Texas A&M has a pool for residence hall dwellers that would put a lot of resorts to shame. UCIrvine features a residence hall with a massive fireplace and atrium design. DePaul lets students roam around a kitchen with granite countertops.
The LA Times puts it this way, "The trend toward the four-star dorm is a convergence of several factors: a generation of students who have grown up sharing neither the bedroom nor the bathroom with siblings, parents who are accustomed to high tuition costs and don't object to paying a few hundred more per month for better accommodations, and universities competing for enrollment and using posh new residence halls as marketing tools."
"Callaway Villas, in College Station next to Texas A&M, is a gated ACC complex of three-story town houses plus a 16,000-square-foot clubhouse, a resort-style pool, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court and shuffleboard. Living units have faux-hardwood floors, ceiling fans and, for those light sleepers, white-noise generators.
ACC also manages more than 3,000 beds for UC Irvine in 54 low-rise buildings at two on-campus apartment complexes: Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte. All the units have full kitchens, living rooms, high-speed Internet access and cable TV. Public spaces include a five-screen mini-theater, billiard tables, 24-hour fitness facilities, pools, gas barbecues and Wi-Fi in the common areas."