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Old 11-25-08, 04:33 PM   #1
peabodypride
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(rant) (OT) College Housing

Time to get this off my chest. I was mulling this over last night as I walked home from the train in pouring rain.

How many of you experience/have experienced piss-poor college housing practices?

At my university, they guarantee on-campus housing for freshmen. Out of around 9 dorm buildings, two are sophomore-only, with one of the freshmen buildings having a few apartments for sophs. In a class of about 10k people, this leaves many, many people short, especially after sophomore year.

Now, my university continually has the opportunity to purchase land around the campus perimeter or within blocks away. They have the funds, the resources, the land, and the demand for new housing. Their solution?

Make contracts with outside vendors to buy the land around campus. We have three dorms that are privatized, owned by independent companies, that are the only "on-campus" choice for students. Now, that's not too bad, except for the fact that rental rate ranges from $550/month on the low end, to $800+. And that's per person, with either 2 to 4 people per dorm. The price isn't excusable, and neither is the other sleezy practice... Since the companies are not college-affiliated, there's no way you're getting any loans, school funding, or anything applied to it. Nada. You can't even get it applied to your tuition bill.

So... that pretty much screws me. I am lucky enough to afford school, but I can do it just barely. I live in a single-parent household, and my mom brings in under $30k a year. Obviously she cannot help pay the $6,000 it costs per year for these housing choices. To those who claim "get a job" -- I don't know about you, but I have never seen a student job that can pay that much a month.

Basically, I am wondering how many of you got out of this situation. I feel like I am ready to grow up and start living on my own-ish, but there's just no way I can afford it.
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Old 11-25-08, 04:42 PM   #2
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Not sure if it works the same where you are, but back at Ohio U, my housemate used loan money to pay for off-campus housing. He had a set amount of loan money that came in, and what he didn't use (per quarter) got cut at the Bursar's Office as an overage cheque.
So when he didn't have dorm fees, there was that much overage left to spend on off-campus housing.
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Old 11-25-08, 04:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peabodypride View Post
Time to get this off my chest. I was mulling this over last night as I walked home from the train in pouring rain.

How many of you experience/have experienced piss-poor college housing practices?

At my university, they guarantee on-campus housing for freshmen. Out of around 9 dorm buildings, two are sophomore-only, with one of the freshmen buildings having a few apartments for sophs. In a class of about 10k people, this leaves many, many people short, especially after sophomore year.

Now, my university continually has the opportunity to purchase land around the campus perimeter or within blocks away. They have the funds, the resources, the land, and the demand for new housing. Their solution?

Make contracts with outside vendors to buy the land around campus. We have three dorms that are privatized, owned by independent companies, that are the only "on-campus" choice for students. Now, that's not too bad, except for the fact that rental rate ranges from $550/month on the low end, to $800+. And that's per person, with either 2 to 4 people per dorm. The price isn't excusable, and neither is the other sleezy practice... Since the companies are not college-affiliated, there's no way you're getting any loans, school funding, or anything applied to it. Nada. You can't even get it applied to your tuition bill.

So... that pretty much screws me. I am lucky enough to afford school, but I can do it just barely. I live in a single-parent household, and my mom brings in under $30k a year. Obviously she cannot help pay the $6,000 it costs per year for these housing choices. To those who claim "get a job" -- I don't know about you, but I have never seen a student job that can pay that much a month.

Basically, I am wondering how many of you got out of this situation. I feel like I am ready to grow up and start living on my own-ish, but there's just no way I can afford it.

Student loans.
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Old 11-25-08, 04:57 PM   #4
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What about co-ops? My college had co-op houses that were kind of a step between a dorm and your own rental unit. Kinda like a 20-40 person rental. They cost about half what a dorm would and food was included (and housework was expected). Some of the co-ops were formally affiiliated with the school, and some weren't.
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Old 11-25-08, 05:14 PM   #5
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Were you guys using private loans? Last year when I had a dorm I still owed some change, this year I would get a small overage check if I chose to take the Stafford.
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Old 11-25-08, 05:31 PM   #6
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where are you located?
getting a job is actually a good suggestion, I know many people that can afford $500+ a month rent and school...

I work 40hrs/week.. and then do night classes for my degree.. I'm doing 12-15 credits /semester and not overly burnt out..

I worked for a call center for the first few years of college.. they paid 80% of my tuition... try to find one of those!
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Old 11-25-08, 09:22 PM   #7
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I second loans, perhaps internships. However, there is always the trap of student loans where you are forced into a mainstream profession upon graduation to pay them off.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:58 PM   #8
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Did you take out private loans, lie on FAFSA, or?
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Old 11-26-08, 09:01 AM   #9
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From my understanding, you can use student loans to pay for off-campus housing. Most of the people I know did that. I paid for college 100% in loans. The loans covered everything I needed in those 4 years from tuition to food to gas to drive home for holidays. The loan repayment isn't as bad as you would think, either. I am halfway through paying them back and it doesn't hurt me at all. It was the only way I could do it and it worked well.


We had weird stuff with housing, too, such as they would over-stuff the dorms by several hundred students, knowing what % would quit right away. So, freshmen would often be put up in hotels for a week or two until enough people dropped out. I always felt badly for the people who had to sleep in the common foyers, though, until rooms opened up--no privacy was a big thing, but some people didn't mind seeing the girls in their pjs or running around in their underwear every night though (typical college stuff, I guess).

The thing I had to deal with is that the housing department backed their RAs 100%, even the horrible ones. There was one case where beer cans were placed by my friend's door by someone else and the RAs kicked out my friend, even though they knew darn well it was someone else, and housing backed them. In another case, a girl got sexually assulted by a basketball player but the RAs helped cover it up because the kid was a star player and the school couldn't lose him.

If I did it over again, I would live off-campus only.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:54 AM   #10
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Were you guys using private loans? Last year when I had a dorm I still owed some change, this year I would get a small overage check if I chose to take the Stafford.
I didn't even qualify for stafford. I got the SLS loans. (Interest was not subsidized)
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Old 11-26-08, 09:58 AM   #11
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What were you getting a degree in? I've seen people try to do this in engineering and they got very burned out and never finished, even at an easy school.
True.
It is extremely difficult to do engineering while working at any meaningful job. It is just too time consuming. I did a small part time job, just for a little spending money. The loans covered the other stuff.
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Old 12-08-08, 10:02 AM   #12
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are you a sophomore? apply to be an ra. free roommateless housing and unlimited food!
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