Colleges, just like any business, need to keep attracting customers to stay competitive. What better way to attract students than to have the latest high tech amenities right in the dorms? eSchool News reports that dorms these days come not only with wireless Internet but also, in some cases, with HDTVs in student lounges, ergonomically correct beds, and even heated swimming pools.
"It's like a hotel. It smells like a new car. And she's got a swimming pool? We don't have a swimming pool at home," commented Gene Clark who's daughter is attending school at University of Missouri-St. Louis. "I need to go back to college."
The University of Missouri's Oak Hall is a new $26 million state-of-the-art residence hall where the elevator speaks to students in friendly tones and students have to swipe a card to access dorm rooms.
"I saw the old dorms on campus and knew I had to live here. It's too cool," said Caiti Clark, an 18-year-old freshman from O'Fallon, Ill. "It feels really nice and comfortable. It's a lot nicer than any of my other college friends' places."
The hall has vaulted ceilings and offers four-bedroom suites, and each resident has a private room and a large bathroom to share. There is heated pool and a game room as well as a convenience store in the lobby.
James Baumann, a spokesman for the Association of College and University Housing Officers International, launched the 21st Century Project, a coalitions of architects, studentsts and administrators to discuss what the future dorm would provide.
"We're seeing a rise in more apartment-style and high-end dorms across the country. Schools have found they have to up the ante a little bit in terms of the amenities if they want students to stay on campus for more than just one year," said Baumann.