Alternative housing private, not too pricey

By Saheed Rosenje

When Debra Reitz, freshman in Engineering, was looking for housing at the University, she did not initially consider Private Certified Housing.

“At first, I thought (Private Certified Housing) would be a lot more expensive and I was not even going to look into it,” Reitz said. “But then I found Hendrick House and it was pretty affordable.”

Private Certified Housing consists of 15 student housing facilities, each providing a variety of amenities. Almost 25 percent of incoming freshmen live in these facilities. Certain private housing options have similarities to University Residence Halls, while some are more similar to living in an apartment.

“First-year students are drawn to programs and services that Private Certified Housing offers in terms of residence assistance and educational and social programs, which is the similarity that we have with University Residence Halls,” said Mari Anne Brocker, assistant director of Housing for Certified Housing.

Brocker added that apartment styles and extra space attract new students to Private Certified Housing. Private Certified Housing residences have a student capacity of 10 to 700 residents. Same-sex, religiously affiliated or academically orientated private residence halls are options that are attractive to some students. Brett Wawrzynek, former Resident Director of Bromley Hall, said that the main determinant in drawing students to Private Certified Housing is that they are a change from standard residence hall living.

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    “A student can choose a Private Certified Housing facility with a larger room or a room with a kitchenette,” said Wawrzynek. “These are things that are not offered by the University housing because University housing has to be more uniformed in what they give to students.”

    The general feeling of new and returning students is that private housing is much more expensive than University housing, Brocker said. The cost of Private Certified Housing can be fairly similar to University housing expenses.

    “If you are looking for your standard dorm room with a meal plan, it is going to range somewhere between the same cost of a University residence hall, or $1000 more,” Brocker said.

    Over the last five years, informing students of their options and letting them choose where they would like to live has gotten better, Brocker said.

    “Students don’t always realize as freshman that they can live in Private Certified Housing due to stereotypes or a lack of communication,” Brocker said.