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Columbia University. Credit: S Kaya on flickr Columbia University. Credit: S Kaya on flickr
New York City is home to nearly 600,000 students, while New York State is the nation’s largest importer of college students; statistics show that among freshmen who leave their home states to attend college, more come to New York State than any other state. While college campuses closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown, major universities like NYU, Columbia, The New School, and CUNY, to name but a few, are resuming in-person classes this fall with health and safety protocols, including mask and vaccine requirements, in place.
Some students are happy to live out their college years in a dorm or a rental. Others might prefer to move into a condo that can serve as an investment long after graduation. If the latter is the case, there is much to consider. Proximity to campus is a top consideration, but it is far from the only one. Perhaps you need a place to double down and cram, a chill spot to unwind, or maybe somewhere to party, whether at your place or somewhere nearby. Perhaps you wish to commute by bike. Maybe you’re looking for an in-house gym or want to be located near a certain library or research center. Whatever you’re looking for, CityRealty’s list of best condos for college students will satisfy any wish list.

100-Claremont-Avenue Claremont Hall (Binyan Studios)
In the heart of Union Theological Seminary campus, the 41-story Claremont Hall houses classrooms, academic offices, faculty-designated apartments, and 175 condos on top. However, it also benefits from excellent proximity to Columbia University's main and Manhattanville campuses, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music. Residential amenities include a reading room with a leather-bound Great Books collection, and the old building's dining hall has been transformed into the Refectory Pool, a saltwater lap pool with original chandeliers.

100-Claremont-Hall Claremont Hall, #18E (Corcoran)
From the Listing: With gracious views that encompass Sakura Park, Riverside Park, Grant’s Tomb, and the George Washington Bridge, this corner two-bedroom, two-bathroom home welcomes you home with a gracious foyer that leads to an open concept living and dining room, as well as a stylish kitchen with breakfast bar and paneled wine refrigerator. The primary bedroom features an ensuite bath, a walk-in closet, and a triple-panel oversized window that frames wide open eastern views. A secondary bedroom boasts corner exposure, with views to the north and east. See floor plan and full details here.

212-West-95th-Street-01 All images of Dahlia via Reuveni Real Estate
Designed by CetraRuddy, the elegant design of Dahlia embodies the flower for which it was named. The gracious two- through four-bedroom apartments are well appointed with high ceilings, generous proportions, abundant natural light, large chef's kitchens, and master bedrooms closed off from the living areas. Amenities include a massive 5,100-square-foot elevated terrace, fitness room with yoga studio, game room, lounge, children's playroom, pet spa, and bike room. Private storage and 12 parking spaces are available for purchase.

212-West-95th-Street Dahlia, #17A (Reuveni Real Estate)
From the Listing: This three-bedroom home is graciously appointed with generously proportioned living space and three full bathrooms. North, west and south exposures bathe this residence in natural light while the 7’-1/2’’ wide plank oak floors bring an air of modern elegance throughout the home. Opening to the large living room, you are greeted by clean, white, polished quartz countertops. Accessed through the kitchen, the 62-square-foot setback terrace overlooks West towards Hudson River and north towards 95th Street. See floor plan and full details here.

Brooklyn Point, Williams New York All images of Brooklyn Point via Williams New York
What’s cooler than telling your out-of-town friends that you live in one of Brooklyn’s tallest building with the highest rooftop infinity pool in the Western Hemisphere? Even if you’re not one to brag, you’ll still enjoy Brooklyn Point’s spacious gym, varied entertainment spaces, and walking distance to NYC College of Technology, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and the Long Island University of Brooklyn. Pratt Institute is a bike ride away, and much of Manhattan lies within a half-hour subway ride.

138-Willoughby-Street-01 Brooklyn Point, #56J (Extell)
From the Listing: A pristine residence nestled in the prestigious Brooklyn Point development, this stunning 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom home is a portrait of contemporary Brooklyn living. Features of this 769 sq. ft. home include beautiful wide plank stained oak floors, floor-to-ceiling windows with southern exposure and panoramic views of Brooklyn, an in-home washer/dryer, and a harmonious light wood color palette with satin copper fixtures and finishes designed to accentuate space and natural light. One of the last 25-year tax abatements available in New York City! See floor plan and full details here.

Zeckendorf Towers, Union Square, Dock Drumming Zeckendorf Towers as seen from Union Square. Credit: Dock Drumming on flickr
The four-towered complex sits close to New York University, Hebrew Union College, Cooper Union, the New School, Baruch College, and more. As such, there’s a good chance that some of your classmates live in the 670-unit high-rise. Zeckendorf Towers lets you get together for a study session at the large rooftop garden, or enjoy the bustle at Union Square next door, where the weekend farmers’ market sells more nutritious eats than late-night ramen.

