Prices will spike in two of GW’s oldest residence halls next academic year, as housing rates across the board increased an average of about 3 percent.
Singles in Mitchell Hall and triples in Fulbright Hall both jumped about 12 percent – an increase of $1,130 for each. Prices rose to $10,830 from $9,700, which once made them two of the cheapest options on campus.
Housing director Seth Weinshel said his office considered the number of residents in a hall, room size, amenities, recent upgrades and future renovations when it determined the prices.
He said some halls’ rates increased because they were opening up to upperclassmen.
“Some buildings go up more than others in order to create the right mix,” Weinshel said.
The price increases come one year after the University spent millions of dollars to replace kitchens in Fulbright over the summer, part of a five-year plan to renovate aging halls across campus. International House, JBKO, Francis Scott Key and Guthridge halls are also slated next for facelifts.
The Mitchell Hall basement will also undergo renovations over the next few weeks, transforming its basement space into a dance and theater studio for student performance groups.
The highest price tier overall for next year is $14,240 for undergraduates, up from $13,800 last year.
With the Hall on Virginia Avenue set to close for construction, graduate students can apply for housing in The Aston for $18,300, a $600 increase for singles in the New Hampshire Avenue hall.
Two housing options will have lower prices next year. The price of a single in Somers Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus fell 20 percent, from $9,700 to $7,790, the cheapest price option on either campus.
The cost to live in one of GW’s four- to six-person townhouses, which hold affinity housing groups, dropped 6 percent, from $11,500 to $10,830.
The price increases come less than a month after the University announced it would offer cheaper residence halls to juniors. Third-year students can now apply to live in The Dakota and Mitchell Hall, which have lower rates compared to the traditional upperclassmen halls 1959 E Street, City Hall and Ivory Tower.
Student Association president Julia Susuni told the University’s highest governing body last fall that students pay thousands of dollars more to live on campus in rooms smaller than nearby apartments.
The housing shuffle, which opened more halls to juniors, was a response to GW’s mandate that juniors live on campus starting with the upcoming fall’s freshman class. The requirement will bring in more than $2 million for the University each year.
“Living in a city is obviously expensive, and so it’s going to constantly be a conversation of what types of opportunities do we have to provide students with lower housing options,” Susuni said Wednesday.
She added that student leaders would continue to meet with administrators to explore affordable housing options and facilities improvements. The University might offer exemptions to students with certain financial needs, allowing them to opt out of on-campus housing.
Freshman Robyn Di Giacinto said she was surprised when she checked the housing rates, which GW released this week, and found that the cheapest second-year option cost $10,050, when sophomores had a $9,700 price tier last year.
“For those of us who fall in the messy middle – too well-off for much financial aid, but not so well-off that we can foot the entire bill – any unexpected increase in fees means extra minimum-wage summer work, and more borrowed in student loans,” Di Giacinto said.
– Mary Ellen McIntire contributed reporting