Money Quote: "On the first night I tried to sleep in my van, I was lying in my sleeping bag sprawled out on the backseat, parked in a mostly empty Walmart parking lot. I'd wake up every 15 minutes because I was nervous that the security guard driving past my van would knock on my door and make me leave."
"My new home had 60 square feet and four wheels. While most people would consider living in a van an embarrassment, a low point, or even a 'rock bottom,' it would -- though I didn't realize it then -- turn out to be the greatest financial decision I'd ever made."
"In Student Housing, Luxuries Overshadow Studying," by John Eligon (New York Times)
Money Quote: "Brenden Heiland had breathed the vanilla lavender-scented clubhouse air. He had seen the beach volleyball court, toured the game room equipped with billiards, Ping-Pong and air hockey tables, and learned with delight of the Friday pool parties with a D.J., free food and snow cones, spiked with rum for those of age."
"Now, as he and the three friends he was apartment hunting with stood peering at the pool, Mr. Heiland, 19, pondered what life might be like if he chose to live in this off-campus complex, the Grove, when his sophomore year at the University of Missouri begins this fall."
"'It's like a vacation, almost,' he said. 'I'm not going to go to class -- that's how I look at it.'"
With all the focus on deans and profs, we forget that there is a student housing industry also taking advantage of students. Not only are students taking out student loans to pay for luxury housing, but it gives students the false sense that after school is over, life will only get better for them. It keeps them from asking tough questions about post-graduate life.