UD students are eating way better than their counterparts, survey says

University of Dayton students eat well — better, in fact, that the vast majority of their counterparts nationwide, according to The Princeton Review.

UD has been ranked No. 19 in the country among the Princeton Review's "The Best 382 Colleges," and it was the only Ohio college or university to make the top 20 list, Princeton Review officials say.

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The “Best Colleges” Book, published each year since 1992, ranks colleges based on students reported satisfaction with their schools in 62 different categories — including campus food. The Princeton Review surveyed 137,000 students at 382 top schools for this year’s edition of the college guide.

The food-service ranking was good news to UD officials.

“Our students love our food,” said Mary Eilbeck, UD’s executive director of dining services. “They truly get a personal touch because they get to choose their ingredients. Each eatery is different, with chefs at every location who take great pride in creating what soon become customer favorites.”

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This is the third time UD has ranked in the top 20 for best campus foods, Eilbeck said. The recognition adds to honors campus dining has received from the National Association of College & University Food Services for customer satisfaction, she said.

UD is wrapping up a $7 million renovation to its major food-service destination, Kennedy Union, which serves more than 3,500 customers daily during the school year.

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And don’t underestimate the power of food in the college-selection process.

“In researching our guides to help high school students determine the best college for them, we have learned that food is becoming an increasingly important factor in their decision-making process,” Rob Franek, editor in chief of The Princeton Review, said in a release. “College food services have made incredible efforts to enhance students’ dining experience and also to educate them about the food they eat.”

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