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Choate Housing

wayne2iwayne2i Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
If you will board at Choate you will, barring grant aid, pay about $13,000 annually for room & board. I don't know how much of that goes to room vs. board, but a word on room.

My daughter’s housing got progressively worse in each of her four years living at Choate [2012 – 2016]. That may sound counter-intuitive to how things should work but it is indeed how things worked. As a “third former”, grade 9, she stayed at Pittman, built in 1960. Cold in atmospherics with cinderblock walls and no designed common area, the room she shared with another girl was at least spacious.

She got on well with her roommate and they stayed together for another year. They didn’t get their requested dorm residence and were assigned to Archbold, the administration building, handsome on the outside and surely more modern and updated than Pittman but the rooms were smaller and thus the space more cramped.

As a “fifth former”, now 11th grade, my daughter was assigned a room that was shared with two others on the upper floor of the Mellon library in what was essentially converted attic territory. The room was overall larger than her first two but because it was occupied by 3 students there was even less space per person than in either of her first two years. Because the space was not designed as housing, the entire room had but one tiny window making the unit depressingly dark even on the sunniest days.

Finally, in her last year at Choate, she shared with one other girl the smallest room she’d ever been assigned. It was in one of those “private houses”, originally built for a family. In all previous years there was at least enough floor space that I could place a small bookshelf unit on the floor. In her senior year, however, they stacked the 2 girls on bunk beds, the bunk blocking a window. Add in the 2 desks and dressers and 100% of perimeter space was occupied. 3 adults could not stand comfortably in the center of that tiny room.

And that’s what you get for accommodations at the $57,000 a year Choate School.

Replies to: Choate Housing

  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,763 Senior Member
    Well, that's one person's experience. If these accommodations were not acceptable, did you or your daughter ever discuss the situation with anyone who could address the issues? Our son's experience was exactly opposite, though he had a single all but two of his 12 trimesters there. Senior year, he and his roommate had one entire half of the bottom floor of East Cottage, the room was huge. In retrospect, though, his favorite room was his tiny, top-floor corner "closet" in Mem House freshman year. We were appalled as the three of us could barely slide around one another in there, but he found it cozy so we never said a word.

    Boarding school dorm rooms at most of the schools discussed here, especially the older New England schools, are not very large, usually just room for a twin bed, desk/chair, and a wardrobe or closet, perhaps a small set of drawers, not much milling around room. That's what the common rooms are for. If the size or type of dorm rooms are a deal breaker, that issue should be addressed up front and not allowed to slide through senior year. Most of the parents and students we knew at Choate either didn't put much emphasis on the accommodations or found them charming. Any situation that really was unworkable for a student (room size would not make this category) could be brought up with the student's advisor or up the chain to be addressed. Our son ran into an untenable situation senior year and spent his last trimester back in Mem House with the freshman, but he didn't mind as the school was responsive to resolving what they agreed was an issue that needed to be addressed.
    It is important to clarify that these schools are not selling accommodations; they are selling education.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,271 Super Moderator
    edited December 2017
    And that’s what you get for accommodations at the $57,000 a year Choate School.
    Wait until you see the accommodations at the $70,000 per year university. :) especially if the room is a forced triple.

    Other than that, not much I can add to @ChoatieMom 's excellent post. I chose my BS (and college) for the educational experience, not for the Ritz-Carlton amenities.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,543 Senior Member
    I think that the rooms at most BS tend toward "spare". Partly tradition, partly by design. They don't want kids holed up in their rooms and venturing out only when necessary. They want kids out and about and engaged with the community and using their rooms primarily for sleep and storage. And you are also paying for supervision, etc.

    And @skieurope is, as usual, right... College rooms are astoundingly small. But to be able to roll out of bed and be at class or in a dining hall or at the library or gym in minutes? Priceless!

    On the other hand, food, at both BS and even more so at college, seems like a bargain given the choice, availability, etc. As lovely as I think my home is, it seems DS always prefers his school accommodations and meals. [-(
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,243 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    The nice thing about raising my kids in a drafty and small old house is that their BS dorms have been roughly equivalent their bedrooms at home in size and quality. Better mattress and appointments at home for sure, but not by much! ;-)

    7D1's college dorm rooms have been modern palaces compared to her room at home...with the added bonus of central AC.

  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,763 Senior Member
    Don't get me started on his college accommodations. ;)
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,271 Super Moderator
    edited December 2017
    Don't get me started on his college accommodations.
    And to put it all into perspective, it's not like any BS' or college's accommodations (including ChoatieSgt's) resemble those at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego :D
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