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enoksrd

Madison, WI

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I would like to bump this post. 

I've just received an offer from UW for the fall term and will be visiting campus for a recruitment event at the end of the month. I know housing can be very hard to find based on this thread, and while I'm still waiting to hear back from my first choice school -- I figure it doesn't hurt to start planning this stuff now. I would love to continue living by myself, but with my stipend offer I'll probably only be able to afford $700 - $900 a month on rent -- can you find a studio/1 bedroom close to transit for this much in Madison? Is campus housing a good idea?

Anything I need to check out while I'm there? I'm excited to visit, I've only been to Madison once and it was for a night.

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Hi everyone. I'm admitted as a PhD student in the physical sciences. I have a question about stipend etc. Even though $ certainly isn't everything, I noticed that while UW's stipend seems to be lower than other schools, it is also required to pay for health insure + University fee (1-2k/year). Every other school (I believe) waives these things or gives a reimbursement in addition to the base stipend. I was just wondering if this makes UW's financial offer less than ideal, or if this is the norm and the other schools I'm looking at are just above average in their funding. I've heard UW system has suffered some financial cuts and I was wondering if maybe there is a lack of funding in some cases. Thanks for the input !

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Savay first of all congrats on getting into Madison. I grew up in Madison went to undergrad here and let me tell you I love this city. Housing is competative here mostly because of the explosion of employees of epic (big healthcare software company located about 20 mins outside the city in Verona). Seriously everyone and their brother works at epic. Still you should be able to find a place for not too expensive. 

If you google stuff you'll likely come across lucky, statesider, the hub etc. Don't live at those places they are expensive. Avoid college court (area roughly bordered by regent st, park st, bike path, and N mills st) it is known as the sophomore slums and they party... A lot! Other than that avoid mifflin st and langdon st (frat row) for also partying related reasons. Anything else is great. You can absolutely find a studio/1 bedroom for 800 or so a month (quality not garunteed). You will be very late to the housing game as most undergrads have a place for next year by winter break (I know its insane).

Just for reference I live in a spacious 2 bedroom with my wife and a close friend and we have a car right off state st and we pay $1400 total a month. In undergrad my buddy and I lived in an underwhelming smallish 2 bedroom that I thought was just fine no complaints and we paid $1050 total per month. You can find something. A lot of grad students live in eagle heights its kind of far from campus but quiet on the lake and from what I hear affordable. Its a bit of a trek to state st and downtown tho so take that into consideration.

Hope that helps!

Also I will try to check this forum pretty often because I will be needing to ask questions in other cities forums depending on where I get in to graduate school. So ask away and I encourage you to return the favor by posting in your undergrad institution's city page if applicable.

Edited by nathank22

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@nathank22 Thanks for all the input! And yes, the fact that I'll be behind the game in renting this far in advance is pretty intense. But, it's reassuring to know that I'll find something in my budget. Depending on how things shake out I may do the graduate housing in Eagle Heights my first year -- I may be travelling a lot all summer with my things in storage, so getting a furnished place with little stress might be ideal. I'm coming from Chicago, so I'm used to longer treks for groceries and entertainment -- though of course, convenience and proximity are nice, especially in the winter. I've read that being too close to the capital is also not ideal, is the James Madison Park area too close in that regard? I feel like I'll have a much better sense of neighborhoods after I visit at the end of the month - and hopefully other people in my program can advise on where they've found places.

Best of luck on all your applications! If you end up considering Chicago I'm happy to offer what I know.

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On 2/16/2016 at 10:46 PM, savay said:

I've read that being too close to the capital is also not ideal, is the James Madison Park area too close in that regard?

I actually like the area around the capitol. Maybe not ideal for price, but I think the neighborhood is nice. If I were you I think you would like the area around old university. Bonus, I grew up in that neighborhood (so maybe I am biased). If you are looking at google maps find where university splits from campus drive to the west side of campus near Camp Randall and Engineering. That is "old university rd" the neighborhood is actually university heights, but I don't think anyone calls it that. Anyway mostly upper classman live there. It is a cool neighborhood because most of the houses south of Kendall Ave are residential, but that whole stretch of university where it breaks off from campus drive until it reconnects with campus drive is almost all students. So it is quiet and given that it is about a 15 min walk to campus most underclassman don't live there. Plus I don't think rent is bad there.

You could also look around main st, doty st., basset st. and bedford st near lake Monona. Don't go too much farther east (towards the capitol up the peninsula) because then it starts getting ridiculously far away from buildings you will have classes in (30 min plus walking). Hope that helps!

Also thanks for offering help about Chicago, but I am not an economics prodigy so there is no way I could get into Chicago even if I tried lol.

Edited by nathank22

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On 4/19/2016 at 1:22 PM, currentphilgrad said:

Does anyone know anything about Hilldale Towers apartments? That's where I'm looking to live at the moment and I just want to know if there's any reason I shouldn't.

currentphilgrad I knew someone who used to live there in high school. Apartments are fine, very diverse building (when my friend lived there many of the tenants were first generation americans or recently moved to the US), but this is super far from campus. Seems like you are philosophy and that would put your offices squarely in the center of campus (humanities or maybe van hise I am actually not sure which building). Either way that is a long way so I hope you have a car or are prepared for an approx 30 min commute by bus to campus. I know those apartments over there by the DMV are cheap but that seems too far for me at least. I would suggest somewhere closer! Try old university. Similar feel, not that much more expensive, but a much more reasonable distance from campus.

Eagle heights is fine too. A cheaper option a little closer to campus. They have busses to campus that run regularly so no problem getting to and from campus from there.

Edited by nathank22

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