Colleges and universities across the country have come up with a host of ideas for making do on a tight budget, reports the New York Times. While colleges and universities slashed their spending this year with wrenching layoffs, hiring freezes, and halts in construction projects, many have whittled away at costs with smaller, quirkier economies, too. At the University of Washington, the communications department faculty did away with their landlines–a move that is expected to save about $1,100 a month. At Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., the women’s swim team held a "virtual swim meet" with Bryn Mawr College, about 112 miles away. Each team swam in its home pool, then compared times to determine the winners. "We probably saved $900 on bus travel," said William G. Durden, Dickinson’s president. Dickinson also is saving $150,000 by cutting back on free laundry service for students and an additional $75,000 by eliminating free ESPN and HBO in student rooms…

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