The race has begun for students to find suitable homes for the summer, comparing prices and checking the availability of residence hall rooms and off-campus apartments, which can be difficult to find in the D.C. area.
GW’s summer on-campus housing prices are similar to prices at other D.C. universities. Students enrolled in GW summer classes who choose to live on campus pay $170 a week no matter what configuration or size room they choose, according to the summer housing section of the GWired Web site, www.gwired.gwu.edu.
Students who do not take GW summer classes who decide to live in GW residence halls pay from $170 a week for a single with a common bathroom in buildings such as Mitchell Hall to $260 a week for a single efficiency in places such as Guthridge Hall.
Students taking summer classes at American University pay $146 each a week for a triple-occupancy room, $170 a week for a double and $210 a week for a single. The rooms are suite-style, with two rooms sharing one bathroom.
For rooms that house five to seven students, Georgetown University summer students pay about $212 each a week, and students who also intern in the city pay $197 a week. Georgetown summer students can also choose from a limited number of doubles located in townhouses around the school. These cost $236 for interns and $258 for summer students.
All three universities provide air-conditioned rooms and require a security deposit and a minimum four-week stay.
Although GW’s prices for summer housing are comparable to other D.C. schools, many students choose to live off campus.
“It’s too expensive for the summer,” junior Pauline Balazy said. “I have financial aid for the school year, but for the summer I have to do it on my own.”
Balazy pays about $500 a month to sublet an apartment in Foggy Bottom with two friends. This price is about average for Northwest D.C., said Eve Coven, district sales manager of Spectrum Apartment Search. Studios, one-room apartments larger than efficiencies, range from $900 to $1,100 a month, and one-bedrooms that usually fit two people cost $1,100 to $1,500 a month. Two-bedroom rooms range from $1,600 to $2,200 a month, Coven said.
For students who do not take summer classes, GW’s cheapest single is a $1,060-a-month room in Mitchell without a bathroom. The cheapest double costs $1,560 for Crawford Hall, and the cheapest triple costs $2,160 in Lafayette Hall.
For students enrolled in summer classes, the most expensive room is a $2,040-a-month triple in Guthridge Hall.
Like many students, Balazy chose to stay in D.C. for the summer for several reasons.
“I had a good job here and I didn’t want to go home, there’s not much to do,” she said. “I figured I’d have a better time here anyway.”
Housing in D.C. is “opening up,” Coven said, but the city has a slim two-percent vacancy rate that can make looking for an apartment time consuming and difficult.
Along with free apartment guides at street corners and real estate classifieds, housing-locator services such as Coven’s search for open rooms that match a person’s requirements, such as desired size, rent and location.
Betsy Egan attempts to match her clients with roommates at Roommates Preferred, Ltd. If her company cannot locate a place, she said she provides the name of other services that can help. Egan also said asking friends and word-of-mouth searches are effective ways to find housing in D.C., but they are not always reliable.
“It’s best to plan ahead,” Egan said. “Washington is a very expensive city, especially for temporary places, and it shocks a lot of people, so it’s best to be prepared.”
As the number of places to live in Foggy Bottom dwindles, Egan said students should consider living in areas such as Dupont Circle and Georgetown in D.C., and Arlington in Virginia, which are easily accessible to GW by car or Metro. She also said students can find nice places along the Metro’s red and orange lines.
“There are many areas in the suburbs that are only a few minutes away on the subway that are nice places to live and less expensive than downtown,” Egan said. “As long as you’re on the subway, you’re in good shape.”