, I think it was ready to go and I didn't notice it. The bass wasn't that large. In another case - it was a monster. I'll never know how big it was, but it turned my kayak (malibu II sit-on-top) around and towed me several feet while stripping line like I'd hooked a car on the highway. I'm guessing it was a channel cat. They get very predatory in the spring and will hit lures. Sorry I digress.
The other disadvantage is that they have a tendency to slide down occasionally if you don't get them tight. You'll get a feel for that. Sometimes an upper section will rotate and you have to adjust it.
Other than those 3 issues, they are fabulously handy. I hate losing a really big fish though. The one time you are going to want a rod that will stand up to anything is the time that this kind will fail you.
So - if you know for a hardcore fact that you are not going to luck into a 12 lb largemouth, you aren't using it for peacock bass in brazil or florida, and you aren't on Lake Washington during salmon season, then go for it.
My advice to you is: get 2 rods. Ask for it for Christmas if you have to. We aren't talking much money here. We aren't talking much space either. I mean - I could find room for a fishing rod if I lived in a refrigerator box. I realize dorm rooms are small - but you'll have room for 2 fishing rods. The first rod I'd get is a telescoping spinning rod from bass pro. Don't pay more than 20 bucks for it and you won't mind so much when it breaks. They aren't worth more than that, but they'll do the job 99% of the time.
Then I'd skip the fancy airplane materials and go right to fiberglass. I'd get a medium stiffness 2 piece "ugly stick" from bass pro. Bruce Lee couldn't break one of those with an ax. It's light enough to enjoy small stream bass fishing and if you tie into anything up to 20 or so pounds, well, let's just say it will be stronger than any line you are likely to be using.
Good luck in school. Study hard. Don't stop for any reason, and if you aren't doing well, stay after it until they kick you out.