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GW Underestimates Off-Campus Housing Costs, Report Finds

by Tianna Mañón

GW Underestimates Off-Campus Housing Costs, Report Finds: Figure 1
Courtesy of Trulia.

In a study published last week, Trulia looked at the housing costs associated with staying on or off campus at colleges around the country, and found that George Washington University drastically underestimates what its students would pay to live off-campus.

The study analyzed the housing costs associated with living off-campus and how closely colleges estimate this cost when advising incoming students. Trulia compared this estimate to the cost of living on university grounds to understand where staying on campus would actually make the most sense for some students.

Trulia chose 20 colleges and universities in large housing markets and assessed rental listings in the zip codes nearest the schools. Because most of the universities didn’t specify the number of bedrooms in the listings they used to come up with their off-campus housing calculations, Trulia looked at everything from studio apartments to four-bedrooms and “assumed that there would be as many students living in a dwelling as there are bedrooms in the dwelling.”

The report found that George Washington University underestimates the rising expenses of living in DC. The cost of living off-campus, according to Trulia is $14,175 for a nine-month period, or about 15 percent more than the university advertises at $12,050 for incoming students.

This disparity doesn’t compare to estimates for universities like Stanford or Columbia where the difference between the university’s calculation for off-campus living and Trulia’s was upwards of 50 percent.

Of course, for the majority of George Washington students the findings in this report don’t apply: only seniors are permitted to live off-campus.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/DC_too_expensive_Study_finds/10325

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