America’s Most Expensive College Dorm

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A college news site, Campus Grotto, recently compiled a list of the most expensive college dorms in the country. Read on to see if your school (or your child’s school) has the most expensive dormitory prices, or how your school ranks among the others.

I’m sure most of us can remember horror stories of our college dorms, or at least know someone who has a cringe-worthy repertoire of their first year on campus. Sure, initially life is great as you venture out on your own, but quickly the place designated for sleeping is used for everything but sleeping and the bathroom turns into a makeup and hair station for 20 of your friends.

As far as college dorms go, many are just perceived as a place for students to sleep and to ensure they’ve got a roof over their head as they come home late from classes/bars and enjoy their freshman year away from home. But certainly there must be some college that provides decent room and board, right?

Absolutely. According to Campus Grotto, a college news site who recently compiled a list of the most expensive college dorms in America, there are some great dorms out there but they come at a hefty price. St. Johns, NYU, Fordham, New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan, and Cooper Union College were all in the top 20 most expensive dorms, but the number one most expensive college dorm went to New School’s Eugene Lang College.

The rankings for the list were based on what the typical freshman would expect to pay for a double room in the 2009-10 school year. At Eugene Lange, a double room will run you $15,990 annually, and a single room with a mandatory meal plan could be around $19,160 annually. Are this school’s high housing costs indicative of it’s housing standards as well? Let’s see.

Dormitory availability at Eugene Lang College is exclusive to freshmen and select upperclassmen. Located on West 13th Street in New York, the dorm accommodates 175 students each year. The students get to live in trendy and vibrant Greenwich Village in a seven-story residence conveniently located near all of the neighborhoods offerings, including Whole Foods and undergraduate classes at the New School. The building, which is protected by a 24-hour university security guard/doorman, has a elegant brick façade featuring charming detail work over the second floor windows with plenty of foliage.

The dorm has a functioning elevator (yes, for some dorms, it’s important to mention whether the elevator actually works or not…) and shared spaces for work and leisure activities such as an art room and a lounge with tables, couches, a television, and even a new piano. The sun patio, currently locked for winter, is separated from the inside by delicate French doors. There is also a basement dining hall where students can enjoy rotating displays of pizza slices, an extensive array of cookies, and “Home Cookin,” grill, and delicatessen options. Per semester, there is a mandatory $1,700 meal plan ($3,400 per year).

Up on the residential floors, the hallways are somewhat of a disappointment with a number of  exposed overhead pipes. The building has corridor-style rooms that are home to between one and four students each. Each bedroom, like most dorms rooms, includes a desk, a chair, a dresser, a wardrobe, and either a lofted, bunk, or “traditional long twin” bed. For being the most expensive dorm in the country, the actual bedrooms seem pretty ordinary to me. But the school seems to disagree, saying on its website, “Rooms with loft beds give students the flexibility to create a unique personal space. A double is twice as fun when it reflects the personalities and interests of the students who live there.”

If you prefer to keep your space just that, your space, then you’ll have to shell out a bit more money as the singles are the highest-end accommodations available on this campus going for approximately $19,160 annually. The rooms feature a traditional long twin bed which snugly fills the end of the room. Living in a single here will cost you approximately $65 per night.

One thing that was extremely odd to me in the compiled list, was the note that while students in the Eugene Lang dorm do have heat and air (again, important to double check), they are not actually able to regulate it on their own. So much for cutting the apron strings, huh?

Eugene Lang College is the Liberal Arts College of the world famous New School. Past students of The New School include Jackson Pollack, Charlie Parker, and Anne Hathaway.

Below you can see the list of top 20 most expensive dorms in America. Is your school on there?

The Top 20

1. Eugene Lang College (The New School)$15,990
2. Cooper Union$15,275
3. Suffolk University$14,544
4. University of California – Berkeley$14,384
5. New York Institute of Technology – Manhattan$14,290
6. Fordham University – Lincoln Center$13,830
7. Fordham University – Rose Hill$13,716
8. University of California – Santa Cruz$13,641
9. Manhattanville College$13,500
10. Chapman University$13,384
11. Sarah Lawrence College$13,370
12. UCLA$13,314
13. Olin College of Engineering$13,230
14. New York University$13,226
15. St John’s University (Queens)$13,140
16. American University$12,930
17. Marymount Manhattan College$12,874
18. Drexel University$12,681
19. Pomona College$12,651
20. Vanderbilt University$12,650


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