North Carolina Even by starving-grad-student standards, Duke student Ken Ilgunas’ campus housing is humble. It is, however, mobile. Ilgunas, 26, is shacking up in a 1994 Ford Econoline as a means of getting through his liberal studies graduate program without debt. Parked in a lot on the edge of campus, he cooks with camping equipment and subsists largely on peanut butter.
Ilgunas, who grew up in Niagara Falls, N.Y., doesn’t think he’s really roughing it. He showers and exercises in the campus gym and knows all the 24-hour buildings where he can keep warm, dry and connected to the Internet.
“I’m rarely in the van. Just to eat and sleep,” he said this week. “Generally it’s not the most convenient place. The closest bathroom is a quarter-mile away and there’s no source of water nearby. But with that said, I live pretty comfortably. I bring a water jug to campus and fill it up.”