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Housing packet

chrisdchrisd 474 replies23 threads Member
My daughter received her housing packet this week. She wants to live in the towers.

Do any current Pitt students here have comments on housing choices for freshmen? Oh yes, and what about the different meal plan options?
edited March 2006
15 replies
Post edited by chrisd on
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Replies to: Housing packet

  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    My son lives in the Towers this year, and rather likes it. Even though the rooms are small and they have community bathrooms, there are alot of benefits.
    They are really conveniently located.
    They are air conditioned.
    There is a large laundromat in the building.
    They have two cafeterias and a coffee shop right in the buildings.
    There is a large lobby that connects the three towers which is a great place to meet or casually socialize.
    There is a fitness center in the towers complex.
    The security seemed pretty good to me.
    Move-in was very well organized (we did honors college move-in).
    Each student has a closet, a desk/chair, a twin-XL bed and 5 drawers (2 drawer section and 3 drawer section can be stacked or separated).
    The beds can be moved up or down on the frame so you can store alot of stuff (even the drawers) under the bed.
    It is where almost all of the freshmen live, so it is the best place to meet people.

    A few freshmen live in Sutherland. It is up the hill by the Peterson Center. It is new and I hear it is very nice, but it is a little farther away and less convenient.

    The meal plan is pretty variable. It operates on "blocks" plus "dining dollars". A block is good at the all-you-can-eat cafeterias as well as other eateries where a predetermined "meal of the day" is worth a block. All of the places take dining dollars, which is basically a stored value system. You can only buy food with dining dollars. To add other options, you can get Panther Funds stored on your ID card. These can be used on food or any other merchandise around campus.

    The best system for my son, who can eat alot, it to buy a meal plan with as many meal blocks as he will actually eat full meals, and then use dining dollars to eat small breakfasts, snacks, etc. All of the eateries within university buildings take the dining dollars, but if you go off campus to the restaurants (like Primanti's) you have to pay cash. The bad part about getting too many meal blocks is that they expire at the end of each week, although students can buy drinks and snacks for their rooms if they have any blocks left at the end of the week. Dining Dollars are good until the end of the semester. Panther Funds are good until you graduate.
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  • ophioliteophiolite 1020 replies34 threads Member
    I recommend Tower B if you want a roommate and Tower C if you would like a single. Tower B rooms are slightly larger than Tower A rooms and Tower C rooms are decent for singles (though Lothrop singles are larger, they are less convienent).

    I lived in Sutherland for a month my freshman year and I do not recommend it...relying on the buses (or heaven forbid walking up cardiac hill) to get to your dorm is annoying, especially when all of your friends are in the towers. That's the primary reason I moved down to the towers after a month that year.

    I'm not sure about the current furniture, just know it was replaced a year or two after I left the Towers, so it's probably circa 2001/2002 depending on the tower.

    As for a suggestion for the meal plan....the lesser the better is my opinion. When I was there (I graduated in 2004), SodexoMarriot handled the dining services and frankly, the food sucked. There wasn't too much variation, and the good food in the Cathedral (i.e. Chickfila) takes only dining dollars (unless that has changed). I would probably suggest a 14-blocks a week plan (not exactly sure what is offered anymore...but something in this ballpark should be sufficient). You loose blocks at the end of the week, so if she's not going to use them every week, you lose them...Dining dollars work for the whole semester, so if she runs out of blocks one week (seriously..I feel it's pretty unlikely...I never used all of my blocks), use a couple dining dollars...

    There are a lot of excellent food options in Oakland, and all students take advantage of it...Below the towers is the "triple threat" of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and there is a Panera very close to the towers as well (just to name a few...).

    What I suggest is to get a small meal plan, but load up on the Panther Card (Panther Funds) so if your daughter wants to eat out at better (and usually cheaper) food places, she can. I know for a fact that the Panther Card is accepted at Subway (utilized that one a lot when I was on campus) and it expanded a lot after I moved off campus...Panther Funds are also useful for laundry...

