What is dining like on universities with huge on-campus student populations?
Large numbers of students living on campus present both opportunities and challenges for campus dining departments. They constitute a semi-captive customer base, especially if they are required to purchase meal plans (as is the case at many schools). They also help spread business out across the day as opposed to the lunch-centric nature of commuter dining patterns, and provide multiple retail sales opportunities from morning through (increasingly) late night.
View an interactive, sortable data table of the 50 power players
Glance through the colleges that make up the Top 25
But resident students also form a vocal and influential constituency on campus (after all, it’s their home), driving everything from sustainability initiatives and expanded vegetarian options to fair trade and living wage policies. And of course, their tastes and lifestyles severely impact the menu, hours and positioning of the dining venues.
In this special report, we profile the dining operations at the 50 U.S. universities with the largest numbers of students living on campus.
* NOTE: Enrollment and meal plan sales data accompanying each profile was the latest available and may in some cases reflect numbers from the last completed school year. However, all meal plan prices shown are current for fall 2014.
Click and read about the Top 50 Colleges
|1. Rutgers||26. Northern Arizona|
|2. Connecticut||26. Northeastern|
|3. Michigan State||28. UC Santa Barbara|
|3. UC San Diego||29. Alabama|
|5. Penn State||30. Georgia Tech|
|6. Central Florida||31. Pittsburgh|
|6. Massachusetts||32. Syracuse|
|8. Arizona State||33. Texas Tech|
|9. Iowa State||33. UC Santa Cruz|
|10. Indiana||35. Ohio|
|11. NYU||36. North Carolina State|
|12. Ohio State||37. Albany|
|13. Stanford||38. Colorado|
|14. Boston||39. Liberty|
|15. Purdue||40. Binghamton|
|16. Illinois||41. Nebraska|
|17. UCLA||42. Miami (OH)|
|18. Michigan||43. New Hampshire|
|19. Harvard||44. Buffalo|
|20. Texas A&M||44. Georgia|
|21. UC Irvine||46. Wisconsin|
|22. Maryland||47. Cornell|
|23. Stony Brook||47. Texas|
|24. North Carolina||49. Delaware|
|25. Virginia Tech||50. Boston College|