Ranked: The Most Beautiful College Dorms In America

When you think of a college dorm room, you probably picture a tiny box, bunk beds, disgusting shared bathrooms, and a psycho RA. But that’s not necessarily the case, at least not in every university. In fact, there are some universities and colleges that offer the most unique, downright luxurious dormitory experience available. These students should count their lucky stars for the opportunity to live in one of these incredible college dorms.

Simmons Hall – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The exterior of The Sponge
Horizen TV

University: MIT
Location: Cambridge, MA
Residence Hall: Simmons Hall (The Sponge)
Size: 195,000 sq. ft
Rates: Starting from $4,920/ semester
Unique Features: Ball Pit, Movie Theater, Graffiti Wall

Inside hallway of The Sponge
MIT Guide to Residences

The official name of “The Sponge” is Simmons Hall, and it’s wacky and beautiful building design isn’t the only amazing feature it offers to its residents. The building is covered in over 5,500 windows and balconies for fresh air and light. There are also tons of study lounges scattered throughout, as well as a 2-floor movie theater and even a freaking ball pit! Not to mention the whole place is covered with art, graffiti, inspirational quotes, and more, to keep the students’ minds awake and interested.

Hub – University of Arizona: Tucson

Exterior of The Hub

University: University of Arizona – Tucson Campus
Location: Tucson, AZ
Residence Hall: Hub at Tucson
Size:  11,000 sq. ft
Rates: Starting from $690/ month
Unique Features: Gym/Spa, Rooftop Pool, BBQ & Firepit Area

Rooftop pool at The Hub
Core Spaces

If you’re looking for an off-campus option that is still close to school and still offers a community feel, look no further than Hub at campus Tucson. This dorm hall is one of the most luxurious options available. Firstly, students can enjoy a 5,500 square foot rooftop deck, complete with a pool, an oversized hot tub, and game lounge. The residence also offers a courtyard with a BBQ and firepit, as well as beach volleyball and other games and sitting areas. The rooms themselves are more like luxury apartments each fully furnished with private full bathrooms, washer/dryer, wi-fi, and more. Not to mention a fully-equipped gym and spa available to all residents that includes a yoga and meditation room, tanning beds, and a steam room.

The Village Residential Community – Washington University in Saint Louis

Inside the student village
College Consensus

University: Washing University: Saint Louis Campus
Location: St. Louis, MO
Residence Hall: The Village Residential Community
Size: 40 acres
Rates: Starting from $5,756/ semester
Unique Features: Student Village Complex, LEED-Certified Sustainable

Aerial view of the student village
Clay Corp

This next residence is really special. Washing University in Saint Louis created a student village for their residents. The 40-acre complex is made up of four-buildings and has the look and feel of an actual village, complete with bookstores, shops, a gym, an auditorium and more. Even more impressive, the entire complex is full of environmentally-sustainable features such as green roofs and storm-water collection.

Callaway House – University of Texas at Austin

Pool at the Callway house
College Rentals

University: University of Texas: Austin Campus
Location: Austin, TX
Residence Hall: Callaway House
Size: 17-Stories
Rates: Starting from $2,395 x 10 installments
Unique Features: 24/hr Gym, Movie Theater, Rooftop Pool, Hot Tub

Inside a student common room at the Callaway House
American Campus Communities

Everything’s bigger in Texas. And that holds true for the student dorms as well at the University of Texas. The Callaway House takes this Texan cliche seriously, as it boasts 17-stories of luxury student housing for over 750 students. The residents have access to a rooftop pool and hot tub, a 24/hr gym, a movie theater, game rooms, and 24/hr on-call building staff for any problems that arise. The dorms are only a block away from campus, so students can easily get to class on time…if they can pull themselves away from the pool, that is. 

St. Lawrence’s Yurts at Arcadia – St. Lawrence University

Outside view of the yurts at Arcadia
St. Lawrence

University: St. Lawrence University
Location: Canton, NY
Residence Hall: The Yurts at Arcadia
Size: 20 ft.
Rates: Starting from $29,165/ semester (standard semester tuition includes the program)
Unique Features: Outdoor Camping Experience

Inside aerial view of the yurt
St. Lawrence

These dorms definitely don’t have the luxurious rooftop pool and spa. In fact, they don’t even offer minimal comforts like running water! The Yurts at Arcadia are reserved for students taking the St. Lawrence’s Adirondack Semester, which is a program that allows students to live off the grid. The Yurts are located on a 4,000 acre section of the campus where students learn all about the environment and sustainable options. The students do not have access to their phones or laptops, and, like we mentioned before, there is no running water.

The Lawn – University of Virginia

Inside a dorm room at the Lawn
University of Virginia

University: University of Virginia
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Residence Hall: The Lawn
Size: 35 acres 
Rates: Starting from $7,120/ year
Unique Features: Fireplace, Rocking Chair, Colonial Theme

Outside view of the Lawn

The Lawn residence hall at the University of Virginia is so old, that it was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself! Students can take a trip back in time to the 1800s (when the university was established) by living in a wooden room with a lofted bed, a day bed underneath, a rocking chair, wooden floor, and even a fireplace! Keeping up with the colonial theme, the rooms do not have AC, but most are willing to give that up for a chance to live in one of these beautiful rooms. 

Grey Towers Castle – Arcadia University

Exterior of Grey Towers Castle
Montco Today

University: Arcadia University
Location: Beaver, PA
Residence Hall: Grey Towers Castle 
Size: 53,564 sq. ft 
Rates: Starting from $10,680/ year
Unique Features: Converted Castle, Events Held In The Lower Levels

Inside the ballroom at Grey Towers Castle
Wedding Spot

Not many students can say that they lived in an actual castle during college…unless you went to Arcadia University, that is! A select number of freshmen each year get the opportunity to live in the dorms on the third floor of this huge castle, originally built in 1891. The floors downstairs take advantage of the elegant ballrooms and hallways, still in their original paint, and use them for events, lectures, and even school dinners and dances. All in all, it’s very fancy. 

Osprey Fountains- University of North Florida 

The lazy river pool at Osprey Fountains

University: University of North Florida
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Residence Hall: Osprey Fountains
Size: 385,000 sq. ft
Rates: Starting from $2,830/ semester
Unique Features: Lap Pool, Lazy River, Golf Course

Outside photo of Osprey Fountain dorm hall
Progressive AE

Does this dorm building’s name sound like a luxury resort to you? That’s because it basically is one. If you happen to be one of the lucky students at the University of North Florida staying at Osprey Fountains, you will have access to incredible amenities such as a lap pool and a lazy river pool, tennis, golf, and volleyball courts, a running track, an upper-deck, a game room, a private themed diner, laundry-facilities on every floor, and a 24/hour private library. We didn’t even cover the actual rooms themselves, which feature private bathrooms and lots of comfortable space.

First Street towers – Purdue University 

Exterior of First Street Towers
Purdue Exponent

University: Purdue University
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Residence Hall: First Street Towers 
Size: Unknown
Rates: Starting from $4,846/ year
Unique Features: Student-Run Community

Inside a dorm room at First Street Towers

The students living in First Street Towers have a very unique opportunity. While the dorms themselves are pretty standard, the complex acts as a fully-formed, student-run residential community. The residence is constantly running community activities and events that students are encouraged to get involved in. There are leadership positions students can take up, and others have the chance to vote for certain decisions. Also, all students living in First Street Towers get a membership to Titan Club, which is always running special activities and trips (including a ski trip) and giving students the opportunity to become active members of their community. 

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