Students and administrators should engage in a public townhall meeting to discuss the effects of increasing housing costs and how we can better ensure on-campus rates reflect market rates.
Aside from tuition, high housing costs are the largest expenses that we must pay as members of the GW community. Ranging from $7,790 to $18,300 for the 2014-2015 academic year, the cost of living on campus is a reflection of the inflated cost of post-secondary education that makes seeking a degree even more difficult for American students.
Though we are lucky to live in the heart of downtown DC, the school's monopoly on student housing for incoming freshman, sophomores, and, starting next year, juniors, has led the university to raise living costs far beyond comparative market prices. Students living on-campus pay far more per square foot than their fellow students who are living in apartments in and around Foggy Bottom and the room quality is often lower than nearby alternatives (GW Student Association, Housing Cost-Comparison Report, 2013).
It's time for an open dialogue with administrators about how we, as a GW community, can provide quality housing without placing too much financial stress on students. Hearing stories of the fiscal burdens placed on students by high on-campus rates can hopefully bring the continued attention necessary to better align future housing rates with local market prices.
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