News and Analysis

Monday, July 15, 2013 12:41 p.m.

University to require juniors to live on campus

Crawford Hall, along with The Schenley and The West End, are being renovated this summer so that they can merge into the ‘superdorm’ by 2016. Delaney Walsh | Photo Editor

Updated on July 15 at 9:48 p.m

Students will be required to live on campus through their junior year, starting with freshmen who enter GW in fall 2014.

The requirement is intended to “further support students’ academic and campus experiences,” according to a University release Monday. Students can currently move off campus at the end of their sophomore year. In 2011, University officials had floated the option as a way to raise $2.6 million to support academic and research efforts, but never followed through with the move.

The announcement comes just as the University begins construction on a $130 million residence hall, slated to open in 2016, that will add 300 beds to campus. It will house nearly 900 sophomores and juniors.

About 40 percent of students live off campus after their sophomore year, according to the release.

The mandate will also appease local residents, who have repeatedly criticized students living off-campus as disruptive to the neighborhood.

“By requiring that students live six semesters on campus, we’re taking another important step to minimize impacts of students living in the surrounding neighborhoods,” Britany Waddell, director of community relations, said in the release.

The change out of the mainstream among other urban universities, which can sometimes have a difficult time finding enough space on campus to house students.

Georgetown University, which has a historically discordant relationship with neighbors, requires all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, as well as junior transfer students.

Boston University requires only freshmen to live on campus, and American University and University of Southern California allows all students to live off campus. In downtown Boston, Suffolk University students are only guaranteed one year of on-campus, and students in the Honors Program are guaranteed two years.

– Cory Weinberg and Mary Ellen McIntire contributed to this report.

This post was updated on July 15, 2013 to reflect the following:

Correction appended

The Hatchet reported that Georgetown University requires freshmen to live on campus. In fact, they require freshmen and sophomores to live on campus. We regret this error.

  • Carl

    I know one of my friend who used to be a freshman , he rent an apartment off campus and at the same time paying the dorm room rent, but he never show up at dorm room.

  • wow

    YAY! This is going to be SUCH a popular decision! Good job GW!

  • Also

    We all know that “support[ing] students’ academic and campus experiences” and “minimiz[ing] impacts of students living in the surrounding neighborhoods” aren’t the real reason this is happening.

    Total bull, nice one.

  • Mike

    This is not fair to students that move off campus because it saves them tons of money in comparison to the over price dorms.

  • Sure

    Sure, GW.

    It’s definitely that you just want us to be more involved with on-campus activities.

    It’s definitely not that, like many other private universities, your business model is predicated on leveraging your endowment to the hilt on rapid development projects like this one. No way is it because you want to make SURE your dividends get paid on the spanking new superdorm you built, by mandating that kids live in it.

    This just seems like it’s about ensuring a steady stream of profits. Good thing I’ll be a senior by the time this shit hits the fan.

  • GW Bro

    What are the implications for off campus greek housing? Will there be exceptions made?

  • Pat

    Terrible policy. I moved off campus as a junior and saved thousands of dollars, helping me afford this school. Seems like a PR ploy to win support for the superdorm.

  • Class of 2012

    This move should push more seniors off campus, and will ultimately turn South Hall into a Junior Dorm. Neighbors will love this, as Seniors are probably the rowdiest group of students on campus. To combat these complaints from the neighbors, GW will take more land/demolish another part of campus to make “senior housing” and just continue the cycle. Such a greedy school. This all fits in with GW’s current “accept as many kids as possible” trend that we’ve seen over the past few years.

    I would love to see less kids apply and then GW have a surplus of bed space and lose money. Wouldn’t that be nice…

  • Alumna

    @Class of 2012

    why would you want the school to be less selective, only affects your degree? what a silly and over the top thing to wish for.

  • YAY!

    You know what I’ve been thinking for years? You know what would really improve my “campus experience”? Being forced to pay 25% more for 50% less space, furnished with damaged and vandalized crap for 3/4 of my GW career.

  • GDubber

    Sounds good – and all incoming freshmen and transfers should be accommodated on the main campus in Foggy Bottom!

  • GWClassConcscious

    If GW is going to require the majority of students to live on campus, then the price of on-campus housing must come down. It is a noble thing that GW offers to cover large portions of tuition for low-income students, but so far that generosity does not extend to housing costs. When it is cheaper to live off-campus for an entire year than to be on campus for 9 months, it is not acceptable for GW to require all students to be on campus. GW, make on-campus housing accessible to low-income students. Even the least expensive on-campus options are simply out of reach for someone fully relying on grants and scholarships to cover tuition.

