Luxury Dorms Selling Out

Read anyone covering the state of higher education (or emails like those I receive from administrators at

Image property/courtesy of the Chicago Tribune Company
Image property/courtesy of the Chicago Tribune Company

major schools) and you will hear about soaring costs and dwindling budgets. Much of it is true (though its a continual storyline in higher education), but there are always pockets of demand, growth and expansion to be found on the college campus.

Came across an article from the Chicago Tribune (via @SusanBeacham ) highlighting the growth of luxury dorms (often including maid service, tanning beds, and flat screens) and the huge demand that is meeting their high prices. The piece, by Sara Olkon, highlights dorms coming online across the country (BU and Purdue to ASU).

Tom Cheesman, architect of Purdue’s $52 million First Street Towers, said the residence hall is “essentially a hotel.” He said it is especially attractive to “helicopter parents who want to send their son or daughter to college campus but give them all the luxuries of home.”

The demand for more posh undergraduate housing is growing across college campuses, contradicting general economic trends toward simplifying and cutting back.

This fall, Boston University unveiled a 960-bed luxury dorm overlooking the Charles River that comes with walk-in closets, large private bathrooms and washers and dryers programmed to alert students via computer when their sheets are dry. Rooms in the elegant tower also run about $5,000 more than a traditional room.

“Students want beauty, and they should have beauty,” Kenneth Elmore, BU’s dean of students, told the Boston Globe.

Sounds like there ripe opportunities for many to be found in campus housing and services. In the four years that I have been on the George Mason University campus I have seen countless dorms being built and lots of amenities (from coffee shops and health club like facilities) spring up. The on campus population continue to rise.


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