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!
6. Kenyon College: A Swipe-Free Dining Hall
Most colleges offer all-you-can-eat buffet style dining halls, but at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, you don’t have to save (or waste) your meal swipes all semester to access that coveted buffet.
“We don’t have to swipe or even show a campus ID at Peirce Hall,” says Sarah Kahwash, a senior at Kenyon and a national contributing writer for Her Campus. “We are free to walk in as many times as we'd like to during the day and to take as much food as we’d like.” In other words, there’s no such thing as swipe-poor at Kenyon.
The dining hall has become such a valued perk around campus that it even has its own Facebook profile. “It friends and receives friend requests from students, and is Facebook-married to a rising junior,” Sarah says. “We love Peirce.”
7. High Point University: Free Steak Dinners
High Point University’s meal plan goes above and beyond the typical all-you-can-eat buffet. The small private college in High Point, NC, offers students the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of formal dining etiquette and eat a spectacular five-course meal at its on-campus steakhouse, called 1924 PRIME. Students can dine at the steakhouse once a week for free, provided they follow the restaurant’s business casual dress code and etiquette rules. A free five-course dinner sounds pretty good compared to your steaming cup of microwaved Ramen, doesn’t it?
8. Wake Forest University: Free Laptops
Located in Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest makes the transition to college a little easier by taking care of one big-ticket item all incoming collegiettes need: a laptop. At their freshman orientation, each Wake Forest student receives a brand new Lenovo ThinkPad, loaded with all the latest software required by professors. What’s more, students exchange the laptop for a newer model at the start of their third year, and laptop repair and servicing is free in most cases.
“A great number of students still bring their own laptops that they’ve had prior to coming to Wake Forest, but it’s really nice for students who don’t have laptops already because they can just use the one[s] Wake gives us,” says Cassie Brown, a senior at Wake Forest and a campus correspondent for Her Campus Wake Forest. “Also, some classes require you to do work on the ThinkPad. For my Intro to Computer Science class, for example, there were a few programs that could only be run on the school laptop.”
Because the laptops technically remain owned by the university throughout students’ time at Wake Forest, students are required to return their laptops upon graduating. If they wish to keep the laptop at that time, they can purchase it from the university for a fee, explains Cassie. Even so, getting a brand new laptop with all the software you’ll need to succeed can be a great perk for incoming freshmen attempting to tackle the long list of things to buy to start college life.
9. University of Missouri: A Rec Center More Like a Vacation Resort
The newly renovated Student Rec Center at the University of Missouri offers students much more than treadmills and free weights. MizzouRec has just about anything a collegiette could ask for in a rec center, including a hot tub, a sauna, a snack bar, and even a beach club.
“It was only built in 2005, and it has an absolutely gorgeous indoor/outdoor pool,” says Sydney Nolan, a Her Campus contributing writer who spent her freshman year at Mizzou.
MizzouRec’s cardio room, known as the Jungle Gym, contains more than 100 pieces of equipment in a high-energy environment complete with 24 flat screen televisions and a view of the competitive pool. For multi-tasking fitness mavens, the Jungle Gym also features a quiet room with cardio machines and free weights, where you can simultaneously prep your brain for midterms and your body for spring break.
10. Long Island University C.W. Post Campus: Free iPad Minis
Each of the full-time undergrad students at Long Island University’s Post Campus in New York owns their very own iPad mini, courtesy of the university. Although students pay a $100 technology fee as part of the cost of attendance, the iPad mini that LIU Post provides to all incoming freshmen is valued at approximately $500. The university maintains the iPad program to keep all students tech-savvy and prepared for academic success—and what better way to start college than with a brand new iPad mini?
The dorms and libraries may start to look the same after a while, but unique benefits like these make some colleges stand out from the crowd. Does your college or university have a unique perk for students? Let us know in the comments below, and your school could be featured on HC in the future!