1-Irving-Place-01 Zeckendorf Towers, #U17E (Compass)
From the Listing: This is a modern, ultra chic gut renovated apartment rarely found in this 35-year-young building with every amenity. As you enter the apartment your sight line goes past the open kitchen to a light filled southern view straight to Freedom Tower. The flooring is white oak hardwood. The chefs kitchen is filled with cabinets and high end appliances. The spacious living area can fit ding, living and office space. The bedroom easily fits a king size bed. Three double closets and a new, modern bathroom complete the picture. See floor plan and full details here.

Vandewater, Savanna Vandewater. Credit: Savanna
If you need to focus on your studies, the Vandewater is for you. The tradition-minded facade vibes with the collegiate atmosphere of nearby Columbia University. Morningside Heights has its share of fun hangout spots, yet it’s a far cry from the mayhem of the city center. Full-service amenities will take care of housekeeping distractions, and a few laps in the spacious pool will cool you off after a late-night study grind.

543-West-122nd-Street Vandewater, #3F (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: Vandewater’s interior design speaks to an old school design approach and showcases the beauty of the materials in a new and thoughtful way - oversized, high performance casement windows, tall ceilings, and European white oak floors. This 542-square-foot studio has a gracious foyer, generous closets and a washer/dryer. See floor plan and full details here.

The Roosevelt Island Tram, Edgar Omar The Roosevelt Island Tram. Credit: Edgar Omar on flickr
For all their advantages, New York universities often lack “true” campuses with a cloistered, communal feel. A rare exception is the brand new Cornell Tech complex on Roosevelt Island on the East River. Riverwalk Court lets you get the full campus experience one F train stop away from Midtown, along with an amenity package that blows any dorm out of the water.

415-Main-Street-01 Riverwalk Court, #PH2F (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the Listing: Corner floor-to-ceiling / wall-to-wall windows deliver the most spectacular Manhattan skyline, bridge and river views that are as awesome in the evening as in the daytime. Beyond the breathtaking views, the spacious living room accommodates both entertaining space and a dining area. The open chef’s kitchen features granite countertops and breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, and an abundance of preparation and cabinet space. The extra-large primary bedroom can be set up both with a king-size bed and a home office. See floor plan and full details here.

Astor Place, Cooper Union, Jeffrey Bary Astor Place (left) and Cooper Union (right). Credit: Jeffrey Bary on flickr
The studio crit is coming up in fifteen minutes, but the glue has barely dried on your balsa-wood building model, the product of a grueling all-nighter. Fear not, because at Astor Place, getting to class at Cooper Union, the country’s premier architecture school, means riding the elevator downstairs and crossing the street. Afterward, celebrate the jury’s passage with your sleep-deprived classmates with a romp through the bars and lounges that abound in the neighborhood.

445-Lafayette-Street-01 Astor Place, #9B (The Modlin Group)
From the Listing: Breathtaking views and contemporary design merge in this impressive two bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom loft in the heart of coveted, iconic Noho. Upon entering, you are immediately met with a jaw-dropping great room. Bright and airy, thanks to the wall of windows and high ceilings, the curved layout of the floorplan allows for discrete, functional living and dining spaces. Automated shades turn this room into a screening room, complete with a projection unit and motorized screen. See floor plan and full details here.

5 Beekman Street, Douglas Elliman 5 Beekman Street. Credit: Douglas Elliman
5 Beekman Street effectively sits within the Pace University campus, which scatters across the adjacent blocks in the City Hall district. After you finish your studies, impress your date with a sumptuous, ten-story atrium built in the 19th century, then follow up with observatory-like views from floor-to-ceiling windows in the 51-story skyscraper.

5-Beekman-Street-01 The Beekman Residences, #26C (Realmart Realty LLC)
From the Listing: Welcome to this eastern facing one-bedroom, one-bath residence designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen features views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge, and sunlight streaming through the 10 floor-to-ceiling paned windows. A gorgeous mahogany entry door and 7" plank oak flooring leads to an open living and dining concept which features a center island chefs kitchen with sleek Madreperola Quartzite Stone countertops and backsplash, custom designed textured metal cabinetry complemented by antiqued brass finishes, recessed under-cabinet LED task lighting, Waterworks fixtures and Miele appliances. See floor plan and full details here.

