Princeton Review

Health programs, services and healthy dining hall food options contributed to UT’s number seven place among the Top 25 healthiest colleges in the nation.

Greatist.com, a health and wellness blog, recently ranked the 25 healthiest colleges by taking student surveys from College Prowler and The Princeton Review, as well as nominations from readers. UCLA ranked number one.

Susan Hochman, interim assistant director for University Health Services, said the University offers a large number of high-quality, accessible resources to keep students healthy.

“University Health Services, which provides medical services, health promotion, a Center for Students in Recovery and other public health leadership was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as the fourth best student health services in the country and consistently receives high remarks for patient satisfaction,” Hochman said.

The seventh place ranking was mainly due to the efforts of the Wellness Network, a partnership made up of students, faculty and staff who work together to create a healthy campus community.

“The Wellness Network brings together advocates for health and wellness from across UT in order to share information, strategies and resources,” Hochman said. “Through this collaboration, we aim to shape the environment in which we learn, live, work and play to support overall health and healthy choices.”

Another contributing factor to the high rank was the Division of Housing and Food Services and their promotion of healthy dining options and their number of initiatives related to wellness, Hochman said.

Applied Learning and Development senior Sammie Hanks, president of the Health Promotion Club, said students are fortunate to attend a school that provides a healthy atmosphere.

“Being provided with these outlets promotes healthy living throughout our campus,” Hanks said. “This ranking is very honorable and is a motivation to continue to promote health, not only throughout our campus, but throughout the community as well.”

Scott Meyer, director of food service for DHFS, said the “Healthy Suggestions” food in the dining halls gives students healthy options for every meal.

“We realize that many students dine with us as freshman and oftentimes miss the comfort foods of home and turn to food items such as hamburgers, french fries and macaroni and cheese,” Meyer said. “We provide the comfort and indulgence food items mentioned, but also take strides to make students aware of the delicious, healthier alternatives that we offer such as our gluten free, vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes, quinoa and whole grain pasta and our local grass-fed beef.” 

Printed on Friday, April 13, 2012 as: UT ranks No. 7 in healthiest college in U.S.

Health programs, services and healthy dining hall food options contributed to UT’s number seven place among the Top 25 healthiest colleges in the nation.

Greatist.com, a health and wellness blog, recently ranked the 25 healthiest colleges by taking student surveys from College Prowler and The Princeton Review, as well as nominations from readers. UCLA ranked number one.

Susan Hochman, interim assistant director for University Health Services, said the University offers a large number of high-quality, accessible resources to keep students healthy.

“University Health Services, which provides medical services, health promotion, a Center for Students in Recovery and other public health leadership was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as the fourth best student health services in the country and consistently receives high remarks for patient satisfaction,” Hochman said.
The seventh place ranking was mainly due to the efforts of the Wellness Network, a partnership made up of students, faculty and staff who work together to create a healthy campus community.

The Wellness Network brings together advocates for health and wellness from across UT in order to share information, strategies and resources,” Hochman said.

“Through this collaboration, we aim to shape the environment in which we learn, live, work and play to support overall health and healthy choices.”

Another contributing factor to the high rank was the Division of Housing and Food Services and their promotion of healthy dining options and their number of initiatives related to wellness, Hochman said.

Applied Learning and Development senior Sammie Hanks, president of the Health Promotion Club, said students are fortunate to attend a school that provides a healthy atmosphere.

“Being provided with these outlets promotes healthy living throughout our campus,” Hanks said. “This ranking is very honorable and is a motivation to continue to promote health, not only throughout our campus, but throughout the community as well.”

Scott Meyer, director of food service for DHFS, said the “Healthy Suggestions” food in the dining halls gives students healthy options for every meal.

“We realize that many students dine with us as freshman and oftentimes miss the comfort foods of home and turn to food items such as hamburgers, french fries and macaroni and cheese,” Meyer said. “We provide the comfort and indulgence food items mentioned, but also take strides to make students aware of the delicious, healthier alternatives that we offer such as our gluten free, vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes, quinoa and whole grain pasta and our local grass-fed beef.”

The Princeton Review named UT-Austin one of the top 10 Best Value Public Colleges in the nation for 2012.

The list featured 150 schools and 37 states overall and assessed their rankings from institutional data collection in the primary areas of academics, cost of attendance, financial aid and student opinion surveys from fall 2010 through fall 2011, according to the Princeton Review website. Princeton Review also considered the percentage of graduating seniors who borrowed from any loan program and the average dollar amount of debt those students had at graduation. Although included in the expanded list, UT failed to break into the top 10 last year.

The Office of Student Financial Services' website estimated the approximate cost of attending UT to be from $12,133 to 12,829 per semester — including room and board, tuition and other expenses — for full-time in-state students.

University spokesman Gary Susswein said this status is just the latest in a series of higher education rankings that highlight UT's value.

“Our tuition is lower than at most of our peer schools and we spend less in-state money than almost all of them,” Susswein said. “Yet we still rank among the top public research universities in the nation and world. We do more with less and serve our students incredibly well. It's great to be recognized for that.”

UT ranks among the top 50 universities in The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges of 2011 list.

The list assessed schools based on institutional data and student opinion surveys that The Princeton Review collected from the 650 most academically outstanding institutions. The list ranked 50 schools, with the top 10 schools in order and the bottom 40 unranked. UT stood in the bottom 40 with schools such as Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

“One of the things that stuck out was the raw sticker price,” said Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. “The average cost [of tuition] per year is around $9,000 while the national average [for state schools] is around $16,000, so UT-Austin is already doing better than the national average.”

The Princeton Review calculated value according to cost of attendance, financial aid and academic factors. To be considered a valuable option, a school must either charge low tuition relative to other colleges or offer sufficient financial aid to offset a higher tuition, according to The Princeton Review web site.

“We don’t just look at price, we make sure that the universities are providing an exceptional educational experience for the money students pay,” Franek said.

The list released Tuesday used in-state tuition figures to rank the colleges in value. UT tuition, not including room and board, totals more than $8,500 for 2010-2011 for residents and more than $28,500 per year for non-residents, according to UT’s website.

“As an out-of-state student, not receiving financial aid makes [UT] difficult to afford,” said Elisabeth Newell, advertising and rhetoric and writing junior. “I’ve applied for FAFSA aid the past two years and haven’t received it.”

Nationally, college costs rose each year for the past 20 years at three times the rate of inflation, Franek said.

To combat rising tuition costs, the Texas-Exes have started a new program called the “40 Acres Scholars Program” which intends to make financial issues less of a decisive factor for potential UT students. The program aims to raise $150 million for merit-based scholarships to make UT more competitive with other top-tier institutions.

In 2009-2010, the University gave out $204 million in grants and scholarships, said Tom Melecki, director of Student Financial Services. Among those who received money, the average grant per student was $6,000 and the average scholarship per student was $4,800, he said.

“The scholarships given are a reflection of what a terrific student body we have,” Melecki said.