Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ranking University Food

Here's a perfect demonstration of how different ranking systems get you completely different results. In one system, by Niche, UGA is #8 in food on campus. On another, CollegeRank, it's not even in the top 50.


On CollegeRank I couldn't find much on methodology, how they decided who is #1 and who is #50. Yeah, there's some writing at the top with fancy words like versatility and sustainability, I just couldn't easily find out how they measured this stuff. Niche is more upfront with its methodology, though it hardly rises to the level of that term. Turns out, 85 percent is from visitors to the site, another 15 percent based on the cost of meals via Department of Education stats. As we all know, the people who visit and rank something on a site either love or hate it, rarely are they in between.

That said, UGA has good food for undergrads on a meal plan (winner of 81 national awards, it says so right on its web site so it must be true). No mystery meat like when I went to college. There are milkshake bars, coffee bars, and a jillion other things designed to keep happy our overindulged yuppie larvae. It's all about competition, about being a better place than the other guys, and dorms and food and recreational facilities are all part of the competition. We can pamper better than you can pamper, that's our motto, should we ever start having a motto.

I should add that BestColleges has UGA as #17 in food. I'll be honest, this one seems a little more rigorous than the others and it even mentions the national award given to university food services. So maybe it has a clue. And Business Insider had UGA #8 in best dining hall. Makes you wonder about that failure above to make the top 50.

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