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High End Dorms

SwimmingDadSwimmingDad Registered User Posts: 788 Member
Great article today in the Boston Globe about changes in dorms at Northeastern and Tufts:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/05/campus-divide-pricey-student-housing-triggers-debate-over-income-inequality/oGSCZ0q4nMkgu5nNMRs5tK/story.html

Do you think universities should take a market based approach to housing and build housing tailored to the market expectations of wealthy families and leave the children of low and middle income families in other dorms?
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Replies to: High End Dorms

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,263 Senior Member
    Dorms should be nicer than those double rooms we all had in the 1960’s and ‘70s. Many colleges are upgrading those older facilities, and creating nicer living spaces.

    I’m not sure that this is a low income vs high income issue. In most cases, the cost of housing is the same for each housing type regardless of family income.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,462 Senior Member
    I also think the cost should be the same for all students, except when it comes to single/double/triple...
    At my kids' school they assigned rooms by lottery.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,006 Senior Member
    My Northeastern D is paying $14K a year in rent in her shared off campus house, so those dorm rates sound pretty reasonably priced to me.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 235 Junior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 yes but dorm rates are for 8 months whereas I'm assuming your daughter's lease is for 12 months.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,006 Senior Member
    @gwnorth Is it 8? or 10? I don’t have a subscription to that article so all I could see was a few lines. It would include some meal plan presumably as well, right?
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,520 Senior Member
    edited January 6
    @gwnorth With Northeastern's coop system many students are around for 12 months as many coop jobs are in the Boston area. The article states that the private landlord will find replacement residents if coop takes them away from Boston. Given the tight housing market in Boston (for everyone) vacant bedrooms are not likely to happen. And for those who do not live on the coasts and are shocked by the rental rates they are not high for new construction in Boston.

    If college is supposed to be the great equalizer as some critics of this new housing suggest then humanities, social sciences and fine arts graduates are in for a rude awakening when they graduate and see engineering and computer science graduates living in nicer apartments or condos.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    Lol, some don't include board costs. We've got one of these new buildings near me, privately owned and reportedly mostly serving the uber wealthy foreign students. (Also has underground parking, a privilege.)

    At another college I worked at, the fancier (a dubious term in dorm life) apts now run almost 17k for 10 months, for your own room, incl a low level meal plan. That's in a shared space. Worst food ever.

    Count yourself lucky if your kids have reasonable choices at reasonable prices.

    So what do I think of the new NE building? In a city, kids end up living all sorts of places.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 235 Junior Member
    TBH I assumed that all school's had tiered housing. It's certainly is the norm in Canada and was even when I attended 30 years ago. Now that DS19 will be starting university in September I've been looking at the residence options for the schools he's applied to. Prices are stilled tiered but there are more options - quads, triples, doubles, singles - some with private bathrooms and others with shared, multi-person suites with single bedrooms and shared common spaces, or 2 person traditional apartments etc. The greater the privacy/amenities the higher the price. Price also varies depending on the meal plan chosen. It's always been that way. The big difference I will say is that while there was tiered pricing when I attended, it was all in the same building, even on the same floor, so everyone mingled. Now the more expensive units, the town houses, apartments, and the like are separate buildings. The reality is however that after first year most students move off campus and where they end up living depends on their financial means. Students of similar socioeconomic background then self-segregate. The other way students segregate by income is that many students of lower income who live in large metropolitan centres tend to live at home and commute to school, so they aren't living in residence anyway. Living in residence tends to be a choice for the more affluent to start with. I guess this has never really been an issue for us since our post-secondary institutions don't profess to have a mission of creating a diverse class.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,263 Senior Member
    There were privately owned apartments near my college campus back in the Stone Age. And yes, likely those were for wealthier kids.

    But our on campus, the on campus options were the same price for all who lived in each kind of housing. So...suites, singles, doubles and triples. But each building had a mix of room types so those on suites WERE living side by Sid with those in triples.

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,790 Senior Member
    I think it runs counter to a residential university mission to have tiered housing, and am glad mine did not. Same price for all, luck of the draw. That seems rare these days in colleges, but boarding schools still adhere to it. We could raffle off seats selection in class next-Maybe seats near the front could be at a premium. Or charge more for smaller classes than your classmates in larger lecture classes.
  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 Registered User Posts: 559 Member
    My college freshman pays $400 more to live in a freshman suite (4 person - two bedroom with small common area and bathroom) vs a traditional freshman double. She is in a freshman llc but the building has more than 1 llc and has a mix of dorms and suites. I've only know it as tiered pricing but I also know it as seniors having first pick based on lottery and freshman getting the traditional dorms or living learning communities.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,064 Senior Member
    Or charge more for smaller classes than your classmates in larger lecture classes.

    Some colleges do charge higher tuition for students with higher class standing or for certain majors, probably due to either or both higher cost of instruction and/or higher market demand.
  • 10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA Posts: 1,568 Forum Champion
    Those housing prices are pretty in line with UCLAs more expensive offerings.
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