What comes to mind when you think of college life? I don't know about you, but for me it's tiny overcrowded dorm rooms, shared bathrooms down the hall and a cafeteria across campus. After reading an article recently, it seems times have changed!

At a lot of colleges, students are living in the lap of luxury in huge mansions that were lost to foreclosures. Here's one example: the University of California at Merced, they only have enough on-campus housing for about a third of their 5,000 students (sound like the parking situation at UMT). So, students looking for alternatives have begun renting abandoned mansions in nearby neighborhoods.

Get this, one group of six engineering students share a 3,300 square foot house! They each have their own bedroom and bathroom and sweet extras like a jacuzzi, gas fireplace, amazing kitchen and a dining room just for ping-pong. What's even better, they only pay $300 a month each (which is about half what they would have paid to live in those tiny dorms). In fact, so many students have moved into giant suburban homes that the university provides buses to shuttle them to and from campus.

Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone, students win and the banks are glad to get rent-money for foreclosed properties they can't sell.

I know a lot of students share big houses in Missoula while attending school, but most of them are over-priced and need some major renovation. Would you jump at the opportunity to share a mansion with 3 or 4 of your fellow students or stick to dorm life?

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