Ga. State University honored by web site with ‘best dorms’

DormSplash.com ranked the best dorms and RAs across the country and Georgia State University ranked No. 1 with best overall dorms. It also ranked highly for best RAs.

The site ranked the Best 14 Dorms in the Country, Worst 14 Dorms in the Country, 14 Biggest Party Dorms in the Country, 14 Schools with the Best Dorms, 14 Dorms with the Hottest Residents, and 14 Schools with the Best RAs.

GSU was No. 1 with best overall dorms in the country.

GSU was No 4 in Best Dorms in the country. (It is not clear to me what the difference is in these categories.)

GSU was No. 6 for Best RAs.

Here is the link to the full lists.

I can’t tell exactly what the rankings were based on. It looks like it was based on the 7100 reviews on the site (at the time). I found this one paragraph of explanation but didn’t find any other info on how they were picked:

“Today we’re excited to launch DormSplash.com! A dorm review website with over 7100 reviews as of today! Check it out to read and write anonymous reviews of college dorms all across the country. Along with the launch, we’re releasing our first annual Dormy Awards!”

It is still great for Georgia State to get some recognition even if the methodology is unclear. UGA and Ga. Tech are not ranked in the top on any of the lists.

Are you surprised that Georgia State’s dorms were ranked above other universities in the state? Have you had a child stay in the GSU dorms? What did they think?

Did your college students stay in dorms or apartments when they went to college? Which dorms did they have the best experiences with? What were you looking for in dorm life and what were your kids looking for? Did you have much faith in the RAs? Did you feel like they were really keeping an eye on things?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, AJC Momania

43 comments Add your comment

jarvis

March 21st, 2011
1:13 pm

Good for them. Their dorms are all almost brand new, so it’s not much of a surprise.

Not sure how much it will help them though. My guess is that their student population is still 90% Atlanta metro. Don’t expect this to help them expand much.

Downtown is not a great place for a live on campus school in my opinion. Not much nightlife at a college kid’s budget in town.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2011
1:18 pm

No experience with Ga State. Both of mine lived in the dorm at UGA their freshman year and then move out. I never met either of the the RA’s for my kids. My son never mentioned his but my daughter likes hers.

My kids are not perfect but I am not sure an RA can actually keep an eye out for them. They know what their Dad and I expect and we have made it, so far.

Daughter told me of someone, who lives in our neighborhood, and is living in the dorm at Ga Gwinnett College. We are 8 miles away. I think living in the dorm is a GREAT experience for all kids. Not sure I would want to foot the bill if it were just 15 minutes away. That may be just me.

jarvis

March 21st, 2011
1:19 pm

At for your last question, I lived in a dorm for one year. I moved off campus as a Sophmore.

I only vaguely remember my RA. Can’t even remember his name; it was either Paul or John, but then again I may be confusing him with the Beatles.

DB

March 21st, 2011
1:22 pm

T, all of Georgia State’s dorms, overall, ranked 1st in the country. The specific dorm, University Commons, was the 4th best dorm building in the country. I’m frankly surprised, since I consider Georgia State more of a commuter-based university, as opposed to, say, UGA or Georgia Southern, for example. And I’m really surprised that Washington University in St. Louis’s dorms didn’t make the list — those rooms were GORGEOUS. Not to mention the Lawn at U.Va – who wouldn’t like having a working fireplace in their room?

My son stayed in a dorm the first two years (the location was perfect, roll out of bed and be in class inside of 10 minutes, including a stop for breakfast), but has been in a fraternity house off campus for the last two years. My daughter was in two different dorms her freshman year, a dorm over summer school last summer, and a different dorm this past year — she will be sharing a house with a friend next year. I dont think either one of my kids ever considered the R.A. as anything other than an administrative paper-pusher. When my daughter went to an R.A. after a problem with her first roommate (whose boyfriend spent the night 4 nights out of 7, some stealing, etc.) she was basically told, “Well, try to work it out.” Not much support, there.

I was a dorm rat for all four years in college — three different dorms all within a stone’s throw of each other, loved the cameraderie and having a hall full of friends ready for anything at 3 am! But back then, where I was, it wasn’t unusual for upperclassmen to be on campus.

The thing that surprises me these days is the security on these dorms — wow, my daughter has to have her card/code, AND a biometric handprint to get into her dorm, as she walks by the security desk. I’d have felt like I was in jail, with that much security. Part of the fun when I was in college was that people could just drop by whenever, they didn’t need an appointment or escort.

Mark

March 21st, 2011
1:29 pm

My sister lives in the commons @ GA State and their dorms are really nice. However, she lives on the 12th floor and has a great view of the city. The staff is really nice and always make sure the students are safe with the many id checkpoints they have.

