The Philadelphia Region
Off Campus Housing
The campus is located just north of Philadelphia's city limits. Apartment and house rental costs vary depending on the area in which you rent.
Renting within the city limits is generally less expensive than in the suburbs, except in the Center City district. A one-bedroom apartment might range between $700-$900+ per month; a house might be $1000+. Two important factors to keep in mind if residing in the city are city-earned income tax on gross income and higher car insurance rates. The current earned income tax for residents of Philadelphia is 3.9296%. Non-residents who work in the city pay a 3.4997% earned income tax. [Pennsylvania State Earned Income Tax is 3.07% and Cheltenham Township Earned Income Tax is 1%.]
Monthly rental rates, including utilities, in the suburbs (i.e., Montgomery County, where Westminster is located) range between $600-$700 for a studio/efficiency apartment; $750-$1000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment; $800-$1200 for a two-bedroom apartment; and $900-$1200+ for a house. In most cases, one-month's rent plus a security deposit is required in advance.
It is very important for incoming students to set aside ample time for locating housing in the area. The time required to locate a room, apartment, or house will depend on the specific housing needs of the student, such as location and family size. The Admissions and Student Affairs offices recommend beginning the process as early as possible; trying to secure off-campus housing at the last minute often proves unsuccessful.
Additional resources are available via the links below. The various Montgomery County newspapers, all having generally the same classified section, list places for rent and sale within a 20-minute drive to the Seminary, as well as within a larger radius.
Joanna Bellinger Linda Ross
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Quinn & Wilson Realtors
1108 B. N. Bethlehem Pike 1492 Old York Road
Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002 Abington, PA 19001
Office: (215) 591-5614 Office: (215) 885-7600
Cell: (267) 679-7773 Cell: (215) 870-9697
Timothy Bathurst Keith Humphreys
1917 Welsh Road 910 Harvest Drive, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19115 Blue Bell, PA 19422
Office: (215) 464-8800 Office: (215) 646-2498
Cell: (267) 249-0529 Cell: (215) 802-9732
Westminster has 12 rooms, with accommodations for 5 women and 9 men, in Machen dormitory located on the main campus. All rooms are furnished with a bed, bureau, desk and chair, and closet for each person in the room. Rooms are assigned by the Student Affairs Office and, with the exception of an RA, are available only to first-year full-time students in degree programs. Priority will be given to students coming from great distances. All rooms on the men’s floor are single rooms. The women’s floor has one single room and two double rooms. The cost per semester (four months) for the 2010-2011 school year is $1250 for a single occupancy room and $1050 for a double occupancy room.
Incoming students who want to reserve a space in the dorm must send a $250 dorm deposit in the form of a check made out to "Westminster Theological Seminary" to the attention of the Student Affairs Office after full admission has been granted. (For international students, full admission is attained upon the successful completion of the affidavit of support.) The dorm deposit should accompany the completed dorm application. This deposit is non-refundable, provided there is room for the student in the dorm. Rooms are awarded on a first-deposits-received basis.
After an incoming student sends in a dorm deposit with a dorm application, he or she will receive notification from the Student Affairs Office that they have been received and that the student’s name has been placed on the dorm waiting list. Once all dorm applications and dorm deposits have been received from incoming students, Student Affairs will assign rooms. This usually happens in April. By May 1st, all incoming students will be notified either confirming a room reservation and check-in times or explaining that the dorm is full and that off-campus housing will need to be secured. International students who are applying to the dorm are strongly encouraged to begin completing their affidavit of support very early in order to have a good standing on the waiting list. A link to the affidavit of support form can be found at Affidavit of Support.
Westminster does not have a formal food service. Each dormitory resident is given full access to the dormitory kitchen and is responsible for his or her own meals and clean-up. Westminster students may also eat in Arcadia University's cafeteria, which is a half-mile from the main campus, paying on a per meal basis.
Once dorm rooms are finalized for first-year full-time students studying during the regular academic year, any rooms remaining vacant for part or all of the summer are then awarded to DMin students for their summer modules. Please keep in mind that the number of rooms left vacant in the summer is extremely limited, especially later in the summer as the new students begin to arrive early for Fall Semester.
DMin students who want to reserve a room in the dorm must send a $50 dorm deposit in the form of a check made out to "Westminster Theological Seminary" to the attention of the Student Affairs Office after full admission has been granted. (For international students, full admission is attained upon the successful completion of the affidavit of support.) The dorm deposit should accompany the completed dorm application. This deposit is non-refundable, provided there is room for the student in the dorm. Rooms are awarded on a first-deposits-received basis.