Georgetown University released details on summer stability housing rates, prompting student concerns about accessibility and financial aid.
In early April, the university released the cost of summer term housing. For the summer housing term, which spans from June 6 to Aug. 14, students will pay $4,485 for living accommodations, according to an email obtained by The Hoya. This fee marks a multi-thousand-dollar increase from 2020, when the university charged students a discounted rate of $1500.
Housing for the May transition period, the time between the spring and summer terms from May 20 to June 6, will cost $1,105 in addition to the summer term, according to the university email. This year’s rates are similar to summer housing costs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any student currently living on campus for the spring 2021 semester approved through the Housing Stability Application process, which determines if students are eligible for housing based on extenuating circumstances or unsafe home environments, can continue to live on campus in the period between the spring and fall semesters, according to the university email.
The raise in summer housing prices and uncertainty about financial aid has left many students unsure about their housing security, according to Georgetown University Student Association Senate Speaker Melanie Cruz-Morales (COL ’22).
“Students are very panicked,” Cruz-Morales said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “A lot of students don’t know what they will be doing, whether they’ll find ways to stay on campus, or if they’ll probably have to return into an environment that is just not productive, nor safe.”
The university is still in the process of deciding how it can financially assist students in need of stability housing, according to a university spokesperson.
“The University is working to determine how we will assist students who won’t be enrolled in classes this summer and who need assistance meeting costs of housing, food and other expenses during the period after their Spring term ends and before their Fall term begins,” the university spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The university will also house first-year and transfer students for the Summer Hilltop Immersion Program, which offers first-year students the opportunity to live on campus and take classes for five weeks this summer.
SHIP will take place from June 7 to July 9 and will cost $7,500, which covers tuition, housing and a meal plan. Financial aid has been made available for students participating in SHIP or taking classes for the summer session, but details have not been shared for students who live on campus for the summer session who are not enrolled in summer courses, according to a university spokesperson.
Since Georgetown will offer financial aid to students participating in SHIP, many of those seeking stability housing feel neglected as they wait to hear if the university will offer them financial support, according to GUSA Senate Vice Speaker Eric Perez (COL ’23).
“Many students feel discarded, since it’s not like the university just doesn’t have the capacity to house these students,” Perez wrote in an email to The Hoya. “They’re actively bringing more students back for the SHIP program, but students on stability housing feel that they are being pushed out of housing to make way for paying students, which is beyond unacceptable.”
The situation is particularly frustrating because students were not informed of the summer housing plan until the university sent out an email to on-campus students in early April, according to Cruz-Morales.
“I think one of the biggest critiques that the Georgetown administration gets from students is the lack of communication, and it seems like the administration is aware of that, yet they continuously do not do something into giving proper communication on proper time,” Cruz-Morales said.
The university must provide financial support for students, especially those who could face homelessness this summer without receiving affordable campus stability housing, according to Perez.
“Providing housing to students who have literally nowhere else to go should always be a priority for administrators, no matter what incentives they might have to not do that,” Perez wrote. “They have the ability to make a lot of people’s lives much less challenging and much less traumatic, and they should take that more seriously. No amount of profit is worth putting students through that.”