I’ve Found a New Way to Rank Colleges—And It Has Nothing to Do with Learning
Life + Money

I’ve Found a New Way to Rank Colleges—And It Has Nothing to Do with Learning

Having a class where the professor wrote the textbook would be fantastic, but would you really trade that for living in a dump where the bathroom mold has been carbon-dated?

Right now I’m a high-school senior, slaving away at my Common Application, but next year I’ll be a college freshman. I’ve stared at U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings for hours. I’ve toured 11 college campuses in six cities, and I plan to visit more. I’m still in the middle of all the tours and information sessions where proud parents always seem to ask if their honor-student kid can study the history of veterinary medicine.

SLIDESHOW: 11 Insanely Luxurious College Dorms

But what about the dorms? Yes, even top-tier schools have dorms that look like apocalyptic bunks from the Cold War. This is one reason why you should be confident that you are choosing the school, and not just being chosen.

I’ve discovered that academics are pretty much on par at most good schools, but there are major differences when it comes to location, quality of the campus and housing.

Just what would be the best use of my parents’ hard-earned money? Do I go for the dorm with a sauna or a rooftop pool? Granite countertops in the kitchen or marble in the bathrooms? Can I get a private room with maid service, or a TempurPedic mattress?

According to the College Board, the average cost of room and board in the 2014-2015 academic year ranged from $9,804 at four-year public colleges to $11,188 at private schools. But for a few thousand or more, I can contemplate watching Game of Thrones on a 22-foot outdoor LED TV.  

Schools, like college applicants, want to show their best attributes. Here are 11 college housing options that make a strong case for quality of life.

Click Here to see 11 Insanely Luxurious College Dorms