The Pros and Cons of Private Certified Housing

As a student visits university after university, there are certain criteria they often look for: class size, reputation, and, most importantly, housing quality.

And while University housing at the University of Illinois may seem lacking to some, there are a variety of alternative housing options. One of which is Private Certified Housing: housing that is recognized by the university but is not organized through the university.

I chose to live in Bromley Hall, which is a PCH option. And after three weeks in my relatively spacious bedroom, there are things I wish I would have known before singing my housing contract. So from me to you, here are the pros and cons of Bromley Hall.

Pros:

One of the most appealing aspects of PCH, specifically Bromley Hall, is the variety of room styles. Bromley offers singles, doubles, triples, corner deluxe doubles, and quad-style rooms. Each room varies in size and cost. A standard double room at Bromley has 285 square feet of living space, whereas the same style at University Housing has about 145. Additionally, Bromley offers a quad style, meaning a double room can share a bathroom and shower with another double room. Having a private shower and bathroom is one of Bromley’s larges pull factors.

Plus, Bromley Hall offers amenities that University Housing may not. For example, Bromley has a gym, laundry service (at an additional cost), bi-weekly cleaning service, air conditioning in all rooms, and a surplus of storage. My room is a standard double, and I have a full closet PLUS a personal dresser with five drawers. As a girl with more shoes than I know what to do with, the storage appeal is huge.

Lastly, Bromley Hall is extremely safe. There are many safety precautions that the staff at Bromley take. For instance, Bromley Hall requires all students to show their Bromley identification card to a human at the front desk after 11:00 p.m.  Additionally, Bromley Hall has sensors that go off when the back doors are open, making it impossible for anyone to sneak in. Thus, the only people who can gain access into the dorm are the residents and registered guests. (Not to say University Housing doesn’t take similar measures, of course!)

Cons:

The biggest stereotype with Bromley Hall is that it is very “Northshore.” And to an extent, that’s not untrue. Many of the people who live there are from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and many of them already know each other, making it hard to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

Also, the toilet paper is not suppled, so tenants are required to purchase their own, and the laundry cost is not included so I spend anywhere between $6-$10 a week on laundry alone. Believe me, the small costs add up fast. Those costs on top of the fact that PCH is more expensive than University Housing, anyway.

Plus, if you chose to live at Bromley, there is no diversity in the meal plans. You are required to only eat in Bromley’s dining hall, whereas students in public housing can swipe in at any university dining hall. This can become inconvenient, but really isn’t the end of the world.

The Bigger Picture:

I would also like to mention that this list is a compilation of my experiences, and that this is merely a guide to a better understanding of PHC. If you chose to live in Bromley Hall, or any other PCH, your time might differ from mine. But no matter what you choose, make the best of your housing experience. Remember, it is what you make of it!

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