Living in Luxury at College
Lauren, Samantha and Savannah are starting their sophomore year at the University of Missouri by moving into an apartment just a few miles off campus. But, it's not any old run-down rental house.
"There's a gym 50 feet away which is really huge and a pool until mid-October," said Denigan. "That's really nice. We're on a building that's really close to it and that's something I've never had before."
Many new Columbia student housing units feature private bathrooms, game rooms, wireless Internet access, swimming pools and free tanning beds.
"[The] majority of the time, it's the parents that love the place the most. They're like, 'If only I had this when I went to school,'" said Regina Delaney of Campuse Lodge. "So yes, the kids want to live here, but it's the parents that are really encouraging the kids to sign and live here."
Many students said money is one reason they chose luxury over traditional student housing.
"Originally, I was signed up to live in one of the newer dorms on campus," explained Schaefer. "And when I did the math in terms of the rent, I'm at least saving $3,000."
But some students still opt for traditional dorm life.
"It's okay to have a luxury apartment and everything, but they're kind of far away from campus and they're not super more great than Mark Twain [Residence Hall]," said sophomore Katie Trenshaw. "I really like Mark Twain, it's pretty good."
Many new student apartment complexes in Columbia also offer campus shuttle service.