College admissions is a competitive business with colleges competing for the smartest, richest, and otherwise most desirable frosh each year. Administrators have come to realize that “extras” — e.g., the quality of the gym, the luxuriousness of the living quarters, and the availability of extra-curriculars — now heavily influence the decision making of prospective students. Among academics and administrators, this is called the “amenities arms race.” A set of representative images can be found at a slide show about college dorms sent in by Dmitriy T.M. They nicely illustrate the proliferation.Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.