Many college students turn to dorms as an option when browsing living spaces for the next few years of their lives. Although oftentimes seen as the better option, college dorms can also be a financial burden, adding a large fee to the already high tuition costs of some schools. First-year students can be unaware of their other options.
At Baruch College, students have the option of off-campus housing. Living in the dorms costs a total of over $15,000 per year, which is almost 150 percent more than the in-state tuition costs students pay.
The benefits of living in the Baruch College dorms include access to a recreational area, communal kitchen, fitness center and a laundry facility.
However, a meal plan is excluded from the cost, leaving students to pay for their own groceries. This can be considered a major downfall since the price of food is not cheap, especially in New York City.
Another negative of the dorms at Baruch is their distance from campus. The dorms are located on 96th Street and 3rd Avenue in East Harlem. The main campus is located on 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue in Gramercy.
Realistically, the distance from the dorms to Baruch is not walkable — a quality that most people look for when choosing a place to live at during college. In this case, students either have to take public transportation, the MTA, or a taxi service in order to attend class, which they must pay for with their own funds.
Altogether, a student dorming would have to pay the actual cost of housing per year, with the additional costs of food and transportation, along with other miscellaneous expenses.
The added costs alone can easily amount to several hundred dollars a month, totaling to a few extra thousand dollars per year contributing to their expenses every semester.
Thankfully, students are able to seek other, cheaper options for living comfortably in the city. With just a little research, any student can find what will work best for them.
Examples of places that many turn to when looking for apartments in New York are websites such as Streeteasy and Zillow. These sites are easily customizable, allowing the user to chose preferences for location, price and apartment size.
Streeteasy allows students to filter their search to include “no-fee” apartments. This takes a huge burden off the student, who most likely can’t afford to pay extra fees on top of rent.
With a quick browse on Streeteasy, it is easy to find various price points that are affordable. Prices start as low as $500 per month, ranging to the maximum of $15,000. Generally, the prices are around $1,000-$2,000 monthly.
Another great tool when searching for a living space is, surprisingly, Facebook. Although Facebook is a social media website, there are multiple ways that a user can interact with this network.
One way that is helpful for students seeking housing is to join groups featured on the site that list apartments for rent. All it takes is entering something along the lines of “apartments for rent NYC” into the search bar at the top of every Facebook page.
Once part of a housing group, one can see many different options such as apartments or rooms for rent, which can be optimal for a student seeking affordable housing. Renting a room is often cheaper than an entire apartment since there are no broker fees and multiple people divide rent.
By renting a room, a college student is then exposed to living with roommates who can open up a new social circle for the student. This way of life can be much more of a college experience than living alone would be.
Another way to avoid dorming would is to find people who are willing to move into an apartment together, or use Craigslist to find roommates.
With all of this said, students still have to pay for their own food and transportation, as they would with dorming. However, they are saving on rent, which in turn results in them spending less money annually.
Still, there are many students who prefer the simple process of living in the dorms. It can be an easier route, but it definitely is a more expensive one.
Students who cannot afford to dorm should be aware of their choices. They can save a ton of money on rent while also living independently.
However, even with all of these options available, it is still a personal choice that one must make when deciding where to live or whether to move at all.