Itsmeagain

March 21st, 2011
1:32 pm

I lived in the University Commons the first year they opened and for a year in the old Univeresity Village before that. I will say GSU put a lot of effort into making these places as secure as possible, necessary considering the campus is right in the middle of downtown. I actually had to use the RA’s a few times and had a fairly friendly relationship with the ones on my floor, chatting with them and occasionally hanging out. Overall it was a great experience. I’ve visited other schools dorms before, both my siblings went to Valdosta State and I know I couldn’t deal with those dorms. A tiny room with a sink and two people and one set of public bathrooms/showers for an entire floor…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 21st, 2011
1:37 pm

Good reading DB — thanks for explaining — I found that confusing. — I owe you a note back –been thinking a lot on what you said.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 21st, 2011
1:37 pm

Itsmegain — you hear about a lot more robberies on GT campus than GSU — that’s at least the appearance — do you think that;’s true??

JOD

March 21st, 2011
1:45 pm

I lived on campus for 2 years, then off campus for the last 2 years, either in houses with other girls or in my own apartment. It was really nice to walk to class, and parking was $expensive$, but I worked the last 2 years, so driving was a necessity. The dorms weren’t very nice, but as DB said, the camaraderie was fun. We had one bathroom per hall – that gets old pretty quickly.

JD

March 21st, 2011
1:48 pm

Tech dorms are very small and getting old. Crime has been an issue in some of the Tech dorms, but the GTPD have stepped it up recently. Tech RA’s are very good though, if not just because their Hall Directors are very strict.

LizellaJacket

March 21st, 2011
1:56 pm

Theresa,

There was an article about all the robberies happening to GSU students in the AJC recently (last week?), but strangely you never hear about those when they happen. However, we are quick to hear about a robbery on Tech “campus”. Even if the robbery occurred 1 block from the Georgia Dome.

JJ

March 21st, 2011
2:01 pm

My daughter wants to go to GSU next year, but get an apartment, or commute from home. I’m open for the commute….rent’s still free at mommy’s house…..

I don’t want her living downtown. Not with all the crime around GSU & Tech. Too many kids getting held up and robbed…….

Sarah

March 21st, 2011
2:03 pm

Good for them! I searched the site for my own alma mater, UCLA, but apparently it does not have enough reviews yet for them to list any statistics or rankings. That said, I have no basis for comparison to any other dorms, as those are the only ones I ever lived in.

DB

March 21st, 2011
2:07 pm

@JJ: If she went anywhere other than Georgia State, she’d proably be living on campus, etc. — and personally, I think that is a HUGE part of the college experience, learning to live on your own, be responsible for your own living conditions, budgeting your time, meals, etc. If I were a mom with a kid looking at a local school, I would be encouraging them to live away from home. JMHO.

NAGA

March 21st, 2011
2:20 pm

New motto for GSU: Great Dorm Life; Crappy degree

Peachy

March 21st, 2011
2:35 pm

GSU’s dorms are nice, but a bit overpriced. By the time you pay for housing and parking, you very well could have paid for a nice apartment and live by yourself or live somewhere else cheaper if you split with a roommate. Recommended for freshmen though. And the security is necessary…have you seen where GSU’s dorms are located?? And have you not heard of the every other robberies at GSU lately? Definitely wouldn’t want it where someone could just walk in.

JMO

March 21st, 2011
2:35 pm

NAGA you should have said Great Dorm Life: Great Degree. I have one of those GREAT degrees and have nine folks reporting to me who have degrees from UGA, GT, Tenn, GSU, UAB. Three of them obtained MBA’s. Thanks GSU!!!

JJ

March 21st, 2011
2:35 pm

DB – True, however, the money has run out for education. She has to get a job now and help pay for college expenses. Her free summers are OVER..plus she now has a car she needs to start supporting.

My idea is for her to come home this summer (early May) and get a full time job. Work all summer, and save at least 50% of what she makes (for education). She can continue to work in the fall, and just take a couple of classes, and commute from home to ANY number of commuter colleges. This way, she can work part time, go to school parttime, and she can start her “nest egg” and in January of next year, she can go get an apartment.

Trust me, I don’t want this child on my couch when she’s 30……

JJ

March 21st, 2011
2:36 pm

AND we put pen to paper, and coming home will allow her to make and save more money, than if she is paying rent, cable, utilities, etc. Her living at home until at least January will save both of us a tremendous amount of money.

arlene

March 21st, 2011
2:54 pm

DB…With all of the crime downtown, midtown, and especially in the college areas, I would think all of that security would be welcome in preventing unwanted people from entering the dorm areas. Things have changed since your college days; security is extremely important, so stop knocking it, and hope that all of that security keeps your child, and others safe and secure!

KoolAid House

March 21st, 2011
3:01 pm

I graduated from GSU when there weren’t any dorms.

KoolAid House

March 21st, 2011
3:02 pm

I graduated without really having the “college” experience.

