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Leisure Studies

Leisure Studies

Forget about Leisure World; when your college age kids leave you with an empty nest, why not enroll in High Point University? The North Carolina institution has more amenities than the presidential suite on a luxury cruise ship and there is no age requirement on its admissions page. You might be the oldest student on campus, but for $31,000 a year you'll be treated like royalty.

An ice cream truck loaded with 500 different types of frozen confections makes regular rounds of the campus by day, and each of the 2,000 students receives a personalized birthday card on his or her birthday complete with a balloon and a Starbucks gift card. Students also receive surprise gifts in their rooms after returning from an especially brutal afternoon of physics and history lectures. We wouldn't be surprised if they also received mints on their pillows at night!

"When the students know you care, they reward you by doing well in the classroom," says the university's president, Nido R. Quebin. "Then they reward you by telling their friends and by their parents' becoming your donors." Quebin is the genius behind the concierge service that takes in students dry cleaning and gives out restaurant recommendations, there's live music in the cafeteria and a new building that will feature a movie theater, a sports bar and a steakhouse (hmm...sounds a little like some place we've seen before).

Quebin seems like a mix of Willy Wonka and a fifth grader running for student body president—"The snozzberries will taste like snozzberries and we'll have Coca Cola in every water fountain!" All right folks, who's planning on scrapping your cruise plans and signing up for a semester at High Point? Would going back to school be a part of your empty nest plans? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Posted: 7/2/08