College is expensive, so you have to do whatever you can to cut back on expenses. Winona State University students have a unique opportunity to pay less in rent to live in a mansion—as long as they spend time with the seniors who live there too.

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The WFAA reports that six lucky college students get to live in a mansion with 45 senior citizens. Students who volunteer for 10 hours per month pay only $400 for rent month. They can decrease their rent to $200 if they volunteer 20 hours a month.

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The initiative is a part of Winona Health’s “Students in Residence” program. Students such as freshman Joel Olson rave about the program.

“’All you have to do is spend some time with some really nice people?’ Of course!”

Students decide how they’ll volunteer their time with their roommates. Several students provide tech support at no cost, while graduate student Lauren Jensen runs a crocheting class. Another student, Hanna Rottier provides manicures at no cost.

But students also benefit in other ways. The mansion’s residents become attached to their college-aged roommates and constantly express their concern and affection in ways students wouldn’t get if they lived with peers their own age.

Director of assisted living Cheryl Krage says of the seniors,

“I hear residents wondering how the students are doing with their studies.”

Winona Health encourages students to try this option out if they’re interested in becoming healthcare professionals in occupations ranging from social work to physical therapists, nursing, or medical school.

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This living arrangement is so sweet and it’s clear that it makes everyone happy.

What do you think of this initiative? Share your ideas below!