Editorial: Unfair burden

For most GW students, living on campus is a foregone conclusion. Citing relative convenience and impressive new facilities, students continue to return to GW residence halls despite being charged above-market value for a competitively inferior product. The University cannot continue supplementing its tuition by charging outrageous prices for students to live on-campus when they are required to do so.

Under its arrangement with the District, GW is required to house 70 percent of its undergraduates on campus, including all freshmen and sophomores. While the convenience of living in a GW residence hall could justify a reasonable differential in rent rates, the University is taking advantage of its monopoly to gouge its students. For example, a student living in a double (one room) in Munson Hall pays $1131.25 per month, when he or she could be renting a larger one-bedroom apartment in a building such as Potomac Park for $700 each, or a luxury one-bedroom with a balcony and free washer and dryer in The Winston House for about $900. Upperclassmen have the option to move off campus; underclassmen do not.

Students looking for cheap alternatives to expensive residence halls are forced to live in decrepit facilities such as The Schenley or Madison Hall. It is unfair that a student constrained by money would be forced to pay higher rents to live in lower-quality facilities when there exist better options elsewhere for less money.

The University cannot continue to charge above-market prices for students required to live on campus. Such a policy perpetuates University reliance on housing prices to supplement spending beyond the insufficient funds generated from an already exorbitant tuition. GW must find ways to reduce the rates it charges to bring their rent closer to market value. The extra cost of living on campus far exceeds any convenience gained.

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