Romey Skreet

March 21st, 2011
3:08 pm

Having the best dorms is a must for Georgia States continued existance since it’s suicidal to walk the surrounding streets. Likely more dangerous than Techs off campus area.

Techmom

March 21st, 2011
3:08 pm

@NAGA I too graduated from GSU and have absolutely no complaints with my education. I too have lead teams of people who graduated from “more” prestigious colleges and have MBAs.

I never lived in the dorms at either VSU or GSU though I’ve visited both. VSU’s are really old and really small as are a lot at UGA (again, just visited friends who lived there). GSU’s are new so it’s no surprise they rank high.

I took mostly night classes at GSU and I must say that in 3 years of attending there, I can count on 1 hand the number of times I was approached by someone even when getting out of class late at night. Usually it was a bum wanting some change and they would go away once I said no.

I actually do hope my son wants to stay in the dorms his freshman year if for nothing else, than to really experience college life. Hopefully it will make him appreciate what he has had growing up a little more (i.e. a big room with his own bathroom and a game room!)

DB

March 21st, 2011
3:11 pm

@arlene: I wasn’t knocking the security, in fact, I love the idea that no one can get to my daughter unless they really, really work at it! I’m just bemoaning the need for it. I went to college at a large university in a small college town in the 70’s — our security was a key, and most of us didn’t bother with even it. In this case, I don’t think the cultural changes have been an improvement. *sigh*. My son is graduating from the same university in May — the dorm he lived in was in the same community I lived in for four years 35 years ago, and the security has definitely been dramatically increased! I’m just saying that *I* would have felt like I was living in a prison, but the kids today don’t even seem to notice.

GSU Grad

March 21st, 2011
3:26 pm

GSU dorms are great for a late night stroll around the neighborhood.

Mattie

March 21st, 2011
3:34 pm

I read recently that GSU only has dorms for 7000 students, which is a fraction of their enrollment. My eldest lived on campus at UofMiami for all 4 years. Second son entered GA Southern with a brand new dorm room, but only for freshman. His soph. year he moved off campus into a complex with a pool and a gym for less than the old dorms available. Youngest is now at UGA in Russell Hall. He was eligible for the newly build village style dorms next year (minimum GPA required), but has opted to live off campus. I was thrilled once I found out the village dorm was $700./month!

Mercerproud

March 21st, 2011
4:01 pm

People are getting robbed at GSU because they walk down the street without a care in the world listening to their Ipod’s and talking on their Iphone. If they put those things away then the robberies would go down. It’s crazy to walk by a student and see them jamming out to whatever and not paying attention their surroundings. We are in Downtown Atlanta… be ready to run if necessary….

Jothcra

March 21st, 2011
4:05 pm

Mattie: Once the latest dorm construction project is finished, GSU will house around 4,000 students. 2,000 in the Commons, 1,000 in the Piedmont North dorm (which used to be a hotel complex), 450 in the Lofts, 350 in the freshman-only hall, and about 150 in Greek housing. That’s 4,000 beds for 32,000 students. Now obviously most of those are not going to want to live in a dorm, but nevertheless we desperately need more housing space.

I am a freshman at GSU and I live in the Commons. It’s really nice, although I wish it were cheaper. I would agree that the security can be really annoying at times (I have to swipe my access card three times before I can get on the elevator to get to my room) but it’s good to know people can’t just waltz in from off of the street.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2011
4:06 pm

When we toured Kennesaw, they were all impressed with their new dorms. They had a fridge and microwave in each suite. One mom asked, “where is the sink to do the dishes?’
Reply…”the sink is down the hall and you can carry your dishes down there to do them…”

I laughed. My daughter shot me a look. WHAT COLLEGE STUDENT WILL CARRY DISHES REGULARLY DOWN THE HALL TO DO THEM IN A COMMUNITY SINK?

Maybe they changed it. Anyone?

Any comments on footing the bill for a dorm room 8 miles from home. Maybe I AM the only one who thinks it is a bit silly. Makes more sense to buy a condo for an investment…close to home.

TWG…did you get my e-mail recommending the water park?

Mattie…I think apartment living is usually cheaper than on campus at UGA. Most of my daughter’s friends are going to ECV but she opted for an apartment.

ManUp...

March 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Glenn Dorm at Georgia Tech is a rite of passage for freshman guys. Last rennovation in the 1970’s…built in the ’30’s. Archrival Towers is right across the quad (intramurals teams are a must.) You eat your meals at Britain Dining Hall. You live right next to the stadium, so gameday’s on your mind year-round. Freshman math and sciences tutored nightly in the basement. Almost all the Glenn guys go Greek since they’re just down Techwood from the Greek Neighborhood. Perfect place to feel like you’re growing up way too fast!

It’ll never net GT a great dorm ranking, but if you do your first year of Georgia Tech in Glenn you have a badge of honor for the rest of your life. It’s a Tech tradition all its own.

