Friday, April 4, 2008

Suck it up, it’s not that bad: Housing

Some people, like Ian, don’t like on-campus housing because it is expensive and probably not the quality it should be for its price tag. And for freshman and sophomores I think that’s largely true. But before you call up GW Housing to bitch at some student employee, remember:

1. While the sticker price for off-campus apartments is often less than GW rates for upperclassmen housing, a lot of these places come UNFURNISHED, are a pain to get to (think: icy sidewalks and below freezing temperatures, Dec-Feb) don’t include daily metro fare, and utilities are not included.

In his post, Ian says:

Take, for instance, an Ivory Tower Quad, which costs each occupant $10,815. That's $43,260 per academic year, or $5407.5 A MONTH. For a two bedroom apartment. With crappy furniture and appliances. Surely a competitive rate for the area, right?

It was hard to even locate apartments with rent over $5k a month, but a quick search found a couple. Does this [look] like your typical GW dorm?
Except, after following the link, I realized that the 2 bedroom apartment here costs $6450/month… that’s $260.75 more per person, per month (before utilities!) and a few long blocks from campus. Even with the complimentary continental breakfast (which I’ve had and think is fantastic) this isn’t really a good enough deal to be pissed off about GW housing costs.

But I’m not totally discounting all off campus apartments either. Some furnished, upscale places in the area do run $1,000+ less/month than their on-campus counterparts. Except, the nicer they are, the farther they tend to be from campus. If you’re already dishing out your life savings for tuition, the convenience of on-campus housing and increased access to campus resources might just be worth the extra $250/person a month.

2. Dorms in major cities are expensive. In fact, GW housing options tend to cost at least a couple thousand less than comparable dorms at NYU, UCLA, and BU:

--NYU: 2 bedroom, 4 person upperclassmen suite: $12,850

--UCLA: 2 bedroom, 4 person upperclassmen suite: $13,197*
*this number includes a small meal plan

--BU: 1 bedroom, 4 person upperclassmen suite: $12,360

Basically, it looks like a 2 br/bath in Ivory Tower for $10,815 is pretty good.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you're looking for rooms, but there are many apartment buildings closer to campus than Thurston or 1957 E that are in the $1000-$1500 a month (and almost all of these are counting utilities). It might not fit all 4 people of a quad due to rules, but you could still get two, three, or in some places four, apartments in the same building, have a lot more space (my $1100 studio is bigger than most people's triple or quad), and pay less than $5,407 a month.

Emily said...

What's closer(besides Columbian Plaza & the Statesman)? That's really good for a single, did it come furnished?

Anonymous said...

Empire, Potomac Plaza, The York, and 2400 Penn. Ave are all within a block or two of on campus housing. Mine didn't come furnished, but I got all my furniture except a bed and a TV stand for free on facebook marketplace or on ads in the building. Having your own room means you can be there to collect stuff when summer people move out!

Emily said...

Good points. Upperclassmen looking for singles can really benefit from this, thanks anonymous! (Btw: definitely recommend you sign up with an account here to use when commenting).

Emily said...

Another problem here though is what to do come summer-- if you're staying here, great. Otherwise, summer storage for all that furniture? $$$!

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