Housing Guide: Off-campus apartments allow freedom

Many sophomores and juniors said the search for off-campus housing for next year is easier than they expected.

Students said they began to look for off-campus housing in December and January.

After hearing about difficulty finding housing in past years, some said they wanted to start the search early.

Students report slightly cheaper prices for off-campus housing than GW residence halls.

Junior Mark Bagell said he will pay the same amount for an apartment in the York as on-campus housing but is looking for other benefits.

“There is more privacy, there are no (community facilitators) roaming around,” he said.

Home to a number of GW students, Columbia Plaza now requires students to show proof of an $80,000 income. But it is a popular choice because it can room up to four people, and prices range from $900 to $2,500.

Several students said they are looking at the Statesman, which offers
efficiencies and one-bedroom apartments ranging from $1,060 to $1,800.

While a Statesman one-bedroom apartment costs some students $650 a month per person, or $7,800 for a calendar year, a New Hall double costs $7,820 for the school year alone.

Some of the most students interviewed said they plan to stay in the Foggy Bottom and the D.C. area to avoid the commute from Maryland or Virginia.

Other students said they waited to look off campus until they submitted an Intent to Return form online and found out their housing lottery number.

Sophomore Meg Reily said she received a high junior lottery number and was worried about her options.

“I got number 1,997 in the lottery and didn’t want to get a worse room than I had this year,” Reily said. Junior lottery numbers began at 1,001.

Sophomore Adam Wiswell said past experience on the waiting list and moving between residence halls has deterred him from returning to campus.

“The whole process was the biggest hassle, and I didn’t want to deal with it anymore,” he said.

Some students also found townhouses located around campus which suit their needs and hope to find more freedoms off campus.

“I want to have parties next year and not worry about getting caught,” sophomore Lon Selbst said.

Most off-campus rental offices recommend that students put in requests as soon as possible because spots fill up quickly. Many offices recommend staying the summer to secure a spot.

Columbia Plaza has a waiting list, while Statesman and Elise officials said they are advising students to call frequently to check for openings.

None of the building managers noted a greater demand this year from last year but said it will be more difficult to find a spot off campus the longer students wait.

Students studying abroad said an important off-campus housing concern is whether buildings allow residents to sublet. Columbia Plaza and the Elise are two examples of buildings that do not allow students to rent out their rooms to other residents to cover rent while they are out of town.

Sophomore Jordan Greenblatt said he plans to study abroad next year and will sublet an apartment in the Statesman.

A number of Web sites, including Washington Post.com and GWHatchet.com, list several off-campus housing options in various sections of the District.

-Artemy Kalinovsky contributed
to this report

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