Georgetown/DC housing question

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Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby aquaricornlex » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:48 am

Hello, if any GULC folks check this forum still (or anyone can point me a useful direction to find those people), I want to know if there are any real advantages to living at the GULC versus commuting from a less expensive part of DC. I don't live in DC at all and have few contacts/no close friends there, but to think about finances it looks much more pricey to be on-campus.

The pros as I can see it - easy access to the classes and the gym, lots of time to see people and make friends. The cons - except for the cheapest of apartment plans, living on campus is more expensive comparable to more distant but commutable rents in the city, even including utilities and internet. Brookland neighborhood, for example, seems to have reasonable rents and is on the red line so getting to Union Station then walking to GULC doesn't look hard - but I'm just looking at a map.

So here's what I'd like as opinions from any current 1L and especially 2L/3Ls at GULC - what was it like for you to live on campus and off? Is there a real advantage to being on-campus, or did you find getting to class and studying, making friends and being involved socially, and if you're a gym rat working out to be manageable in your commuting there?

Since my schooling will be 100% funded by loans, a budget is maybe more a factor for me than other people.

Thanks for the information and tips!

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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby aquaricornlex » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:50 am


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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby kobe1020 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:43 am

i don't go to GULC but i would suggest live on campus at least for the first year since that when the most intense curriculum will be arranged and grade HAS to be good for you, to be close to campus will have great advantage in terms of studying and time saving.

second or third year depending on your situation i think you can move further to save $$$

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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby nickb285 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:36 pm

GULC 1L here. Obviously I can't compare the two (I'm planning to live off campus next year), but if you're not from the area I would recommend living on campus your first year. It's been easy for me to do social things (and I'm not a particularly social person) and not having to put on pants until five minutes before class is pretty great. I know people who live off campus, of course, but it seems like most if not all of them know other people in the city. I think if I'd been off campus, I would have been a bit more isolated last semester. I definitely get the concerns about loans and rent cost--I came here from Salt Lake City, where I paid $550/mo for a nice, if small, one bedroom apartment downtown--but I think it's worth it if you don't have an existing DC social circle. I'm in a two-bedroom apartment, and it's not terrible.

You could also look at the nearby buildings--Mass Court and the others on Massachusetts Ave (I forget what they're called)--which are generally very nice and provide similar easy access to campus; however, they're likely as expensive if not more expensive. Doesn't hurt to check though.

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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:27 pm

GULC on-campus housing is ridiculously expensive for what you get. If you're willing to be slightly inconvenienced (i.e, have to buy a mattress at Walmart for $200, walk five minutes to get to class), you can get a significantly nicer living option for substantially less money.

If you want to do even better, there are spots on the red line (west of GULC) where you can get a 1b/1b for 1.5k-1.8k. The red line drops you off at Judicary Square, which is about 1/5th of a mile from GULC. If you're willing to sit on the metro for a few extra minutes, you can do Silver Spring for 1.2-1.5k/mo.

If you know someone/are down with a roommate, you can probably get your housing + transportation costs down to <1k/mo.

To be fair, though, the big advantage to on-campus housing is decreased stress. You can walk to class, you don't have to worry about metro closings, there's a free shuttle that takes you to Georgetown's main campus, etc. I don't personally feel like that security is worth it, but I'm also quite a bit more adventurous/less risk-averse than probably a lot of TLSers. So there you have it.

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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby justonemoregame » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:23 pm

GULC 1L, sharing a huge house with the owner, $800/mo with util, 1/2 hour commute each way via metro, including walk to/from. Metro costs under $100/mo., made me 20 min. late for class once. I don't really find the commute inconvenient - I review notes for class on the way in, and there is still plenty of time to spend reading. As for social scene, you'll get a lot more of that on campus, so you'll have to balance that against potential savings by setting something up on craigslist. Sometimes it's a drag to not be able to grab a classmate and have a beer at random, usually have to schedule it in after class. If I keep this arrangement, I think I'll save like 30K though, so there's that. Many people take a middle-of-the-road approach and get off-campus housing with other law students.

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Re: Georgetown/DC housing question

Postby scoobysnax » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:19 am

I asked one of my GULC 2L friends this earlier this year. There is a social advantage living on campus, but it can also be a pressure cooker in the sense that you are constantly surrounded by law students, and your life pretty much becomes about law school. Living off-campus isn't that much of a social disadvantage as long as you make the effort to still be involved.

Personally, I would prefer to live off campus, but I'm also from this area so I'm not that concerned with developing a new social circle. I would say that GULC is kind of in a boring neighborhood. If you can find a place that's comparable price-wise that's 5-6 blocks away (which = 10 minutes or less walking) in a more vibrant neighborhood, that may be a better choice.

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