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Archive for Friday, December 11, 2009

Duke student lives out of ’94 Ford van

December 11, 2009

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— 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.”

Comments

bearlybrewed 4 years, 4 months ago

While in grad school and partly while working after graduation I lived in a very small pop up camper. Most relaxing and enjoyable time of my life. More ought to experience it.

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AnnaUndercover 4 years, 4 months ago

Wow. I don't think I could live out of a van, but maybe if I'd lived at a campsite I could have avoided at least some of the debt I still repay to Sallie Mae every month!

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