Manhattan-based New York University (NYU) has unveiled a pilot program plan to save college students on housing. Deemed the “home stay” program, students would live in the spare bedrooms of local senior citizens and would cut their roughly $16,000-per-year housing bill in half.
Yes, $16,000 is an outrageous amount of money for a roof and a toilet. Especially when your bedroom is the size of your closet at your parent’s house. But Manhattan is, in fact, the world’s most expensive city to live in as a student. And if you’re smart enough to be accepted to the prestigious school, I’m sure you’re smart enough to do the math.
Of course this scenario only applies to those not riding the comfortable wave of their parents’ wealth.
I’m putting myself in the shoes of an incoming freshman whose dollar-for-dollar lines up with the debt-ridden fate that lies on the other side of graduation. I ponder if I would live with a senior to save some cash?
When I reflect on my time at college (graduated ’15), a solid 75 percent of it has to do with social life. Of course classes are important and a good teacher’s influence is priceless , but it’s the experience of college and the people you meet that makes that chapter of life so wholesome.
So I imagine if I had the option to spend my collegiate years with a 76-year-old named Harold to save some $$$,
Here are the pros and cons
- Harold is probably not a nuisance
- Harold can probably cook a really good ham
- Harold is hopefully a good story teller
- Harold may be down to party
- Harold is down for Denny’s
- Harold may be down to party
- Harold’s stories will get repetitive
- Harold will be in bed by 7P and up by 7A…I won’t
- Harold will take up 80 percent of the shelves in the bathroom with prescriptions
- Harold will try to set you up with his granddaughter (potentially a pro)
- Harold will ask you to teach him how to text
- Harold won’t be down to go to the dining hall while you’re hungover on a Sunday; instead, suggest some leftover Denny’s
The only scenario I see this working out for is an extreme introvert or a foreign student whose grades are the lifeline for love from his parents. But, for the average American student looking to soak up the collegiate lifestyle, I heavily advise you save money by attending community college for 2 years then hopping on board the NYU train.
Attending NYU for 2 years will run you $131,800 while community college in Manhattan will run you $43,200. That saves you about $88,000 to spend on anything but living with a Harold for junior and senior year.
However, NYU is not the first university to implement a program like this.
At The Cleveland Institute of Music, the students, who all qualify for some financial need, have the option to live rent free with the 120 elderly residents of the revamped 1920s hotel. In exchange for a room, they perform solo recitals every few months as well as weekend and impromptu concerts.
The University of Illinois also rolled out similar experiments to some success.
“I lived with roommates my own age, and it wasn’t a positive living experience,” Christina Larson, a student at the Illinois said. “Here everyone gets along. We watch a lot of ‘Star Trek’ together. Everyone is really laid back. The most important job I have is grocery shopping.”
Seems nice, but is that the type of college experience you want to live?
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in Upstate, New York.