HOME>LIFESTYLE Tricked-Out College Campuses, From Water Parks to Luxury Dorms

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With competition for tuition money ramping up, colleges are looking for ways to set themselves apart and some have turned to investing in unimaginable campus experiences, from water parks to luxurious residence halls.

In the economic report, “College as a Country Club,” published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers found that some colleges -- excluding elite schools like Princeton and Yale -- attract more applicants when they invest in state-of-the-art facilities like pools and rec centers.

So even though average tuition costs for four-year colleges continue to tick up year over year -- now running about $18,000 for in-state students at public universities to almost $32,000 for out-of-state students, according to College Board -- more colleges are justifying the high cost of building impressive amenities in an effort to recruit and retain students.

Here are a few universities that have tricked-out their campuses with new amenities.