It seems that MERP Mansion isn't for everyone, and we are sorry Occam's Razor didn't feel it was worth it for him. Every semester we have MERP students who are VERY happy that they invested their money in the incredibly special combination of quality living and academic focus that only MERP Mansion offers.
At least he admits that the place is nice, and you can check out how genuinely nice it is on our website (www.MERPMansion.com), where we have many photos, list the amenities we offer, and give lots more info, and then you can compare this to what you see offered elsewhere. MERP Mansion is a large house, on a 1/2-acre property, with fantastic amenities, in an incredibly upscale and safe neighborhood. There will always be cheaper places to stay, but NONE offer the same value.
As for its proximity to classes and overall convenience: The Mansion is just 1.7 miles from Ross, and only about a five minute walk to the Metrorail station, which is then just two stops (4 mins) from the Metrorail station at Ross. By car it takes about 5 mins to get to the 7000 building, by bike about 10 minutes, by Metrorail about 15-20 mins door to door, and you could even comfortably walk it in approx. a half-hour. Honestly, it is an incredibly convenient location, with tons of shops and restaurants in the immediate neighborhood, and even the awesome Dadeland mall within easy walking distance. Additionally, it's the only MERP housing offered in all of Pinecrest, which is the most upscale and safest neighborhood in all of south Miami.
As far as hanging out with other students, since MERP Mansion is so big and luxurious, residents often decide to make the Mansion the MERP HQ for both studying and socializing, including celebration dinners after exams. So, if the current residents decide to continue this tradition, you won't need to worry about finding your way to the "less-safe" neighborhoods and small apartments of other MERPers, they'll gladly come to you. ;-) If you do decide to go to them, or anywhere else in Miami or even South Florida for that sake, having the Metrorail just a 5-minute walk from the house makes most anywhere as convenient as you can expect if you don't have a car.
As for no overnight guests, this is a policy that respects all residents and protects the main goal of the house. People come to MERP to study, and study hard. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even family visiting from out of town, that is great, but it is not acceptable for them to live at the Mansion and stay overnight, as this is an imposition on the other residents (whether they are willing to say so or not, and most housemates are not willing to say what they really feel in such a situation.) Again, the Mansion is not for everyone, and in deciding whether or not to have a "no overnight guest" rule, we decided to go this way. MERP is tough enough, and the Mansion is a shared residence. Who wants someone else's boyfriend or girlfriend in the bathroom at midnight....or sleeping (and maybe doing other things) in the next bed all night?! The Mansion is not a dorm or fraternity house, it is a quality living and academic environment for dedicated MERP students.
Occam's Razor also admits that if you prefer group study the Mansion is a good place for that. We would say it's a GREAT place for that, and one of the major reasons most residents find MERP Mansion so valuable. Ross highly recommends MERPers to engage in regular group study. MERP Mansion residents have a tendency to finish at the top of their class, and this is attributed by those students to living at the Mansion. Why? Both because everyone they live with is also a MERP student and so, in addition to formal group study, even informal conversations over dinner or when hanging out in the pool are often review/study sessions, AND because it is such a comfortable place to live and unwind from the intensity of the MERP program.
Certainly, the cost of staying at MERP Mansion is higher than other places offered to MERP students, but it is a large house, on a large property, with a large pool and other amenities, in a high-end neighborhood, and this means it costs a lot to maintain, pay property taxes, etc, and these costs need to be covered. After all, it is run as a business, not as a charity home for med students! BUT, the value of MERP Mansion, and we are told this by our residents semester after semester, goes beyond the amazing amenities. It's about the complete package!!
We are sorry that Occam's Razor didn't feel this way. Again, unfortunately, it seems that MERP Mansion isn't for everyone.
To see if it is right for you, please visit our website at:
If you wish to ask questions on this ValueMD thread, please do. We are proud of MERP Mansion and have nothing to hide. We will also be happy to email, PM through ValueMD, or speak with you regarding any questions or concerns you may have, and even put you directly in contact with former residents who had such a wonderful and successful experience at the Mansion that they have gladly offered to be a reference. (And "no", we are not offering them money or any other compensation to do so!!)
Thank you for considering MERP Mansion. We work very hard to make it the absolutely best accommodations for dedicated MERP students to excel in their classes and make it to "The Island"!! After all, isn't that why you are attending MERP in the first place?!
Thank you for your consideration! We have limited availability for the upcoming semester, so please contact us ASAP to reserve your place.