Step 1: Consider Your Situation
The answer is yes.
Clothes lines are old fashion technology and usually work best outside on a sunny day. After a little experiment we found out they work inside just fine too. Even in winter, as long as your dorm isn't absolutely frigid you can still dry your clothes for free. I'm not kidding, no really... I go to boarding school in Northern Maine only a few miles from the Canadian border, it's COLD! However, with a little ingenuity and time you can still have an effective clothes line.
Here is a picture of one of the clothes lines we've put up in my time at school. https://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FKL/KNYQ/FKX1DC8G/FKLKNYQFKX1DC8G.MEDIUM.jpg
Step 2: Setup Your Room?
Make use of standard dorm room furniture and appliances such as wardrobes, book shelfs, loft beds, and even refrigerators. Anything with some height to it. Another thing that may be overlooked are window shades. My first clothes line was attached to the window shade and ran lengthwise along my room where it was attached to a wooden chair atop my wardrobe. Sketchy? Yes. Effective? Surprisingly.
Here is a picture of the first line I put up, it was originally intended to just supplement a load of clothes which had been dried once already (our dryers are pretty terrible). The chair at the end was attached with more clothes line which ran down the side of the wardrobe and was weighted down. The end of the rope was also pulled underneath the wardrobe.
Step 3: Get Rope and Go to Town!
This year, I live in a triple so we wanted the absolute most space on the line possible. Our original design looks something like a square with two diagonals cutting though the middle. This maximizes space on the line, while still keeping the whole thing contained to only half of the room.
If you do decide to use 2x4s or something else that is long to achieve enough height, I highly advise screwing it directly to something solid if at all possible. However, sometimes the school doesn't always appreciate your creative money saving abilities and frowns upon screws in their furniture. You can always lash your poles to the furniture or (as always) use absurd amounts of duct tape.
Step 4: Reap the Benefits
Now obviously it is a mild inconvenience to walk under the line while clothes are hanging but that is why placement is key. Surprisingly though drying times are fairly reasonable. You'll find that your clothes will dry at different rates, obviously jeans take a couple days. I never really have run into a problem with not having any dry clothes to wear.If you are really scared that you will, you can always count it out and cycle your laundry so there is always something on the line drying. However for most t-shirts and things if you leave them out for about 12 hours they're good to go. If it's a particularly warm day, you'll be surprised how fast your clothes will dry.
We calculated how long it would take us to pay off our clothes line for the year. The dryer price recently raised from $1 to $1.25. We split the cost of the materials between the two of us who use it. It costs $14 dollars for 4 2x4's and the clothes line was reused from last years line which had already paid it's self off.
14 divided by 1.25 is about 12 loads of laundry to pay off the entire line. On average we each do a load or more a week. So, in about two months we will have the entire thing paid in savings and we'll enjoy completely free drying for the rest of the year. Looking at our savings it takes about 6 weeks out of about 32 total weeks of school to pay it all off. So, assuming I do a load of laundry a week the line will save about $65 total which results in about $32.50 savings for me and $32.50 for my roommate by the end of the year.
Not too shabby...