Forget cramped dorm rooms and shared bathrooms. In recession-ravaged Merced, Calif., college students are moving off campus and into depreciated McMansions. A new university that opened in 2005 fueled a building boom, but when the crash hit in 2008, many luxury homes were left empty. Now, packs of college kids are pooling their cash and moving in, with each student paying as little as $200 to enjoy Jacuzzi tubs, granite countertops, and three-car garages. "I think they're the luckiest students I've ever come across," says one bitter homeowner, who has a mortgage payment several times the rent of his collegiate neighbors.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
Subscribe to the Week