Our son will soon finish his first year at UChicago. He's thriving there and loving it, but very early on he was telling us that he does not want to live in the dorms next year. Although we would have loved for him to live in the dorms for the whole four years (it seems less complicated and more sheltered that way, what more to want for your kid :-) we did not have any strong reasons to oppose his idea, so that was the plan.
The great housing deal he and his other three friends were offered fell through unexpectedly very recently, so they found themselves looking for an apartment at what seems to me to be the last minute. They found a couple, but seem to lean (because of its proximity to the campus) to one in Woodlawn, just south of 61st Street. Regents seems to them a bit far away.
I read a lot of the threads discussing neighbourhoods around UChicago, but the consensus, to my understanding, was that students (seemingly with the exception of our kid) seldom venture south of 61st Street, and do not live there. We live in a big, diverse city (but not in the US), and love city life. Our son tells me that he always feels safe in Chicago. He is city-smart, but often absent-minded (if that even makes sense.)
I looked at the apartment's location on Google Street View and it was a nice-looking building on a leafy street. I looked at the opposite side of the street and there was another nice-looking building, but all the first-floor windows were boarded. The date of the view was May 2011, but I did not see that as particularly auspicious.
Our son always asks for our opinion, so I'm trying to form an informed one before he actually sees the place tomorrow. We visited Chicago twice, briefly and mostly O-Day scripted, so based on Orientation information and this forum, we are slightly concerned about the safety of this Woodlawn location.
What would you tell him if he were your kid? Is it too late to find a decent three or preferably four bedroom apartment within the campus limits? Should they try harder (even when they should be rather studying for finals)? Should they re-consider Regents? Should we fly there and help? (We haven't visited and we're not *that* far way, and it would not be a huge deal financially.) Do parents of students usually help out with renting apartments?