Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Ranking College Housing/Dorms

Shoeboxes vs Mansions

Other than finding a college roommate, figuring out where you are going to live is VERY important! Colleges give students a bunch of options that range from least expensive ($) to extremely expensive ($$$). At some universities, certain dorms are in higher demand than others – and others depend on how many people you are rooming with. For many colleges, there are three typical options for your dorm. You can have a single, a double, or even a suite! For those of you who aren’t aware, a single is where you have a room to yourself, a double is where you have one roommate, and a suite is where you have a double and a connecting bathroom to another double. Here is a review of some of the many dorms that exist! 


Clemson University

Benet Hall

First up, Clemson! Other than South Carolina, there are loads of students that attend Clemson. One of the well-known dorms is the Shoeboxes. Within the Shoeboxes, there are a few options, one of them is Benet Hall in the Shoeboxes at Clemson. One factor that differs from Bates dorm in South Carolina, is that you get a walk-in closet in Benet Hall!  Benet Hall has four floors and one downside is that there is no elevator, so depending on where you’re placed you may have to take a little walk up to your room. Benet Hall is also classified as the least expensive option ($) at Clemson so that is something to consider! All the Shoeboxes at Clemson are notorious for being a little less nice but a lot of fun, so it depends on what you are looking for in a dorm.  Overall this dorm is ranked at 4/10! 


Byrnes Hall

Byrnes is a newly renovated Highrise and is part of the Bryan Mall community on the east side of campus. Byrnes Hall has rooms containing two XL twin beds, two individual desks, two chests of drawers, two closets, and Venetian blinds. A full kitchen with a microwave, oven, and lounges is located on the lower level of the building. Wet Core Bathrooms (clusters of semi-private bathrooms including a toilet, sink, and shower behind a locking door) and laundry facilities are located on the lower level of the building. The room itself looks pretty spacious with the lofted beds that allow desk/lounge space below them. However, this is your typical dorm so I’ll give it a 5/10.



Douhit East

While there are definitely some less expensive dorms, Clemson also has some pricey ones ($$$). Douthit East at Clemson is one of these options. These dorms tend to be slightly bigger than the Shoeboxes and come with a few perks. The first perk is that instead of communal bathrooms, they have Wet Core Bathrooms. Wet Core Bathrooms are clusters of semi-private bathrooms with a toilet, sink, and shower behind a locking door. If you value privacy but don’t mind sharing your space with a few people this could be a great option for you! You will also have access to an elevator if this dorm is yours! Because of the price of this dorm, it is definitely nicer so I’d rank it an 8/10! 


McCabe Hall

McCabe Hall is another first-year dorm at Clemson. These halls give you a bathroom off of your room that you only share with three other people. Plus, there’s a social center and common areas for both buildings, and you’re right in the middle of campus. Each suite houses 4 people with 2 people in a room. Each room comes with 2 beds, a desk and a dresser. Every suite has a shared bathroom that has a sink, toilet, and shower. 7.5/10!



Auburn University

191 College

Next up, the Auburn dorms. I got lucky enough to snag an Auburn apartment called 191 College that is slightly off campus, but a quick walk to campus. The layout is 4 bed 4 bath with a full kitchen, washer/dryer unit and living room. Each room is fully furnished with private bedrooms and bathrooms, a full-sized bed, nightstand, stackable chest of drawers, desk and chair, USB power outlet, and shelved closet with mirrors. This is definitely a very spacious apartment layout and the price is worth it. There are many amenities in the building such as a full fitness center including treadmills, elliptical and stationary bikes, strength equipment, and weights. The rooftop is comprised of a swimming pool with a sun deck, an outdoor jumbotron, a poolside fire pit, a corn hole, and community BBQ grills. The 24-hour Academic Success Center is equipped with iMacs, group and private study lounges, and Wi-Fi throughout the community. All utilities are included in the semester rental rate. I am very excited to live here and could not be more lucky! I am docking ½ of a point for being off campus but overall 9.5/10!


The Village

The Village is an on-campus dorm building with a 4 bed 2 bath, kitchenette, and living area. 3 halls of the Village are dedicated to the members of Auburn sororities since there are no sorority houses at Auburn, so this is very convenient for those who are interested in rushing. Again, the private bedrooms are very nice for these dorms as well as the living space in the middle of the suite. The living/dining areas are furnished with a sofa and side chair, microwave, refrigerator, sink, and counter and cabinet space. There is a laundry facility and a common kitchen in each hall. This is definitely a top choice for Auburn students as it is right in the middle of campus and a very nice dorm – convenient and comfy! 10/10!!


The Hill

The Hill rooms are configured as suites with two double-occupancy rooms connected by a bathroom. There are washers and dryers located in Boyd and Sasnett halls of The Hill and the Mailroom is located on the first floor of Sasnett Hall. Each room is furnished with an “extra-long” bunkable twin bed, desk and chair, and chest of drawers for each resident. However, I have heard that this building has many reports of mold infestations, yikes… As for campus location, these halls are very central to the rest of campus. For the location and basic dorm layout, this gets a 6.5/10.


