SA President Julia Susuni made it clear to the University’s Board of Trustees last October students are paying more for less. The SA crunched the numbers: It’s simply more expensive to live in University housing. For two- and four-resident accommodations, the savings are significant for students who move into a popular off-campus apartment: $2,645 and $3,360 respectively.
GW Housing released price tags for the 2014-2015 academic year last month. Excluding a few residence halls, those price tags are slated to increase by approximately 3 percent, on average. A quad in Munson Hall, once among the cheapest housing options for sophomores, increased by 3.6 percent. The fact of the matter is that most housing options are increasing in price next year by about the same percentage as in years past.
These price increases are not exactly in line with Washington, D.C.’s real estate market. Washington has thousands of newly completed apartments, making the supply large enough that existing properties have actually cut rents in an attempt to hold onto residents, according to the Washington Post.
The University argues that students derive benefits from on-campus housing that make the extra price worth it. Several administrators told The GW Hatchet in August that cost increases are merely a response to increased student expectations. Because students find value in upgraded furnishings, house staff, resident advisors, and hall programming, continued price increases are necessary to keep up. However, students should still be offered on-campus housing options that are reasonably priced. And continued increases only continue to make our education inaccessible to low- and moderate-income students.
Having a few housing options becoming cheaper next year is undoubtedly an improvement. However, most are still becoming more expensive every year, making the issue something we must continue working on.