Nostalgic for that four-year vacation called 'college'? Us too, which is why we're bringing back College Week. Double-sink all of this week's college goodness, all week, right here.
College admissions are competitive. Not only are students willing to shiv their best friend if it helps get them on the wait-list at Duke, but colleges have entered a no-holds-barred amenities arms race in an insane attempt to lure the best and brightest to campus.
The unfortunate result: An onslaught of ridiculous, resort-quality perks that have pampered high school kids conveniently forgetting that the most popular major at the college they're about to enroll in is agriculture. Here are 10 of the most outlandish.
Michigan Technological University Houghton, Michigan Major in Poly Sci, minor in shredding the gnar: MTU actually boasts a real-life ski resort on campus. Sure, it's a Michigan ski resort, but it's a ski hill nonetheless. Basically free for students, Mont Ripley (one of the snowiest "mountains" in the country) offers 112 acres of ski terrain, 24 runs, and two chairlifts.
A personal dairy bar
South Dakota State Brookings, South Dakota Run by the college's Dairy Science Department, the dairy bar at SDS goes through about "18,000 pounds" (or around 2,093 gallons, if you're not a dairy farmer) of milk a week. Students make and sell over 60 ice cream flavors (some of the best in the state, according to the Food Network), and claim to have invented Cookies n' Cream in 1979.
A lazy river and beach club
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri Sports Illustrated named Mizzou’s rec center the best in the country -- no surprise considering the 293,000sqft gym cost $50 million to build and offers students a palm-tree-shaded lazy river with a waterfall, over 100 cardio machines, and the resort-quality “Tiger Grotto,” complete with whirlpool, sauna, and hot tub. Oh yea, there's also an "on-campus beach club" called Truman’s Pond. Dear Lord.
A private steak house
High Point University High Point, North Carolina Every date's a cheap one at High Point, where, in addition to the on-campus movie theater (that shows first-run features) with complimentary snacks, roaming ice cream truck, and multiple swimming pools/hot tubs dotting the pristine campus, this NC school boasts its own fancy steak house – as in "no jeans allowed" fancy – at which students indulge in a weekly, three-course meal of filet mignon, seared duck breast, etc. Yep, with their dining points.
Western Washington University Bellingham, Washington Prefer hiking to hangovers? An outdoorsman’s paradise, WWU runs its own Outdoor Center for students, faculty, staff, and alumni; in addition to a bike repair shop, there's also a rental center that loans out everything from ice picks to sleeping bags, as well as organizes kayaking, rock climbing, and skiing excursions.
As much free food as you can eat (or carry home)
Kenyon College Gambier, Ohio Stuff your face, then fill your pockets; at Kenyon, all-you-can-eat actually means all-you-can-eat. Students here don’t have to deliberate over meal plans, deal with the dreaded mini-fridge, or eat nothing but Cup Noodles for a week because they went to the dining hall too many times. No, the board fee here includes an unlimited dining hall where you can come and go as you please.
Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ Saving students the trip to Best Buy, Seton Hall equips incoming freshman with a new laptop computer outfitted with wireless connectivity and pre-loaded software. But wait, that's not all: there’s even a “junior year technology refresh,” where beer-soaked laptops are replaced with another brand new laptop to take students through their first jobs after college. No wonder they're all smiling in the admission brochures.
Pomona College Claremont, California Exactly what it sounds like, Pomona College has a 20-plus year tradition of taking students skiing and to the beach, on the same day. Designed to show off the uniqueness of Southern California’s climate, classes are cancelled for a day in February or March so that students can board school-provided buses en route to nearby Mountain High Resort in the morning, then to Newport Beach in the afternoon for a cookout. Why do they do this? In their words, “because we can."
Boston University Boston, Massachusetts This barely four-year-old dorm just might the swankiest apartment BU students will ever live in -- like, even after they graduate. The gleaming, 26-story glass structure offers sweeping views of the Hub, and was described by the Boston Globe as "perhaps the most opulent residence hall to ever grace the local college landscape."
Forget flip-flops and flimsy shower curtains, mini-fridges, and bunk beds, this "dorm" features private bathrooms, walk-in closets, lounges with flatscreens, a soundproof music rehearsal space, and washers/driers that alert students via computer when they're available. Good luck in the real world, kiddos.
Lobster dinner, err’day
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia VT’s West End Market is a marketplace-style dining hall with a bunch of different restaurants, including J.P.'s Chop House, where they prepare steak to order and live Maine lobster every damn day.
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Sophie-Claire Hoeller is Thrillist's associate travel editor, and her alma mater, BU, allegedly has a lazy river, though she's never seen it. Follow her refusing to wear a swim cap @Sohostyle