These Luxury College Dorms Are Nicer Than Our Apartments

Photo: Courtesy of J&M Concrete Contractors.
There's no denying that college can be a difficult time for many in the decor department — lava lamps, beaded doorway curtains, and shower caddies all routinely make unwelcome appearances in undergrad housing. But sometimes dorm living can be the highlight of a person's young adult life, subsidized in many instances by mom and dad, and at the very least providing a sort of communal safety net for our life choices. How else does one make friends for group outings to Target?

In the spirit of celebrating all of the wonderful things dorm life can give us, we've rounded up some of the most impressive living situations to be found on U.S. campuses. From colonial Williamsburg to modern Mediterranean in California, click through to see our favorites.



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Photo: Courtesy of MIT.
MIT's Simmons Hall is nicknamed “The Sponge” and houses 340 students spread across 10 floors and three towers — plus, there's even a ball pit!
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Illinois Institute of Technology's State Street Village was designed by acclaimed architect Helmut Jahn. Better yet, the Green Line elevated train runs right behind it.
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Photo: Courtesy of Best College Values.
Boston University's Student Village was described by The Boston Globe as, “[The] most opulent residence hall to ever grace the local college landscape.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Scripps College.
Scripps College's Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Hall houses 86 students in a traditional 1920s Mediterranean style building.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Callaway House Austin.
The excellence of this off-campus freshmen residence hall at The University of Texas can be summed up in two words: Rooftop. Pool.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mike Lovett/Brandeis University
Usen Hall at Brandeis University is the oldest building on campus — oh, and it's a castle.
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Photo: Courtesy of J&M Concrete Contractors.
Sontag Hall at Pomona College is LEED Platinum certified housing, and it won the 2013 Builder's Choice award.
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Photo: Courtesy of University of Cincinnati.
Morgens Hall at University of Cincinnati recently re-opened after a $35 million renovation.
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Photo: Courtesy of William & Mary.
On the other end of the spectrum is the College of William & Mary's Colonial Williamsburg House, built back in 1737. Only two rising juniors or seniors get to live here each year.
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Photo: Courtesy of Adam Fagen.
University of Virginia's The Lawn is known as a prestigious row of housing. It also claims Katie Couric among its former residents.
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Temple University's Morgan Hall houses up to 1,275 students across three buildings. The complex also includes a terrace, and there are flat-screen TVs in each deluxe apartment.
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St. Leo University's Apartments 5 and 6 opened in 2013, but it's not the student amenities that are most appealing about the residences. Apartment 5 features a 2,100-gallon aquarium in its lounge. If that's not enough of a draw, the building also includes an arcade and nap pods.
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The University of Chicago's Max Palevsky Residential Commons houses 715 residents across eight halls. The dorm includes music practice rooms in addition to study areas and computer rooms.

The main draw, though, is the building's architecture. Ricardo Legorreta designed the geometric building with bright colors, reflecting Mexico's influence on his work.
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The University of Houston's Calhoun Lofts are only available to upperclassmen or students who are at least 21 years old. Some of the amenities at the lofts include roof terraces, a theater room, pool tables, and a "sky lounge." Each unit also features granite countertops and 10-foot ceilings.
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Arizona State University's Manzanita Hall is a LEED-certified building, for students interested in living an eco-friendly life on campus. The dorm features a fitness center and a dining hall, and every room comes with a microwave and mini-fridge. There's also a game room in the basement.
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Florida Gulf Coast University's North Lake Village is a great option for students who want apartment-style housing without leaving campus. The dorms have a beach volleyball court and a swimming pool — but the best part is being right on the water.
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The University of Michigan's North Quadrangle is home to roughly 450 students. It features a TV production studio as well as lounges on each floor.

The best part of the North Quad might be its dining hall, though, boasting chandeliers and a plethora of international food offerings.
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Emory University's Longstreet-Means Hall opened in 2010 and is home to 350 students. All of Emory's dorms are on the nicer side — cable TV is included with the rest of the utilities — but the recent renovations give Longstreet-Means an edge. Its lounge even includes a working fireplace.
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Oberlin University's Kahn Hall is LEED-certified, and its residents have to sign a sustainability pledge. In addition to promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle, the building also boasts a basement gym and a game room with foosball and pool tables.
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Sonoma State University's Tuscany Village offers housing for upperclassmen who want to live on campus. The deluxe, apartment-style spaces each hold six students — and there's even a shared swimming pool.
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Photo: Courtesy of Arcadia University.
You really can't beat living in a literal castle. Case in point: Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University. The entire castle isn't a dorm, but the building's third floor serves as a home for first-year students. The rest of the castle includes a Great Hall, a library, a dining room, and a ballroom.
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Photo: Getty Images.
Bryn Mawr College topped the Princeton Review's list of "dorms like palaces" in 2012, and it's not hard to see why. Its Denbigh Hall, for example, is the earliest example of the "collegiate Gothic" architecture style in America, according to the college.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Sophian.
Smith College's Gillett House features a fireplace and a grand piano, making it a somewhat more dignified college experience. Plus, many of the dorms are singles within suites, so you'll have a space to yourself while still being around other students.
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Photo: Courtesy of Quinnipiac University.
The Complex at Quinnipiac University is designed to look like Calgary's Olympic Village, and you'll feel like a champion living here. The complex also has its own courtyard, perfect for lawn games or just relaxing in the sun.
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Photo: Courtesy of Roger Williams University.
Roger Williams University's North Campus Residence Hall is LEED certified, and in addition to having study areas, lounges, and a gaming area with ping-pong tables, it also has a "jam room" for practicing musical instruments, too.
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Photo: Courtesy of SCAD.
The Turner House at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) will open in Spring 2017, and from the renderings, it looks amazing. The dorm has a central courtyard, as well as a deli and coffee shop on its premises.
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Photo: Courtesy of Washington University at St. Louis.
Washington University in St. Louis's South Forty houses a whopping 3,200 students across 23 residence halls. One of them, the South Forty House, is home to 222 students and offers three- and four-person suites, each with their own bathroom. The best part, though, is that all of the beds are Tempurpedic.
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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Yale University's Welch Hall is home to what students refer to as "princess suites" on campus. The palatial dorms are essentially penthouses, according to the Yale Daily News. If you don't land a princess suite, don't be too bummed, though — Rory Gilmore lived in Durfee on Gilmore Girls, so you're in good company wherever you live at Yale.
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Photo: Courtesy of Loyola Maryland.
Loyola University in Maryland came in second place on the Princeton Review's 2012 list of "dorms like palaces," after Bryn Mawr. The Newman residence hall, pictured here, features apartment- and suite-style living, as well as a common lounge with recliners and pool tables. There's even a convenience store in the building.
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