By Alex Gladu
College life is known for its cramped dorm rooms, bland dining hall food, and less-than-glamorous frat parties. But at some schools across the country, students enjoy unusual yet totally awesome perks like free laundry services and steak dinners. Check out our list below to see which schools make college life just a little bit sweeter for their students.
1. Davidson College: Free Laundry Service
For most students, moving to college means bidding adieu to the days of Mom washing your clothes and folding them the way only a mother can. But for students at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, the transition to a mom-less laundry routine is made easier by the school’s free laundry service!
“You just drop off all your clothes, including dry cleaning, and pick them up folded and wrapped in brown paper about three days later,” says Gillian Katz, a sophomore at Colby College who recently spent a summer at Davidson.
Dry cleaning and alterations cost extra, but Lula Bell Houston Laundry has washed Davidson students’ clothes and linens for free for almost 80 years. And you thought going to college meant having to do more of your own chores!
2. New York University: Free NYC Museum Tickets
As a world-renowned mecca of American culture, art, and history, New York City has a vast amount of attractions to offer residents and visitors. Whereas regular student admission to NYC’s museums can cost as much as $14 per visit, NYU makes those attractions more accessible to students through a program called Museum Gateway. Students and faculty gain free admission to about a dozen NYC museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum. Some of the museums even allow NYU students to bring a non-student guest for free, too!
Hannah Orenstein, a junior at NYU and HC’s high school editor, takes full advantage of this perk. “I like to visit museums often, so this program saves me a lot of money!” she says.
3. Michigan Technological University: On-Campus Ski Slopes
Located in Houghton, MI, Michigan Tech’s campus includes Mont Ripley, one of the snowiest mountains in the United States. An adult day pass to Mont Ripley costs $38, yet a student fee of $60 a semester allows students to take full advantage of Mont Ripley’s slopes and other outdoor facilities, including a golf course and tennis courts. Students also receive discounts on ski and snowboard rentals. Mont Ripley is open to the public from November through March, giving students plenty of time to take advantage of this unique perk!
4. Western Washington University: Outdoor Center & Excursions
Located in northwest Washington State, a few hours away from the Puget Sound and the Cascade Range, Western Washington University offers students the ability to make the most of its beautiful natural surroundings. The university’s student government operates an Outdoor Center that offers students a bike repair shop, an equipment rental center, and group excursions to the region’s nearby lakes and mountains.
“A recent excursion included an overnight kayak trip to the nearby San Juan Islands, where the group kayaked to a lodge on the islands, stayed overnight, then kayaked back in the morning,” says Emily Willeman, a junior at WWU and a national contributing writer for Her Campus. “There are also snowboarding excursions to the close by Mt. Baker.”
The Outdoor Center also has a lakeside extension, which offers daily kayak rentals to students for a mere $3. At the bike repair shop, students can drop off their old, broken bikes for refurbishing, or they can learn how to fix them themselves and rent tools for just $2. If you’re an outdoorsy person, Western Washington is perfect for you. If you’re not an outdoorsy person, WWU might turn you into one!
5. Boston University: Lazy River
After a long day of classes, exams, and meetings, wouldn’t it be nice to relax in an inner tube on your school’s lazy river? Well, students at Boston University can do just that because their on-campus rec center actually has—get this—a lazy river, complete with free inner tubes.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out that our school had one,” says Irene Berman-Vaporis, a senior at BU and a contributing writer for Her Campus. “It’s on my bucket list of things to do on campus before I graduate.”
We should note that the lazy river does in fact serve a serious purpose in addition to the obvious fun factor. People can actually walk against the current for exercise or physical therapy. Not only is the lazy river fun and therapeutic, it’s also free to all full-time BU students!