College is expensive. We know this. The average annual bill at private 4-year institutions is over $32,000. Probably the only thing that could make that number easier to swallow is delicious food to go with it. And to help potential students who want to choose their school by the quality of its dining hall, Princeton Review once again released its list of the 20 colleges with the best campus food based on surveys of around 143,000 students who attend the schools in its guide. Last year, Maine’s Bowdoin College and the University of Massachusetts held the top two spots; this year, they swapped places, with UMass now claiming the number one ranking and Bowdoin landing at number two. Rounding out the rest of the top 10:
4. Virginia Tech
5. St. Olaf (MN)
6. College of the Atlantic (ME)
7. James Madison (VA)
8. Saint Anselm (NH)
9. Washington University (MO)
10. Bryn Mawr College (PA)
And UMass could not have been prouder to finally land the top food spot after slowly working its way up from #10 in 2012 to #3 in 2013 and 2014, then to #2 last year. “This honor is shared by every member of our staff who work each day to serve healthy, sustainable and delicious meals to our students,” said Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst, in a press release. “This ranking is also a tribute to our students, whose high expectations drive our team to excel.”
Robert Franek, senior vice president of Princeton Review, described the university’s grub as “fresh, local and delicious,” calling the school “a glorious place … nourishing the body as well as the mind,” during an appearance on Today. Beyond offering plenty of dining halls and cafes, UMass apparently also has a couple food trucks and even delivery services – because while your hanging out in your dorm room skipping class, you’ll probably get hungry eventually.
Interestingly, UMass also claims to be the largest college dining services operation in the U.S., serving 45,000 meals every day. It’s an impressive stat. I’m not sure if its impressive enough to make up for the school’s football team, but it’s impressive none the less.