Students Find Freedom Around Riverdale in Off-Campus Housing

by ALEXA DAWIDStaff Writer 

Off-campus housing in Riverdale continues to grow more popular among Manhattan College students of all grades as an alternative to residence halls.

MC is home to five residence halls: Chrysostom, Jasper, Lee, Horan, and Overlook. These housing options include amenities such as Cable TV, wireless internet, laundry rooms, recreation rooms, study areas, vending machines, and 24-hour security. While this might sound ideal, some students have grown discontent with the standard of living in these residence halls.

Christine Gebhardt, a sophomore marketing major, and her suitemates had to deal with the unfortunate situation of mold in her room in Horan Hall last year.

“We called maintenance several times and they did fix it, but it took them three months… We were getting headaches from it because it was so bad,” she said.

This is what drove one of Gebhardt’s suitemates, Emma Hesse, to seek off-campus housing.

The pleasant neighborhood of Riverdale provides a great alternative for students looking for an apartment or house not owned and maintained by MC. Many students find homes on Waldo, Greystone, Riverdale Ave., and under the OV stairs on Tibbet, Irwin, and Corlear Ave.

“It was relatively easy for my roommate and I to find an apartment in Riverdale. We looked at open units on websites such as and, and then got in contact with the brokers who showed us them,” Hesse said.

Hesse and her roommate live in Majestic, located at 3660 Waldo Ave, a very popular building for MC students. She noted extreme satisfaction with her switch.

Hesse said, “the building itself is a lot nicer and much more updated than living in Horan. I like having a kitchen and being able to cook my own food. I also like being able to have my friends over without worrying about getting written up by an RA.”

Cost is a determining factor when considering off-campus housing. The price for room and board at MC is listed as $16,220 for the 2018-2019 school year. According to Streeteasy,com, the median rent for an apartment in Riverdale is $1,900 per month. If a student splits this average cost with one roommate, they are already saving money as a 12-month lease would amount to $11,400.

While splitting the rent with roommates cuts the cost dramatically, other expenses begin to build up. This includes the monthly price of utilities, water, cable, laundry, wireless internet, among other amenities. Students also report of high-brokeridge fees when negotiating a lease; Hesse said her and her roommate both payed a one-time payment of $1,500 to pay a real estate agent.

MC also states that when a student moves off-campus, they will lose 20% of all institutional aid. This includes all scholarship money.

“Even though I lost a little bit of my scholarship and end up having to pay a little bit more, I am still glad I did it. It really adds to my college experience. I think if a student does enough research they can find something suitable and in their price range because there are so many options around Riverdale,” Hesse added.

Off-campus housing has also been at the forefront of controversy for MC as seen in the New York Post article “College Students Leave Neighborhood Filled with Trash, Vomit”.  In this story, MC Students Sarah Lang and Julia LoRusso told NBC that “the parties get so out of hand that apartment buildings begin to shake.”

This is the reason for Ryan Quattromani founding the Neighborhood Relations Committee. Knowing that students are part of the Riverdale community, Quattromani assembled this group to begin mending the relations between students and other Riverdale residents.