The Christian Science Monitor reports,

It seems the popularity of makeover shows on television, such as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Design on a Dime,” has fueled a decorating craze on college campuses…

Spending on dorm and apartment furnishings is expected to spike from $2.6 billion last year to $3.6 billion in 2005.

At the same time, academic institutions focusing on how best to attract and keep students in a competitive market are finding many of the answers lie in living spaces.

I see this as evidence that college continues to evolve into The World’s Nicest Holding Pen.

Thanks to Don Boudreaux for the pointer. He sees the trend as more evidence of what I call Middle-class Squeeze.