Battle of the affordable housing

Compared to other colleges, does Hamline’s on-campus living truly offer variety?

Madelaine Formica, Copy Editor

Hamline’s on-campus living provides a home away from home with laundry rooms, lounges and other amenities, but compared to other colleges, options for living on-campus are very slim, causing some to feel that off-campus living is a better option.

“I really like the dorms for first-years,” Sorin fourth floor RA junior Asmeret Segai said. “I like the Hamline Apartments, if we could have more similar types like that, I think more upperclassmen would stay on campus. The only really nice kitchen in the dorms is the third floor kitchen in Sorin lounge. I know people want more of those amenities to make it feel more like home. If we had suite style or sharing rooms that would be great.”

Manor, Sorin, Drew and the Heights (Osborn, Peterson, Schilling) comprise Hamline’s dorm living. There are also the apartments, which provide more independent living.

St. Thomas has seven different dorms including a luxurious women’s dorm that provides quads that are suite style, which can be two to four separate rooms joined together by a large common area, including a kitchen and sometimes a private bathroom. Macalester and Bethel both have suite-style dorm room options. Augsburg has suites, units that provide two bedrooms that connect into a shared bathroom made for two students. Augsburg also has houses. Hamline has four different houses, but they are only offered to specific students and groups such as PRIDE Black Student Alliance house, HALO Hispanic and Latino organization house and Hmong Student house.

“I chose the apartments because I can cook,” sophomore Mickey Magaard said. “I would love to see Hamline acquire some more housing. I think they should redo the Heights because they were supposed to be temporary and they’re janky.”    

Hamline Apartments are offered to upperclassmen, law students and graduate students. The price of the apartments are almost double compared to the dorm rooms in the academic year of 2016-2017. A double, triple or quad are $4986 an academic year and singles are $5800. Apartment studios cost $8736, which are reserved for those who are married, or with partners. Apartments range from two bedroom, two person rooms for $8354 to two bedroom, and a four person apartment for $6046 an academic year.

“I think the apartments are pretty expensive which is a shame because living in an apartment is pretty nice,” junior Molly Leone, a transfer student from the U of M said. “But I like living in the dorms because everyone is super nice and friendly and there’s a lot of social options with the RA’s. At the U of M we had a shared private bathroom, which I think is pretty nice for those who want more privacy.”

Compared to the other colleges Hamline’s Apartment and Dorm pricing is pretty competitive. Macalester’s halls are priced at $6020 a year and their apartments are $6920.

Augsburg suites are $6630 a year, two bedroom four person apartments are $6694 a year and their single floor houses where a student can pick a group of 7-14 friends to live with on a floor is $7160 a year.

Bethel’s rate goes down each year that a student consecutively lives on campus. First year housing is $5700 a semester, second year is $5590 a year, third year is $5400 a year and fourth year is $5250 a year.

For current first-year students Hamline is offering a Piper Housing Grant as a part of their 2017-2018 financial aid package for living on campus. Their Piper Housing Grant will be renewed up to $2000 per year. Also if students started at Hamline in the fall of 2016 and live on campus in one of the residence halls for 2017-18 (Schilling, Peterson, Osborn, Manor, Drew, or Sorin) they will receive an additional $600 in Piper Housing Grant. These grants are only available to current Hamline first-years, leaving other students with no discounts for living consistently on campus.

Prices for Hamline’s housing are approved by the board of trustees.

“The finance office, Margaret Tungseth is the VP of finance, lets us know what the percentage of increase is. I do a comparison of what other schools are charging and send it to the Finance office and Patti Klein works on different cost scenarios,” Director of Residential Life Javier Gutierrez wrote through email.

Over all Hamline has competitive housing prices, but not competitive variety in housing options for those who wish to stay on campus and experience the community that on-campus living provides.