City Desk

George Washington Students Not All Comically Rich, President Says

The Washington Post Magazine had a story this week about how obnoxiously, amusingly wealthy some George Washington University students are, and university president Steven Knapp isn't happy, calling the Post's portrait of a campus of budding Thurston Howell IIIs "distorted."

Which isn't to say that George Washington's bottle-service class isn't living large. According to the Post, they're renting $3,900-a-month apartments:

When the Avenue opened two years ago, its management company had hoped to market the place — with a marble lobby, concierge and sweeping views of the Washington Monument and Potomac River — to young professionals, even instituting quiet hours to discourage students.

They were banking on parents being unlikely to pony up an average $3,900-a-month rent for their kid’s college living quarters. They were wrong. The management company won’t say how many residents are college students, but residents say dozens live in the 300 or so apartments. Reviewers on Yelp complain about parties and noise.

Buying $900 bags:

Last spring, a Tumblr on cars of GW — with photos of luxury automobiles on campus, including a rare Mercedes SLR 722 S, two Porsches and a Bentley — went viral, though it was unclear whether the cars belonged to students.

A fashion blog has snapped more than one student carrying a $1,800 Chloé handbag, and $900 “Neverfull” Louis Vuitton tote bags are so widely seen they have become a campus joke.

Listening to the band fun.:

Nicollette Slotkin, a freshman from Beverly Hills, is waiting in line wearing a black mini-dress and diamond Chanel necklace and toting a Chanel bag. She’s a self-described “West Coast princess” who came east to George Washington for the chic urban campus and the well-regarded business school....

Near the dance floor, two groups of students are in a bottle war — each side vying to drink the most bottles of $160 Veuve Clicquot champagne. Kids are hanging on the rafters. The DJ queues up a song by the band fun.: “Tonight we are young. So let’s set the world on fire. …

Generally riching around:

A slightly tipsy senior from New Jersey surveys the preppy guys in chinos and girls tottering on four-inch heels. “The number one thing that makes you popular at GW is money,” he confides. “How else are you going to be able to go out and have fun? You have to be rich.”

Bottle service photo by Shutterstock

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Comments

  1. #1

    ..."How else ae you going to be able to go out and have fun? You have to be rich."

    Sounds about right to me. I went thru my undergraduate years and seldom had more than $150 in my checking account.

  2. #2

    Sure, there are rich people there. But aren't there at most private universities? If you go looking for that, you'll find it. I went to GW and I was able to go there thanks to financial aid. I wasn't rich, didn't hang out with anybody rich and didn't see this stuff.

  3. #3

    If the article had gone to McFaddens instead of Cities, they would have seen the majority of students flocking to $1 beers and getting kicked out for not dressing nice enough (that's right, not dressing nice enough...at McFaddens). The article focused on 1% of the student population and missed just about everything else about the student experience. They also interviewed a 31yo grad student living in Arlington to comment on the undergrad experience.

    The Tumblr of cars were just cars in the neighborhood for a WTO/IMF Meeting, many had diplomatic plates.

    I lived in one of those $3900/month apartments my senior year. But what's missed here is how many people rent them, with 4 of their friends (like I did). We had some of the best dorms in the country, there was no reason to move off campus except to save money. With 70% living on campus, touting the Avenue is absurd.

    All in all, this article could be categorically ripped apart at every seem. It focuses on a small part of GWU culture... a part of the culture that exists on many private university campuses around the country.

  4. #4

    Seam. Ripped apart at every seam.

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