    Hope this helps, and feel free to ask anymore questions as they arise! :)
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  • bxianbxian 140 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Chrisd-Did your daughter's contract say that it had to be in by 4/1 (with the housing deposit of $325) and that it is non-refundable? Given the fact that the National Candidate's reply day is not until 5/1, we were somewhat surprised to see that deadline when my S's packet arrived.
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  • chrisdchrisd 474 replies23 threads Member
    Yes, her packet has the same dates. I agree, that seems kind of tricky. If I recall correctly, that April 1 date was stamped on the form. Possibly one could call and have it changed.

    I've also felt lately that maybe my daughter "agreed" too soon and too easily for Pitt. It was her first choice school, so when she was accepted, she was happy to sent in her intent to enroll forms, and a $300 something deposit then. In the meantime. . .she's been getting calls from our state universities where she was also accepted, with some small scholarship offers. A letter about email and the housing packet is the sum total of contact she's received from Pitt since she sent in her acceptance at the end of December. :(


    Ophiolite--Thanks for your comments! I'm interested to hear the negative comments about Sodexho. My older daughter attends a school w/ Sodexho food service, and their food is definitely above average. The kids sometimes complain about repetitiveness of the menus, but never the quality of the food. I imagine it comes down to what sort of contract each university decides they want to pay for.
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Maybe it's a gender thing, but my son seems to be satisfied with the food. There are certainly alot of convenient choices.

    I remember that Penn State refunded $200 out of the $300 housing deposit, but I don't think Pitt does that. I looked it up and we didn't send the enrollment deposit until the end of April and didn't send the housing deposit until the end of May. Maybe these are "rolling" too? I bet you could get an extension.
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  • Lex248Lex248 149 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I have a quick question...I'm 95% positive that I want to go to Pitt, but I am still waiting for decisions from a few other colleges...Would it be a good idea to enroll now anyway so that I can get decent housing... or, in other words, is the "best" housing given out an a first-ome-first-serve basis?
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I don't think housing is given out on a first-come-first-served basis, particularly if you apply for specialty housing. I do know that if you do not send your housing deposit in by the deadline indicated on your housing contract, you will lose your housing guarantee. Do not be late! As I recall, you have to submit your enrollment deposit before you get the housing contract.

    Most freshmen live in the Towers, and that's where the honors community for freshmen is located. My son likes it there...see post #2 above.
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  • Lex248Lex248 149 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Ohhh... I see.. I though there were other honors communities for freshman, instead of just in the Towers... When my dad went to Pitt, he told me of the conditions in the Towers(very cramped, noisy, etc) but he didn't go for any honors housing... but I do know how convenient and centrally located they are so maybe it won't be so bad... hmm public restrooms... i guess i'll deal with it.... it's probably best that i meet lots of new people anyways! :)
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Last year, there were a few freshmen in Sutherland (not sure if it was an honors community or not). For next year, I think the honors communities are freshmen in the Towers, sophomores in McCormick and juniors in the Forbes-Craig apartments. I'm not sure where seniors go. There may be other honors communities, but these are the main ones.
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  • archcommusarchcommus 98 replies17 threads Junior Member
    Where do sophomores usually go?

    And anyone have any experience with the waitlist? Is it very possible to get a dorm when you're on it?
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  • MissTiMissTi 202 replies17 threads Junior Member
    how long after paying the deposit did you get the housing packet?
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Sophomores often live in the quad (suites) or in the newer buildings on the hill (rooms and suites). Sometimes, with some luck, they can get into Bouquet Gardens (apartments).
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  • MissTiMissTi 202 replies17 threads Junior Member
    I'll bump this so someone can look at my question.
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  • archcommusarchcommus 98 replies17 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, lkf. I just went there today...got scheduled and got my ID card!

    MissTi, I sent in the housing packet and payment all together.
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I hope you get the housing you want! Then you'll be all set archcommus!
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