Off the Radar: Moving Off-Campus
On average, 90 percent of freshmen live on campus, yet by senior year, the amount declines to 30.2 percent, according to King’s housing director, Jonathan Sheaffer.
Students attending The King’s College are moving off-campus for more independence and privacy.
“College is like the one weird time of your life, where your entire community lives in close proximity to each other,” Sheaffer said. “So when you’re on campus, you have thousands of friends within a few minutes of you. So, I think a lot of people feel that pressure to stay in community.”
After freshman year, there is the difficulty in deciding where to live. With the aspect of the campus housing system, students voiced their concern with the individual houses’ expectations.
Levi Kinzer, a 24-year-old student who moved off-campus after his first semester at The King’s College, shared his opinion of the house system.
“I think it’s really good for the first-year, incoming freshman, and then I think it actually acts against its purpose to create community,” Kinzer said. “Because then people start only hanging out with those groups, so it polarizes rather than unifies.”
The president of the House of Ronald Reagan, Phillip Reeves, shared that the house system is “the backbone of the school.” Reeves believes students’ desire for off-campus living is motivated by cost.
The contrasting prices are seen with Kinzer’s experience. With two roommates, he splits a three bedroom apartment on 67 Wall St. and pays $1,570 per month. His recent realtor certification motivated him to move out of student housing. With his knowledge of Manhattan’s pricing for apartments, he thinks the school is “making money off of people.”
Living off-campus gives students more independence to save money with fewer roommates and to choose where they live and who they live with.
Tanner Sanderford, a 20-year-old sophomore, lives in a spacious Crown Heights apartment with two roommates. He only pays $1,160 each month, in addition to having his own bedroom, and his roommates share a bedroom for $700 each.
“You’re going to have more money, more space,” Sanderford said.
Students at The King’s College presently pay $6,975 per semester, yet in the upcoming fall semester, the price will increase to $7,000.
While the prices of each apartment may change seasonally, the starting rates justify the amount of King’s students placed in each one-bedroom apartment. Although, students who are assigned a studio apartment have a financial disadvantage.
According to each building’s leasing management, the prices for their one-bedroom apartments do not differ much from the school’s fees. These are the fees per month:
90 Washington St.— $3,800
95 Wall St.—$3,995
10 Hanover Square—$3,836
1 West St.—$3,800
8 Clark St.—pricing is unavailable
Incoming students will no longer be living in Hanover St., Wall St., or Clark St., and they will instead be moving into Brooklyn’s City Point apartment building.
Personal space is not a luxury on-campus students can afford, and currently, sometimes as many as four people are housed in a studio apartment. This gives students less privacy, on top of the mandatory rooms checks that all on-campus students are required to schedule.
“There is something about someone coming into your space and making sure you meet these requirements,” said Nicholas Bruno, who is a junior trying to move off-campus. “King’s tells you, ‘You’re going to be an adult with these responsibilities; however, we’re going to check up on these responsibilities and punish you if you don't do them.’”
“You’re going to have more money, more space."
With on-campus living, students have to follow a list of rules, enforced by an honor code. Sheaffer believes the desire for independence is a large factor for people to move out of school housing.
“I think the big reasons are money and independence that people want to move off. Independence factor is big because being a school, we can’t get around the fact that we have to have rules, and a big one for a lot of people is no alcohol on campus,” Sheaffer said. “I talk to a number of students every year, who are moving off because they want to, and I think, in a healthy way, they want to make their own decisions. They want to do the things they’re allowed to do, and student housing has limitations on that.”
“It’s terrible. I got lectured about consuming alcohol by an 18-year-old"
-Levi Kinzer (24 years old)
Accommodating these rules is more challenging, being a student over 21 years old. Bruno pointed out that his experience, as a 24-year-old, with the honor code system is at times constraining, since even the law allows him to do these things.
Kinzer also shared his frustration with this intrusion, due to the house system.
“It’s terrible. I got lectured about consuming alcohol by an 18-year-old,” Kinzer said. “Get out of here. Get out of here.”
With flickering candles and a glass of wine in hand, Addison Huntington-Bugg understands this pleasure, as it is own of her past-times in her off-campus apartment.
“I think the honor code is more of a reason some move off-campus, but people may blame it on the houses because they are the ones facilitating honor-code conversations,” Huntington-Bugg said.
But even though off-campus housing offers more space and some privacy, it could also lack staples such as air conditioning, a dishwasher, and easy access to the school. Students should weigh their costs and benefits before deciding what they want to do.