Kips Bay Towers, Carl Mikoy Kips Bay Towers. Credit: Carl Mikoy on flickr
The Kips Bay neighborhood in Midtown South is home to the city’s greatest medical center cluster, with the Bellevue Hospital Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, VA New York Harbor, and Beth Israel Medical Center located within a small radius of late and great architect I.M. Pei’s minimalist, no-nonsense Kips Bay Towers. Medical students living here also have easy access to the NYU College of Nursing and the NY Dentistry College.

343-East-30th-Street-01 Kips Bay Towers, #12C (Compass)
From the Listing: Expansive 2-bedroom / 2-bath apartment at Kips Bay Tower overlooking the midtown city views and beautiful greenery of a private garden between two towers. Upon entry walk through the welcoming foyer to the extra wide living room with oversized windows which makes you feel afloat in the city scape. Adjacent to the living room, open the French door to the second bedroom that can also be your home office, family room, library or den. Serene and tranquil, with views from every room, this apartment is perfectly secluded from the busy Midtown while you have access to all! See floor plan and full details here.

6th Avenue, Chelsea Stratus, Andreas Komodromos 6th Avenue, with Chelsea Stratus on the left. Credit: Andreas Komodromos on flickr
There are many options if you’re looking for an apartment near the Fashion Institute of Technology, yet the Chelsea Stratus is perhaps the best fit. The Stratus earns its status through five-minute walking distance to FIT, equal proximity to the showrooms in the trendy Flatiron District, a one-station commute to the Garment District, the lively hubbub of the Chelsea neighborhood, and wide-ranging amenities that include a roof deck that looks far across the city from the top of the 40-story skyscraper.

101-West-24th-Street Chelsea Stratus, #24A (Compass)
From the Listing: Rarely available and highly coveted, high-floor, 2-bedroom, 2-bath home with a private balcony and storage bin available at the luxurious and desirable Chelsea Stratus condominium. The split bedroom, light-filled apartment features 9’3" ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows boasting unobstructed open views facing north of the Empire State Building and west of the Hudson River. Located on the 24th floor of the northwest corner of the building, this bright apartment enjoys sunlight throughout the day and stunning sunsets over the river. The thoughtful design continues into the corner great room with enough space to comfortably fit a complete dining area and living room, making entertaining easy. See floor plan and full details here.

Morningside Park, Owen Hearey Morningside Park. Credit: Owen Hearey on flickr
The stately campus of Columbia University perches atop the hill on the other side of Morningside Park, which sits across the street from the 22-story One Morningside Park. Equally tempting is the verdure of Central Park, which comes in panoramic view from the upper floors. Nearby Harlem and the Upper West Side have got you covered in terms of quaint dining and nightlife, and the 110th Street-Cathedral Parkway station of the A, B, and C trains will take you to any destination in the city, academic or otherwise.

321-West-110th-Street-01 One Morningside Park, #19A (Realmart Realty LLC)
From the Listing: This is a large south-facing, high floor, corner 3-bedroom and 2-bathroom apartment with tons of light and wrap around balcony. Panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, Central Park, and East River. Large open kitchen done in a mix of contemporary aesthetic with white lacquer cabinetry, Luce De Luna countertops and a breakfast bar. The primary bedroom has a large west-facing view of Morningside Park and includes a large walk-in closet and an en-suite bath. See floor plan and full details here.

Georgetown Plaza, roof deck Georgetown Plaza. Credit: CityRealty
Don’t let the no-frills facade of the 31-story housing block bum you out, for Georgetown Plaza, located near both Cooper Union and New York University, is happening both inside and out. Invite your friends to hang out on a balcony high above the city, chill on the large rooftop deck, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or step outside and seize the night in one of New York City’s liveliest neighborhoods for culture, dining, and nightlife.

60-East-8th-Street-01 Georgetown Plaza, #27P (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: This south-facing unit gets great direct sunlight all day, boasts 9’ ceilings, hardwood floors, and offers ample closet space throughout. The entrance foyer, with two wide coat closets, leads into the spacious living room and to a separate open dining area. The kitchen offers white appliances, white counter-tops, white cabinetry, and a sizeable pantry. The king-size bedroom features sunny south-east and south-west views, and two separate closets. See floor plan and full details here.

Flickr photo credits: Columbia University - S Kaya; Zeckendorf Towers - Dock Drumming; The Roosevelt Island Tram - Edgar Omar; Astor Place - Jeffrey Bary; Kips Bay Towers - Carl Mikoy; Chelsea Stratus - Andreas Komodromos; One Morningside Park - Owen Hearey
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