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How we keep costs low

One of the best things about going to the UW is its location in one of the country's most vibrant and fastest-growing cities, Seattle. But with all the great things about the city, there is one very real downside: It's an expensive place to live.

The cost of living in Seattle

HFS recognizes that the cost of living in Seattle can be challenging, so we are doing what we can to offset cost increases to residents and dining customers, trying to keep our prices as low as we can.

The price of housing in Seattle is a big contributor to the high cost of living here, with a one-bedroom apartment costing an average of nearly $1,500 per month in the city. We're able to provide on-campus residence hall housing to students for $540–1,280 per month, depending on room type (the lowest for a four-person suite in Hansee Hall and the highest for studio apartments in the new buildings). Most students pay about $1,070 per month for their room (double with private bath). Utilities and amenities are also included in HFS housing, helping mitigate your living expenses.

UW housing costs are lower than the city average

We're able to keep our housing costs lower than the city average because we put a lot of thought into ways to keep construction and maintenance costs lower for the new buildings, and because our remaining legacy buildings were paid off long ago.

Building to high environmental standards helps keep utility costs lower, and the traditional shared-room design of residence halls helps keep our living density high for the spaces we have available to build, keeping your living space less expensive.

How we offset housing costs

We also use the residence halls to house conference and event guests during the summer months when students are away on break. We generated over $2 million last summer to offset housing and dining increases that would've been passed onto you, the resident.

How we offset food prices

You probably have also noticed by now that it is expensive to eat in Seattle, as well. In fact, groceries in Seattle cost more than any place in the U.S. other than New York City. Eating out is just as bad, with Seattle meals costing about 30 percent more than the national average.

HFS faces the same realities as other food providers in the city, as high transportation costs, sustainability commitments and the $15.91 minimum wage add expenses onto our cost of providing food to you.

We have offset some food price increases through smarter sourcing of our wholesale food, streamlining our food preparation, and trying to reduce food waste, but the fact is that it will always be more expensive, as a whole, to eat in Seattle than in most other places.

We'll keep working to keep costs low

That won't stop us from continuing to try to keep your living costs as low as we can. We'll keep looking for innovative ways to hold the line on price increases while not giving away too much in quality, because we know that, for many of our residents, every dollar saved counts.