On Resi-Commuters and the Cost of Campus Residence

by JACK MELANSON, Senior Writer

Speaking very situationally, it may be cheaper to move off-campus while studying at Manhattan College in Riverdale.

This part of the Jasper population, known as “resi-commuters”, live in Manhattan College’s bull-ring, or the surrounding Riverdale community.

The Quadrangle surveyed 10 off campus locations that are popular among students. These include apartments on Waldo Avenue, W. 238 Street, Irwin Avenue, Greystone Avenue, Riverdale Avenue and Johnson Avenue.

Although the students who shared their rents will remain confidential, the resi-commuter spent an average of $722 a month while living off-campus in Riverdale.

According to Manhattan College’s official website, the cost of room and board at the institution is $16,870 as of April, 2019. Furthermore, the cost to live in the dorms is $1,405 monthly.

With that said, the school year spans from just late-August to mid-May, with the college being closed for winter and spring breaks. Considering this, the monthly cost of living on campus is $1,874.

Based on the Quadrangle survey, the difference in cost could exceed roughly $1,000 per month and over $12,000 a year to live on campus.

Utilities and other expenses such as cable and internet were not listed when surveying the resi-commuter population. These costs are, in fact, bundled into the $16,870 for MC room and board.

Manhattan College’s official response to their price tag discusses return on investment.

“There’s no question that a college education is a significant investment. However, unlike many other colleges and universities with comparable tuition rates, Manhattan College is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the nation for offering a high return on investment. The investment you make in your education at Manhattan College will pay you back in the form of higher salaries and greater opportunities over the course of your career,” the College’s official website, says.

On-campus residents are privy to other amenities too.

Students who live on campus not only have 24/7 security, but they are also welcomed with the comfort of Residence Life to help ease the transition of moving out of their homes and into college.

Regardless, the numbers do not lie.

As a growing number of resi-commuters are making up the Jasper population, students should be aware of a few things.

The first: scholarship cuts.

According to the same resi-commuter population, those who moved off-campus witnessed a .20 percent cut in their scholarships from MC.

“The scholarship cuts were not significant for me personally,” one student said. “ I still ended up saving money by moving off campus.”

The second: rent overcharges.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz introduced a bill Feb. 8 to eliminate the statute of limitations on rent overcharges, which at the moment requires allegedly swindled tenants to file a complaint within four years from when they got shafted, according to Dinowitz’s office. The Assemblyman believes such overcharges are all too common, but often go uncorrected because tenants fail to discover them until it’s too late to act,” according to Zak Kostro of the Riverdale Press.

Kostro continued.

“Yet they’re especially problematic in areas with higher tenant turnover where people tend to breathe a sigh of relief from simply securing a lease. They often aren’t aware they should check their rent histories, or are leery of provoking a landlord’s ire by standing up for their rights, the Assemblyman’s office said.”

And finally, safety.

Although none of the resi-commuters who were surveyed highlighted safety issues after moving off campus, the price of having public safety’s 24/7 surveillance just may be priceless.