student housing

Living on Campus: 10 Unique College Dorms

Living on campus doesn’t always have to be a drag. Colleges all over the country are upgrading their campus housing and making it more inviting, comfortable and even luxurious. While many universities do still have traditional, prison cell like dorms, you don’t have to look too far to find the new upscale ones. Many of these schools are attracting students to stay on campus by creating desirable amenities and extras right on university grounds.

Here are some college living options we love (in no particular order)

University of Virginia: The Lawn

the Lawn at UVA

Number of residents: 54

Living in these dorms is considered an honor and it is only offered to students in their final year of undergrad. Each room comes with a fireplace and wood floors, and is furnished with all the essentials. The historical building is located in one of Mr. Jefferson’s original buildings in the center of campus with amenities only steps away.

Download the “Visit UVa” Mobile App

University of Texas, Austin: The Callaway House

Callaway House dorm

The Calloway House provides students with much more than just a place to sleep. The complex has 8 different floor plans for students to choose from ranging from 4 person apartments to single studios. On the property students also have access to 6 different study areas including a computer lab with iMacs and printers, a full fitness center, a rooftop pool and sauna, a recreation center with arcade games, a theater room, and a full service dining hall.

Purdue University: First Street Towers

First Street Towers dorm

Number of residents: 522

This is the newest residence hall at Purdue that offers furnished private rooms and bathrooms. If you live here you also get a recreation lounge with pool tables and ping pong, a study lounge, a music room, and a workshop. Being a resident at First Street Towers automatically gets you an all-inclusive membership to the Titan Club where you can take part in activities, events and trips.

View the Purdue University Off-Campus Housing & Living Guide

St. Lawrence University: The Arcadia Yurts

Acadia Yurt

Ok so this one may not be “luxurious” or traditional student housing, but they are definitely worth mentioning!  A Yurt is a tent-like dwelling consisting of a cylindrical wall of poles in a lattice arrangement with a conical roof of poles, both covered by felt or skins. These yurts are available to students in the outdoor program Adirondack Semester, taking classes like Creative Expressions of Nature or Modern Outdoor Recreational Ethics and students participate in activities like hiking and canoeing. There are 4 yurts and 3 students per yurt who sleep in sleeping bags. It also comes with an outdoor sauna.

University of Michigan: North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex

North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex

Number of residents: 450 upper level undergrads

This unique community combines living and learning together, and is themed to focus on the multicultural world we live in today. The residence features an Academic Complex which includes the Global Scholars Program and the Max Kade German Program, as well as multiple residential classrooms, lounges, and study spaces. There is also an on-site marketplace and coffee shop.

Download the “Visit UMich” Mobile App

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Sponge

the Sponge

Number of residents: 340

The Sponge is also known as Simmons Hall. While the architecture and design of this building is amazing, it is not the only thing it has to offer students. The entire building is covered with windows (5,538 to be exact) and terraces, and it also has a 2 story movie theater and ball pit for students to unwind. There are also plenty of study rooms and lounges throughout the building and you can find inspiration everywhere you look from the wall graffiti which features art, scientific equations, and quotes.

Emory University: Few Hall and Evans Hall

Few Hall

Few and Evans Hall work together to create a Living Green: Sustainability in the 21st Century themed residence hall. The goal for this is environmental conservation, sustainable communities, and social justice. The residence hall is the only one on the Atlanta campus to achieve a LEED Gold Certification. These dorms provide students with fully furnished, air conditioned, large rooms. There is also a community lounge on each floor and access to a kitchen and laundry room in the building.

View the Emory University Visitor’s Guide

University of North Florida: Osprey Fountains

Osprey Fountains dorm

Number of residents: 1,000

Living in Osprey Fountains is like staying at a resort on vacation. The building includes a fitness center, game room, lounges, and a 50’s style diner. Once you step outside there are too many amenities to choose from. There is a large lap pool, a lazy river, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, a putting green, a lighted running track, an adult playground and multiple picnic tables.

Georgia State University: University Commons

University Commons

Number of residents: 2,000

These urban dorms sit on 4.2 acres in downtown Atlanta. Students have 3 different floor plans to choose from, all coming with fully furnished private bedrooms, furnished living areas, free cable and internet, and a fully equipped shared kitchen in each unit. There are also community study lounges and free laundry facilities one each floor. This dorm provides students with the city living they are looking for.

Download the “Visit GSU” Mobile App

University of Arizona: Hub at Tucson

Hub at Tucson

This student housing option is the definition of luxurious. While this property is not officially an on-campus dorm, it is student housing for the university, and is located only steps away from campus. Each apartment has an upscale design and comes fully furnished.  The property comes with a rooftop sundeck lounge, infinity pool and hot tub, a sand volleyball court, a sauna, steam room and tanning beds, and a clubhouse with flat screen TV’s, a gaming area, a pool table and shuffleboard. 

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