University of South Carolina

Bates House



Because a bunch of people from Magnet ended up attending South Carolina, we wanted to include some of the dorms.  First up is Bates House at the University of South Carolina. This dorm could be called a “typical” double room. There is nothing too special about the dorm as it comes with a closet, bed, desk, and micro-fridge. The micro-fridge is the only aspect of the dorm that not every dorm has in common. Personally, I think a microfridge is a necessity especially to store your food and drinks. Because this room is a double, there are communal bathrooms that are used. I’m not the biggest fan of sharing bathrooms with a whole floor of people so I’d rank this room about a 5/10!



Campus Village Building 4



The next room we looked at was Campus Village Building 4 at the University of South Carolina. This room is suite-style with a 4 person shared bathroom and kitchen. The bedrooms are almost identical to the room in Bates House, there is just the additional bathroom and two sinks in the room. Having a personal sink and bathroom is super convenient and it is definitely easier to keep it clean with only 4 people sharing. One downside is you have to clean the bathroom on your own – whereas the communal bathrooms are cleaned by a cleaning crew. I’d rate this dorm a 7/10!




University of Georgia

Hill Hall


Next up let’s look at some of the University of Georgia dorms! First up is Hill Hall at UGA. This dorm has a traditional style that is pretty similar to the UofSC and Clemson dorms. This dorm is a bit larger than previous dorms and has a sink! While you now may think having a sink in your room is random or weird, it actually makes life significantly easier. With a sink, you don’t need to go to the communal bathroom to just brush your teeth and wash your face! One downside is you have to bring your own mini fridge because one is not included in the room! Even though it’s pretty basic I’d rank it a 6.5/10 because that sink is a great addition!





Brumby Hall


The next dorms we are looking at are Brumby Hall at UGA! These dorms are newly renovated in 2020 and are highly coveted. The general floor plan is a double with a private bathroom. These dorms include lots of storage, including the closet, and dresser, and some rooms even have extra storage under the beds. If a communal bathroom is your biggest concern about college dorms – don’t worry because there are some great options out there (even though some of these options can be a bit pricey)! Overall I’d rank this dorm an 8.5/10!



Virginia Tech

Payne Hall

This year there was quite a bit of interest in Virginia Tech. Payne Hall at Virginia Tech is a well-known dorm at Virginia Tech, but not necessarily for the best reasons. While the dorm is a traditional double with a communal bathroom, students have reported numerous issues with the dorm. One of the main issues was that warm water was not always available and that many times students had to take cold showers. Due to the age of the dorm, the radiator has also been rumored to break. This has caused quite an annoyance because it could leak and ruin lots of a student’s things. Because this room has no outstanding qualities and students don’t seem to love it, I would rank it a 3/10!





Georgia Tech

Brown Hall



Now to Georgia Tech! Brown Hall is not the most ideal dorm situation for me personally because of the communal bathrooms. There is also a communal kitchen, study room, and activity room on each floor. Each room comes with a twin bed XL, desk, desk chair, wardrobe, and dresser per resident. These dorms are pretty pricey and don’t really have any special qualities so I’ll give them a 2/10.




University of North Carolina

Craige Hall

Next up is Craige Hall at UNC. These are First-Year dorms that can either be Suite-Style Single or double meaning 1 or 2 beds per room. There are study rooms, a kitchen and ice machine, laundry (located in the building’s basement), a TV room, lounges, basketball courts, vending machines, and a CCI print station in this hall. Inside the rooms, there is 1 shared dresser, 2 desks, 2 desk chairs, and 2 twin beds with twin XL mattresses which can be bunked or lofted. According to the UNC website, this hall is the best geographically located first-year hall on the south campus. 7/10 for the location as well as countless amenities.


Granville – The Franklin


This is another traditional quad, two rooms connected by a shared bathroom. It includes private bedrooms, a shared bathroom, hardwood-style floors, a Loveseat and ottoman, an upholstered armchair, two stackable 2-drawer chests, a Rolling task chair, 32 inches mounted TV, a mini-fridge, a microwave, a full XL-sized platform bed, nightstand, desk with lighted hutch, 3-drawer pedestal on casters, and access to free laundry. This is a great dorm and overall wins an 8/10!



Harvard University

All Harvard freshmen live in one of 17 freshmen dorms located in Harvard Yard. They are randomly paired with roommates based on their preferences, which they enter on their roommate application form. Wigglesworth was previously home to Bill Gates, Leonard Bernstein, and Ted Kennedy. It is the only dorm to spread over three separate buildings. This includes mostly quads and all rooms have en-suite bathrooms and hardwood floors. For some reason, I couldn’t find any photos of the Harvard dorms on their website. I guess it is just a sign that I am not cut out for Harvard life.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All THE TALON Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *