Mount Vernon to offer less expensive options for freshmen

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Some Mount Vernon residence halls will be among the cheapest available to incoming freshmen this fall.

University President Knapp and the Board of Trustees identified Cole, Clark, Hensley and Merriweather as residence halls the University will offer students who receive financial aid at a price about $1,500 cheaper than this year’s lowest rates.

Seth Weinshel, assignment director of GW Housing Programs, said the Mount Vernon residence halls, along with Thurston and 2034 G Street, were chosen to be part of the least expensive tier of housing because they wanted to evenly distribute the more affordable housing over both campuses.

“In looking at the number of the buildings on the Mount Vernon campus, it just made more sense to pick (Cole, Clark, Hensley and Merriweather) over Somers,” he said. “It was really just finding a good mix of buildings between the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campus.”

He said he could not predict whether or not the reduced price beds will lead to an increased number of freshmen living on the Mount Vernon campus in the fall.

“The decision was more so based on financial concerns rather than attracting more students,” he said.

Cole, Clark, Merriweather and Hensley will cost $6,520 in the fall. The price of housing in Somers Hall will be set at $8,752 for both singles and doubles. This year single rooms in Somers were priced at $9,000 and $8,500 for doubles.

“I think it’s a good incentive to get incoming freshmen to live on the Vern,” freshman John Buarotti said. “I suppose it does make up for the inconvenience of having to be 15 to 25 minutes away from everything and having to take the shuttle to get to a majority of classes,”

But some high school seniors who are enrolling in GW in the fall said they have already heard negative things about Mount Vernon. Lakota Cleaver, an incoming freshman, said she knows people who left GW because they dislike living on Mount Vernon.

“I really do not want to live on the Mount Vernon campus. I had a friend living on Mount Vernon a couple years ago,” Cleaver said. “He said that he was really out of the loop, and it wasn’t very much fun. He transferred his sophomore year, a large part because he lived on Mount Vernon, that’s huge.”

Incoming freshman Mohammad Barhoush said the cheaper price was not enough incentive to want to live on Mount Vernon.

Some current freshmen said while they like the Mount Vernon residence halls, they are turned off by the commute, and do not plan to stay on that campus next year. Yasmin Lalani, who lives in Clark Hall, said she does not think the reduced price housing will be enough of an incentive to live on the Mount Vernon campus.

“Definitely not, it’s really inconvenient and I feel like I meet a lot more people on Foggy Bottom,” Lalani said. “Though, the housing that I see on Foggy Bottom is a lot worse. We definitely have better housing up here.”

Robet Snyder, the director of Mount Vernon campus life and marketing, said that the campus on Foxhall Road provides a more traditional campus setting.

Snyder said, “(It still offers) a location that is quintessentially Washington along with easy access to all of the resources and amenities for which GW and D.C. are well known.”

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