The UMW community has been excited about Eagle Village for over a year. Students, professors and administrators have watched it go up piece by piece, and the excitement has become more and more tangible.
As UMW approaches the annual on-campus housing contract and selection period, many students have begun to work out their living plans for next year with one eye on the brand-new apartments.
Residence Life has advertised that the new building will contribute greatly to the amount of residential housing on campus.
Unfortunately, UMW may have priced most of its students out of living in Eagle Landing.
For an academic year comprising about seven months total, students will pay $6,900 per person for a double room. That’s over $900 a month, and for what? New granite countertops? A breakfast nook?
The price of a double space in the UMW Apartments is about $4,900 per student—a full $2,000 more for apartments that feel more spacious than the ones in Eagle Landing.
It doesn’t seem justified that students should pay so much more for something new and pretty, when the current apartments are just as good and will be just as clean, as they are thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned before each academic year begins.
The luxury of Eagle Landing’s apartments also gives students false expectations. The rent for many crappy apartments in most urban settings is around $800 a month.
When students hit the real world, won’t they wonder why the same amount of money gets them so much less?
Students who have financial aid at UMW are perhaps the most frustrated, however. With all of the hype about these apartments being super nice but still residential, UMW presented the idea initially as something that will be accessible and affordable for everyone.
With the current price of the new apartments, though, these students are now bumping back their expectations and are beginning to look at the UMW Apartments as a pretty good option.
What happens if, after all of the seniors and juniors have gone through housing selection, there are still Eagle Landing apartments that have yet to be filled?
It doesn’t seem like these apartments are a solution to the University’s need for more and better housing.
It seems instead that this is yet another way that the University is ripping off students financially.
For more information on Eagle Landing, go to umw.edu/cas/residencelife and click on the Eagle Village link on the left-hand side.