Some College Dorms Race To Go Luxe

upgraded dorm room at purdue university CBS

When you think of a college dormitory, "luxury" is hardly the first word that comes to mind. But brace yourselves: as Bianca Solorzanoreports, an amenity arms race has broken out.

And one Indiana campus is leading the charge: Purdue University.

America's heartland is known for big bands, school spirit, and the simple life. It's now also the trendsetter for the luxury dorm.

"I have my living room area with my couch and my fish tank and my TV center," student Kristen Fox explained.

And surprisingly, there was nothing that she wanted that she couldn't fit.

The newest dorm at Purdue now features flat screens, free laundry, maid service, private bathrooms and no roommates!

"It just is really a comfortable feeling to know that you have some place to come that's just yours," another student explained.

But that comfort comes at a steep price: $5,000 more than a regular dorm. But to Ali Wylam's parents, it's money well spent.

Purdue University: See The Posh Dorms

"She can study when she needs to study, she can sleep when she needs to sleep, it's important to her," Ali's mom Dee Ann explained.

"Kids these days have their own bedrooms, have their own bathrooms, whereas when I grew up, I shared all of that," Ali's dad Dave added.

There are some people who would see this and say, "Ali is spoiled!"

But she says, "We feel lucky, rather than spoiled."

So does Amy Mercer: when she asked her mom and dad for the extra $5,000, she says they told her she deserves it.

The trend is spreading nationwide. Some 83 percent of new college dorms are offering hotel-like amenities, everything from hot tubs and beach volleyball courts to tanning booths.

It's a pretty good life for those who can afford it.

If you want to see how the other half lives, visit students Jim and Steve, forced to share a more typical dorm room.

Asked if he's jealous, Steve told Solorzano, "Mmm, a little bit, yeah!"

"Do you know they have weekly maid service in their bathrooms?" Solorzano asked another student.

""Dude, are you serious? They don't have to clean their own bathrooms? That's messed up!" another student reacted.

Around campus, Solorzano found some outrage. "I'm sorry, but you don't need a flat screen TV, you know, for your living arrangement," a student said.

But students inside the luxury dorms hardly seem bothered.

"You feel guilty at all when you walk in here and think of your friends across the street in the other dorm?" Solorzano asked student Amy Mercer?

"No," she replied, smiling and shaking her head. "I feel bad for them!"

As for parents, Ali Wylam's parents Dee Ann and Dave unanimously agreed that they wished the posher dorms had existed when they attended school.

That $5,000 is a hefty increase over what students normally pay. Purdue's dorms usually cost $9,000 a year. But it's $14,000 for the new towers.

We should point out that the new dorms are not open to freshmen who are encouraged to live the simple life, before getting a taste of luxury.

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