In the 2013-2014 school year, KU Student Housing made $176,835.59 from student’s laundry usage. During this time, students did approximately 90,685 loads of laundry. McCollum, Ellsworth and Oliver had the highest amount of laundry usage, said Jennifer Wamelink, associate director of Resident Life.
The University charges $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry. In an average week on campus, students will do three to four loads of laundry, Wamelink estimates, so students spend at least $9 to $12 on laundry a week. With 32 weeks in a regular school year, not including finals weeks, a student can spend between $288 to $384 a year on laundry.
A few students think that the price per load of laundry is expensive.
“I do about four loads of laundry a week, and [the price is] not reasonable at all. They understand that we’re college students, so to pay $3 to get one load done is unnecessary to me, honestly.” said Zhana Brown, a freshman from Aurora, Colo.
While $3 does seem high for a college student to pay per load of laundry, Wamelink said the students see an investment back into the facilities.
“We earn a commision on the collections of what the students pay for the laundry service. The University gets 65 percent of those collections. That money is then used for the staffing to keep the laundry rooms clean and for keeping the laundry rooms in good repair,” Wamelink said. “It all comes back to Student Housing and the students living within.”
The campus laundry provider, ASI Campus Laundry Solutions, and the University have been working together for two years. ASI provides laundry services to many institutions across the country and lets the schools specify their contracts.
“[All the machines] are high efficiency machines, and that’s one of the requirements we specified. Looking for the least water usage and good quality machines for our students were also part of it.” Wamelink said about Student Housing’s contract with ASI. “There’s an expectation that they keep those machines in operable conditions and they are pretty prompt with response when they’re aware of an issue.”
Although some students do their laundry on campus, it is not a requirement, and some students are not bothered by the prices of the on-campus facilities.
One student in particular, Julian Torian, a freshman from Overland Park, said for him the reason isn’t prices, it’s convenience.
“The prices are not particularly high,” Torian said. “It can be kind of stressful, just doing laundry here just because … everyone is trying to do their laundry. You know it’s different when people can’t go home, as opposed to someone like me, who can go home quite often.”
But students aren’t limited to on-campus laundry facilities. They can choose to use one of Lawrence’s many laundromats.
Some laundromats, like Flo’s Wash & Fold Laundry Service, 2605 Bluestem Drive, will do the work for you, but for a price. Here, one basket of laundry is $3.50, two baskets is $7, and the prices continue to go up based on how much laundry you bring in.
College Corner, 1827 Louisiana St., is a traditional type of laundromat, and it has varying prices depending on the machines used. A full load in a top load washer is $1.75 and a full load in a front load washer is $2.50. The prices for washers continue to go up as they get larger. It costs 25 cents for eight minutes of drying time, with an average of 75 cents to a dollar needed per load.
So, if a student went to College Corner and used the top load washer to do four loads of laundry, plus drying, it would cost them about $11 per week.
Some students who are involved in Greek life choose to do their laundry at their sorority or fraternity houses and avoid the costs of laundromats.
Erin Mannion, a freshman from St. Louis, Mo., does laundry at the Alpha Chi Omega house.
“It’s easier [to do laundry] and it’s free, too.” Mannion said.
— Edited by Kelsie Jennings