Moving into a college dorm used to mean downsizing into a cramped shoebox with at least one roommate and barely enough space for your desk and bed.
In many colleges today, however, teenagers are moving from their parents’ houses into luxurious digs that resemble high-end hotels. Of course, students and their parents are paying for that luxury — room and board at a public four year colleges now costs about $10,000 a year, according to the College Board.
Indulgent dorm rooms are just the latest tool used by colleges competing for students. High-income students, who are more likely to pay full freight at school, are the most highly desired and they’re also more likely to live in the dorms, so colleges are investing. The average new residence hall last year cost $39.3 million, or around $85,000 per bed, according to a 2015 Living on Campus report by College Planning & Management.
In general, the newer dorms offer more privacy and better technology in suite-style rooms, where students share a bathroom with two or three “suite-mates” rather than an entire floor.
While private universities tend to have better amenities, some of the flagship state schools have recently built dorms that rival the digs at pricier institutions. The best dorms often go to upper classmen, since they’re the most likely to choose to live in non-campus facilities, but there are also new freshmen dorms that offer luxury amenities.