  • cb

    on a price per square foot per person basis, on campus housing is absurdly expensive and a clear money maker for the school. gw price points need to come in under market if they have any sense of dignity (doubtful).

  • What will they think of next?

    “The requirement is intended to “further support students’ academic and campus experiences,” according to a University release Monday.”

    1. It’s easier to study farther away from campus what with the lack of student space and all.
    2. We don’t have a campus.

    “About 40 percent of students live off campus after their sophomore year, according to the release.”

    Because it’s cheaper and likely they were forced to do so because they got on the waitlist and were tired about getting jerked around about getting off it and into a room!

    The cheapest junior housing (as of now, I’m sure prices will skyrocket when this policy kicks in because who’s going to stop them?!) is a bit under $1600/month/person. I know people who pay that for a single apartment, to themselves. I also know far more people who pay far less than that to share about double the space. When will GW be recognized as a for-profit corporation? This is nothing but a money grab.

  • Andy

    Soon it will be required to live on campus our first year after graduation.

  • yolo

    Hatchet: you should live on with no regrets.

  • GWatemybankaccount

    I agree with “GWClassConcscious” . I am scholarship kid and I asked at every admissions event and interview and tour “If I get enough scholarship to attend the first year, will I be able to afford the other three years?” I was told about these lovely guarantees about tuition rates, and how as long as my grades were good my scholarships would last my entire degree. Seems like it might work right? In reality, GW financial aid has put my family through the “random” review process every year, has “lost” multiple rounds of documents, charged hundreds of dollars in late fees all so that I can get my aid package that they offered me for four years at the beginning. Beyond that due to the impossible to avoid increases in housing costs every year my family has struggled from my third semester on to make my tuition payments. When I asked what the cheapest senior housing I could access was, I was told a price that was nearly equivalent to the only new car my mother has ever purchased…for 9 months minus winter break or sharing a bedroom in dorms riddled with shoddy construction and maintenance issues. What the institution doesn’t seem to grasp is that $1,500 increase doesn’t mean much when you are paying 60grand, but when you have been paying 1.500 out of pocket the increase takes its toll. Every time I have addressed this I have been made to feel that its my fault I chose a school I can not afford, and I am tired of it.

  • Mr. Monopoly

    I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.

  • King Hugo

    You’re lucky you even have dorms, I wanted more textile museums instead.

  • Captain Crunch

    Did someone tell Knapp that U.S. news has added a ranking indicator of how many students live on-campus? If so, he totally took the joke too far.

  • gwsenior

    as a student that works in housing…i agree this is BS.

  • gw guy

    This is absurd!! Why should I Pay more to GWU? By the time people are juniors in college, they’re already going to have established themselves on campus. NO WAY does this make GW a more tight-knit community, this will simply polarize GW even more. Terrible decision.

    glad to hear someone in the SA is standing up for what’s right (CC: Sen.’s Egel-Weiss & Firouzi)

  • Alumnus

    The GW degree is already meaningless anyway. It’s time to declare GW a complete waste field.

    This is going to force non-wealthy students to transfer, and will be a strain on upper middle class students. A low estimate is that this will cost students an extra $8,000 a year. Also, it can’t be overemphasized how deteriorating an effect this will have on already dismal school spirit. The students that are more free and happy are the ones off-campus. When you force students into an extremely uncomfortable living situation, they’re not going to want to give back to the school. Many students who say they will never donate money, cite the dorms and how the school handles students righs as the main reason.

    Most students understand that GW is, above all else, a real estate company. This was a decision purely made from that narrow framework. It will have a devastatingly negative effect that will reverberate for decades. It is officially time to give up hope for GW.

  • Alumnus2

    Quotes from those involved, if they were being honest:

    President Knapp: “That’s more money added to my bonus.”

    GW Board: “Our continued real estate expansion is assured for the foreseeable future.”

    Lawyers: “This gives us more legal protection for our questionable practices that encroaches on the constitution.”

    SA members: “We just got easy, high-paying jobs for when we graduate.”

    UPD: “We can now continue to go after whichever particular students any of our employees decide would be fun through their third year, including reasons such as religion, race, gender, and socio-economic background.”

  • Ol’ Skool

    More the merrier…Living on campus builds school spirit and a vibrant academic community. If this policy forces out all those that bitch and complain, then good riddance.

  • Marquette off campus housing

    Many thanks for the exciting blog posting

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