February 17, 2010

From Colleges to Collegetown

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Ever wondered if your Cornell experience is worth the big bucks,

or if you should have splurged on that apartment in 312?

Shameless Commerce compares educations and accommodations.

You hired the $10,000 application coach. You paid Kaplan for your 12-week intensive SAT prep course. And now you’ve gained acceptance to Cornell. For north of $200k you’ll be entitled to 600-person intro chem courses, T.A.’d by a rag tag band of grad students who barely speak English. Most professors will never learn your name, and most folks up the Finger Lakes consider Syracuse a vibrant metropolis. The most important lesson Cornell has to teach you? How to survive in a world of shutter shades, frat keggers and girls dressed like Monaco hookers. — about $200,000

The dorms look like soviet-era urban housing. The professors are 1960s counter culture burn-outs. And the school hasn’t had a Nobel Laureate associated with them since its founding. But at a state school like SUNY Binghamton, for a few thousands dollars, and with hard work and a stellar GPA, you’re still competitive for any sort of future you can dream up. And if you’re willing to move out to California for four years, you can even play in the big leagues for a fraction of an ivy price. Congratulations bargain shoppers. It’s a blue light special on aisle four!— about $75,000

The Verdict: Aw, Cornell, you know I love you!

312 College Ave! The pinnacle of modern C-town living. Just over a block from Central Campus, sporting wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning, free high-speed Internet, underground controlled-access parking, fitness center, home theater, breathtaking views of Cayuga Lake and Ithaca … the list goes on, and on and on. Methinks the residents of 312 are compensating for something … And is that chalk dust on that dollar bill? — about $900 per month

A subdivided rat-hole on Stewart Ave! The floors creak, the pipes leak and the radiator plays host to sporadic explosions that wake you in the dead of night. But for less than half the price each month, you’re getting a roof over your head, a kitchenette, a shower and a toilet. Is anything else really necessary? Maybe some cedar blocks for the closet. And by the end of the year, after daily hikes up Mount Ezra, your calves are the sexiest in town.— about $500 per month

The Verdict:  College students and cheap apartments are like peanut butter and jelly. They BELONG together.

Original Author: Munier Salem