College life revolves around the campus cafe or coffee cart, and for good reason: A 2015 study found that caffeine enhances both cognitive and physical performance, counteracting the negative side effects of sleep loss — something with which college students are all too familiar. But while Gen Xers and millennials had to trek through snow, rain and heat to get their caffeine fix, Gen Z is taking full advantage of convenient delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates and Uber Eats to get their daily cup of java. Call it lazy or call it genius — some schools have taken this trend to the next level. GrubHub sifted through its data to find the most caffeinated college campuses across the U.S. based on drinks ordered through .edu e-mail accounts during the 2016–17 school year. Did your alma mater make the cut?
The 15 Most Caffeinated Colleges in the U.S.
University of Southern California
GrubHub found that University of Southern California students consume 33 percent more caffeinated beverages than the average student body. USC students have access to four on-campus Starbucks, two The Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs and eight other caffeine-serving campus cafes. Researchers there are even publishing studies that reveal the positive health impacts of drinking coffee, like a recent report that found it may decrease your risk of colorectal cancer. Its students are certainly attempting to reap the benefits.
Syracuse University students order 36 percent more caffeinated drinks than students at other colleges. Syracuse’s location in upstate New York calls for warm beverages during cold winter months, and its large 708-acre campus could be one reason why its students are having their coffee and tea brought to them. The school’s 13 on-campus cafes, along with local off-campus selections like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, also attest to students’ need for constant caffeine.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University students order 40 percent more coffee and tea than college students elsewhere. The school's reported "stress culture" may take a mental and physical toll on some of its students, and student testimonials reveal the rigorous workload students face and the tendencies to pull all-nighters to finish homework. This could explain the students’ habit of getting their caffeine delivered to stay awake and be productive. According to The Tartan, CMU’s student newspaper, the school has 11 main coffee joints. However, some cafes have 10-minute wait times, which might lead students to get their caffeine fix online.
Binghampton University students order 41 percent more caffeinated beverages than other college students. Students there have a variety of retail caffeine choices, from the school’s coffee kiosk to Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts locations. The cold temperatures that hit this upstate location during winter could provide some explanation as to the amount of coffee and tea orders during the past school year. Binghampton also encourages this coffee-lovin’ culture with an International Coffee Hour, held every month for the University community to gather for free refreshments.
Ithaca College is another New York school to make the list, ordering 48 percent more caffeinated drinks than other campuses. Last semester, the Ithaca Student Governance Council successfully passed a bill to bring a sustainable coffee company on campus. While the students wait for the company to arrive, they have access to five coffee joints near the Ithaca campus and free coffee at their student center.
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is the second West Coast college to make this list, with its students ordering 60 percent more caffeinated beverages than those at other schools. Coffee is such a priority at UCLA that it even has its own on-campus coffee-delivery service. According to The Daily Bruin, UCLA students can choose from five on-campus coffee shops or visit several others in Westwood, the pedestrian-friendly town surrounding the university.
Read more: 8 Tips for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
Sarah Lawrence College
Sarah Lawrence College is yet another New York college to make GrubHub’s list. Students at Sarah Lawrence order 63 percent more coffee and tea than other college students on average. And caffeine is no joke there: The college’s Tea and Coffee Culture Club gathers every week to “examine the role that social caffeine drinking has taken as a prompt for intellectual, political and revolutionary discussion, while also exploring the different types of drinks consumed in this manor [sic] around the world,” according to its website. The school has few dining venues compared to other colleges on this list (five), which could be a reason why students often choose to get their caffeinated beverages delivered.
New York University
In 1964, about half of all the sidewalk cafes in New York City were located in Greenwich Village, according to a New York Times article from that year. Yet students at New York University, located in the heart of the Village, love to get their coffee delivered. GruhHub’s analysis reveals that students there order 65 percent more caffeinated beverages than students at other schools. To this day, coffee options near NYU are numerous, with street vendors, French-style cafes and pastry shops, but the long lines and winter weather could deter students from getting their coffee on foot. For students who really take coffee seriously, there’s the NYU coffee club, which partners with local New York-based roasters to host its meetings.
University of Pennsylvania
This Ivy League school orders 72 percent more caffeinated beverages than other colleges. The University of Pennsylvania is home to more than 10 coffee shops on or near campus, and students have easy access to several small coffee shops in the surrounding Philadelphia area. However, with its stressful academic calendar (the school has the shortest midyear break of all the Ivies), students might not have time to frequent the city, forcing them to order their caffeine-filled drinks online.
University of Rochester
GrubHub’s data show that Rochester students consume 73 percent more caffeinated beverages than average. There’s a variety of nearby coffee and tea shops for Rochester students, from Tim Horton’s to Joe Bean Roastery. The university’s students can also use an app called Tapingo to order from local dining services, which include Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee.
Kean University students order caffeinated drinks 78 percent more often than other students. There are several Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts chains in Union, New Jersey, where the college is located, but Kean itself only has six campus eateries, one of which is a Starbucks located in the university library. With fewer options, students can be more inclined to order their caffeine fix online.
Brandeis University students order a surprising 98 percent more caffeinated beverages than other schools — and we haven't even reach the top of GrubHub’s list yet. The college, which is located nine miles west of Boston, has its own student-run coffee shop called Cholmondeley’s Coffee House and hosts five other chain stores, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Other local coffee shops are about a mile away, according to Yelp, which might explain why Brandeis students enjoy ordering caffeine online.
Babson College students order 122 percent more caffeinated beverages than other schools. There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts, Woody’s Coffee Bar and Starbucks on campus in Wellesley, Massachusetts, but other local coffee shops are at least a mile away, according to Yelp. This might explain why students are getting so many caffeinated drinks delivered. What’s more, the U.S. News and World Report ranks Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business as the top entrepreneurship school in the country, meaning that students may be too busy studying to go out to buy their coffee or tea.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s top-ranking colleges, with award-winning students in tech, science and the humanities. There are multiple Starbucks locations and a Dunkin’ Donuts in the school’s vicinity, but with students’ rigorous workloads, it’s probably more convenient to order coffee than wait in line. As a result, students there order 136 percent more caffeinated beverages than students at other schools. MIT researchers are also publishing studies that reveal caffeine’s productivity powers, so MIT students are not the only ones who are crazy about caffeine.
University of Chicago
University of Chicago students top GrubHub’s list, ordering 138 percent more caffeine than other college students. Ranked third in the nation, this school promises to be academically rigorous. It’s no surprise that University of Chicago students run on caffeine: A study found that students at top colleges have less than the recommended seven hours of sleep every night. The campus has four student-run coffee shops and an abundance of coffee joints surrounding it.
Read more: The 12 Worst Coffee Drinks to Order