Ole Guy

March 21st, 2011
4:11 pm

Does this not present a contradiction in terms? “College dorms” and the “worse/best” arguement makes little sense to one whose 60’s era dorm was littered with chicken bones, empty chile cans, and piles of dried-up puke. Mine was the ORIGINAL Animal House!

Techmom

March 21st, 2011
4:46 pm

You also have to remember that GSU never really had traditional students until 1997 (after the Olympics) so the majority of students are commuters. I think they’re trying to become more balanced and have done a good job in the past 14 years trying to get there. I’m hoping with the dip in property prices maybe they’ll pick up some more nearby properties to convert to additional classrooms and dorms.

@MJG – paying for a student to live on-campus 8 miles from home seems a little wasteful unless the parents/kid really need some space apart. I moved out of my parents’ house two weeks after I graduated from high school and moved all of 5 miles away because I wanted to. I was going to Valdosta State at the time but b/c I already lived locally, I was exempt from the “Freshman must live in the dorms” requirement. I love my parents dearly but it was a constant battle of wills and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I paid for everything including all of my living expenses so it’s not like they were footing the bill for any of it either.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2011
4:57 pm

I am thinking these parents are footing the bill but you do make a good point. My daughter was home last week and we really enjoyed the time with her. She and I get along SO MUCH better than I did with my own parents!

Bluebell

March 21st, 2011
5:05 pm

Dorms are great as long as you are living with your boyfriend.

Itsmeagain

March 21st, 2011
6:11 pm

My deal with GSU and crime; any student and their parents need to realize that Georgia State is located in the centre of downtown Atlanta and thus crime rates will be higher than say, Berry or Georgia Southern. Also people need to realize that 4 people getting robbed at State is a much smaller percent of the population than say 4 people getting robbed at Valdosta simply because State has such a large population. The main point Is if you walk around during the day, you will be fine. Downtown is literally cluttered with other students walking around campus so during daylight there’s is absolutely no problem. As for after dark, if you walk in a group and stick to well lit areas you’ll be fine. It’s the same rules as if you were in the middle of New York or Chicago. For a couple of years Tech had a problem with kids getting mugged, but I wouldn’t suggest that it was a problem with the school, just a problem with students not understanding how to safely live in the city.
As for the worth of a degree at GSU, I know that I’m getting a world class education in biology, just search for the number of recent accolades and achievements State has gotten just in the past year alone

Jeff

March 21st, 2011
6:22 pm

I actually got my undergrad from GSU and the dorms weren’t in place yet. For a commuter school, they have come a long way.

newblogger

March 21st, 2011
7:11 pm

@MJG-my son goes to Kennesaw State and we were a little confused by no sink at first too. I believe those are the freshmen dorms. As freshmen, they are required to purchase a full meal plan. I guess the figure that with a full meal plan, there won’t be much cooking in their rooms. They also told us that the community kitchen down the hall was to encourage first year students to get out of their rooms and socialize. In the year he lived there, my son and his roommate did cook several times with other friends in the common kitchen, but ate in the really nice, brand new dining hall most of the time. He said it’s like a food court on steroids! When he did cook in his room it was microwave cooking, or cereal, and eating with plastic. We did look at the other dorms where four students share a common kitchen/living area and each have a separate bedroom. Now those were really nice, but very expensive. He now has an apartment off campus and doesn’t pay nearly what the dorm would cost, but hates trying to find a parking place some mornings. Doesn’t hate it bad enough to move back into the dorms though.

Mattie

March 21st, 2011
7:28 pm

@new blogger, my neighbor’s daughter commuted to Kennesaw last year. She HAD to buy the meal plan, even though she didn’t live on campus. Sooooo, every Sunday the entire family went to the dining hall for dinner. She told me her daughter swiped her meal card 5 times to get them all admitted, and the food was incredible.

Active Duty Mom

March 21st, 2011
7:37 pm

Hey KoolAid (couldn’t resist)! I hear you and also got my 1st degree at GSU before they had dorms. Itsmeagain, good points but I actually feel safer walking around NYC at night than Atlanta because there is a greater police presence in NYC.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2011
8:14 pm

Mattie…I cannot imagine having to buy the meal plan, if you do not live on campus and have never heard of such a thing. Seems like a waste of $$ to me.

Stephanie

March 21st, 2011
9:09 pm

I worked for a while at GSU (also got my degree there, but before they had dorms) and the dorms are indeed very, very nice. The ones I saw were pretty much each small apartments, with a common living room and kitchen per suite, but personal bedrooms and bathrooms. The dorm I lived in at UGA was just a long hall with bedrooms and a communal bathroom for the whole hall.

Jeff

March 21st, 2011
11:21 pm

MJG, I love the way you write things. They just make so much sense! LOL.