Opinion: Include laundry in the cost of tuition, please

Everyone’s had negative experiences doing their laundry on campus. There’s no reason NYU shouldn’t make it free.


Natalia Kempthorne-Curiel

(Natalia Kempthorne-Curiel for WSN)

Molly Koch, Deputy Opinion Editor

Laundry day is the most dreaded day of the week. Whether it’s waking up early on a Sunday morning to get the first spot in the laundry room line, or staring at the timer you set and leaving your room five minutes before it goes off so no one touches your clothes, nothing could ease the anxiety of laundry day, save for one thing: free wash and dry.

Whether you’re a spring admit or coming back with classes already under your belt, the start of each semester is challenging. And I can tell you — NYU’s unfortunate laundry situation does not make things any easier.

Let’s face it, the laundry experience is not one many people enjoy. Between the Hercules app — which you must use to pay for laundry and activate the machines — taking 12 tries to finally register that you want to start a load, and having to deal other students taking their clothes out of the dryer before the timer ends so you just have to watch it spin, the two hours that you are confined to your dorm in order to oversee your clothes are not remotely pleasant.

The Hercules app, for one, is inconvenient and a borderline scam. In the app, the time remaining for your machine is never right — especially if you’re drying — so you must go out of your way to set a timer. If the dryers in your laundry room are stacked, then the timer on the app will only show the time left for the machine on top. Even when it’s taking your money, the app takes forever to work.  

The university already provides a $50 printing grant, assuming that to be a basic need for students — why not laundry too? You would think that if printing is a necessity, laundry would be as well.

Including free laundry with the cost of residential housing would relieve students of a considerable financial burden. For some students, the $1 to wash and $1 or more to dry is no big deal, but it can add up over time. Let’s say you live on campus for all four years, and you do laundry once a week — that’s $200, excluding laundry detergent, dryer sheets, spot cleaner and other supplies. Providing laundry credit would allow students to spend $200 on other necessities. Every dollar counts, especially in New York City.

NYU housing costs between $4,600 and $12,322. At the very least, the university could include laundry as part of this hefty housing fee. There are many things to worry about when it comes to NYU’s housing, whether that’s the price itself, roommates, or even which RA event you want to go to, and the cost of laundry should not be one of these concerns.

Many of our neighbors — including Columbia University, Barnard College and Fordham University — have free-of-charge laundry machines available for use in each of their residence halls, and include the cost in the overall housing rate. 

Some students who have moved to off-campus housing may argue that NYU provides one of the best deals when it comes to laundry in the city. Laundromats in the East Village charge up to $6.50 for a wash and $2.50 for a dry cycle. Who knows how high that price will climb in the near future? Even apartments that have laundry machines still charge high rates for each cycle. It’s an inescapable experience. Although NYU’s laundry services may be the cheaper alternative, they’re still not ideal for students — especially those who are already struggling financially. 

NYU students pay more than just the school’s large tuition — from books and supplies to an outfit for an interview, added costs put the student body under more financial strain than you might expect. The least the university can do is provide students with free laundry services.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Molly Koch at [email protected].