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Which College Has The Best Food? Does It Matter?

Which college has the best food?

When you meet with a college representative, the last question you want to ask is, “So, hey, how is the food?” Fortunately, the Daily Beast has taken the time to help you answer this question. They have prepared a slideshow of the fifteen schools they think have the best campus food.

Is your target school among the best? Does it really matter? Not surprisingly, the three top Bay Area schools, Stanford, Berkeley, and Mills, all make the list. Also included in the list were Bowdoin, Washington University, Grinnell, Colorardo College, and the College of William & Mary. Many larger universities such as Oregon State, Virgina Tech, and UMass Amherst also made the cut.

So does that mean you should run off to one of these schools? Well obviously, no. Few people are going to let food get in the way of an academic program they have been dreaming about. But still, a good dining system is important. It will affect your health, your state of mind, and can be a positive community-building force on campus. Furthermore, a school’s dining system can be an indication of more than just the food you’ll be eating while in college.

The quality of a college’s food can serve as a proxy for the many aspects of a school that you are not able to see on a school visit. Providing good dining is expensive. If a school like Boston College can have a “chocolate bar,” then they probably are not starved for funds that support other aspects of student life, such as clubs, events, and a vibrant student union. Serving high-quality food shows that a school cares about the life of a student outside the classroom and that the school has money to support it. Down the line, you will find that how much a school cares about student life and how much money it has directly affect whether it supports endeavors such as charity trips, new clubs, and other initiatives you may want to start.

It can also be an indication for how well a school is run. To provide food, colleges engage in multi-million dollar contracts with huge catering corporations that last several years. By and large, schools that serve good food are ones that have made this decision carefully. Often they will take to heart student input and create a deal that is focused on the student. If a school does not serve good food, then that can be an indication that the school did not go about the desicion right, or that they don’t like to work with student input. If a college can’t make a good dining decision, will they be able to make a good dean decision?

So, yes, food is just a sliver of the campus experience. But on your next school visit, if you’re putting a soggy piece of pizza on your plate instead of fresh vegetables, that may tell you about more than what you’ll be eating for the next four years.