Choosing a university, students consider a whole array of factors such as academic curriculum, student fees, entry requirements, and career prospects on graduation and so on. Campus infrastructure, however, rarely makes to the top of your checklists if ever there. If in the beginning being giddy over entering a new life phase freshers are ready to sweep under the carpet any poor living conditions or limited amenities, eventually, all the inconveniences will grow on you turning into an inexhaustible stress source. What is it, why you need to educate yourself on that, take a closer look.
What Is Infrastructure? Why So Important?
So, what is campus infrastructure, after all? Infrastructure is the set of facilities providing commodities and services catering to university life. To drop the scientific tone, while campus becomes your home away from home, infrastructure is your furniture and running water.
As a student, you will not spend the whole day in the classroom, so campus infrastructure is paramount for a good quality of life there.
Here’s a list of must-haves to look for in good infrastructure:
A sound mind in a sound body. A good campus provides for not only academic facilities such as studying halls, laboratories, maker spaces and well-stocked libraries but also sports grounds, indoor courts, gyms and swimming pools. If you think it is not a big deal to travel to the nearest town to exercise, you cannot be more mistaken. Once you become overloaded with academic assignments, you will find it hard enough to turn the corner let alone cover a few miles.
All work and no play made Jack a dull boy. By joining student societies you develop your leadership skills, color your routine, secure a good point for your CV. So, the more clubs of interests are offered the more chance you will find something close to your heart.
Good Conditions: What to Look For
- Comfortable affordable student accommodation with lounge and study spaces, recreational equipment at desks and well-maintained sanitation facilities.
- Whether you are a vegan, have allergies or specific eating preferences, there should be enough dining facilities to choose from.
- A modern campus allows using personal smartphones and tablets anywhere you fancy to browse the WWW and not just confine yourself to your room.
To spare you a tedious shortlisting we have compiled a list of top 10 universities with top-class infrastructure. While the Ivy Leagues are always thought the cream of the academic world that's not the case with this list. We have relied on the following reputable ratings: Niche, Princeton Review, College Consensus as well as analyzed universities’ official web.
Top 10 Universities with the Best Infrastructure
Located atop a hill overlooking San Diego, Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean this campus is listed among the most beautiful and breathtaking. The Princeton Review names it the 8th in ‘Best Quality of Life’ whereas Niche awards the 7th place in ‘Best College Campuses’. San Diego is known as ‘America’s Finest City’ so choosing this university you will get a full package with the beach just 5 minutes away from the campus. There is a tram service within the campus one can use for free as well as travel off the campus to the Old Town Transit Center.
San Diego is a Changemaker campus. This alone entails tons of things to do combined with campus resources for minority groups, (e.g. LGBT+), multiple health and wellness centers as well as amazing Student Life Pavilion.
According to the official web, over the past 20 years, TCU has spent more than $1 billion on building new or renovating historic facilities.
The campus has strong sustainability practices, is very green (it holds Tree Campus USA Award) and compact (halls are just a stone’s throw from academic or sport facilities). It boasts in up-to-standard equipped athletics facilities and numerous performing arts venues. The campus is claimed to be the only one in the U.S. to be home to two elementary education laboratory schools for children with learning differences. The housing ranks the fourth-best in the country according to the Princeton Review.
You can also use the interactive version of the map provided by the university.
Welcome runner up in the nomination Best College Food and the third Best Campus in America according to Niche.
Football rules here and sports in general. Students are almost unanimous in saying that everything revolves around sports or they make a big part of campus life. Football game weekends are considered the biggest party event of the year.
What’s up with dining? You click on the relevant section of the official web, and lose the track of time studying tons of information there. Dining services offer sustainable eating (reusable to-go containers and waste minimization initiatives), encourage healthy eating with the Y.E.S. – You're Eating Smarter program. You can leave Table Talk feedback twice a semester or work at the student-run Homefield Farm. Menus and nutritional facts are available through the special app. To cut the long story short, the campus approach to food is more than just serious.
As far as housing, it is nothing special here catering to your basic needs.
For the ninth time in a row, MIT has been named by the QS World University Rankings the world’s top university. QS stands for Quacquarelli Symonds, an organization analyzing higher education all over the globe. In terms of ‘Best College Dorms/Campuses,’ the only rating it tops is College Consensus while Niche puts it below 100. Let us figure it out why it is so.
It seems student life here is ALL-embracing and can fuel students’ high and over-high expectations with 500+ organizations, (Chocolate Science beats them all), nearly 40 Greek chapters and independent living groups as well as more than 20 faith chaplains.
As for accommodation (there are 11 residence halls), it is a mix of old and new, and traditional with communal bathrooms and a kitchen and suite type. Some have more to offer for leisure like maker spaces or music rooms, some less, but all look quite decent. College Consensus mentions Simmons Hall, architectures’ magnet nicknamed ‘The Sponge’ as it looks like the sea sponge. It is quite modern and innovative and is all about ‘lounge-style’. What brings the student rating down is perhaps dining. Only 42 % of Niche respondents have rated the dining facilities high. In some of the halls, dining plans are mandatory.
You can also use a virtual tour to get to know the campus.
Rice University certainly takes pride in its housing facilities. All the freshmen get a place to live on campus with about 75% retaining it further on. Students are assigned to one of the 11 residential colleges that become their ‘castle’. Each has its emblem, motto, website and events calendar. McMurtry College and Duncan College are brand new and are distinguished by rooftop gardens and energy-efficient bathroom “pods” in each room.
For socializers, there are plenty of options here with 385 organizations and clubs to choose from. It is interesting to know that according to student polls absolute majority (about 98%) of students do not care for Greek life. Sport seems to be also not in favour of only 4% thinking it makes a big part of campus life. There are 6 varsity sports for men and 6 for women.
Whatever direction you go - South, North, East or West, you will find a servery, since there are 4 of them called accordingly. Fresh vegetable and fruit lovers will approve of the local Farmer’s market.
This campus rounds out the top 20 of the ‘Best College Dorms’ in the Princeton Review (62% Niche satisfaction ratio). However, it tops the list of the Happiest Students compiled by the same source.
There are 466 student clubs and organizations including Greek to find your fit in. Sports play an important role in campus life. Only seven per cent of the respondents deny that. It is home to nearly 30 club teams, and more than 60 individual, dual and team sports. Wanna play dodgeball? As easy as that.
Shopping addicts can head to the Aggieville neighbourhood while get-away-from-it-all enthusiasts take a bike and go along Linear Trail or visit Turtle Creek Reservoir.
Use the interactive map to check K-state University campus.
This campus also enjoys a superb location in the Piedmont Triad metropolitan area, furniture hub of the world. For routine breakers, the cities of Asheville, Raleigh, and Charlotte are close. Here you are not an individual but The individual as professors know everyone not just by name thanks to the average class size of 22. So, the campus is a closely-knit community in its true sense.
This campus has a strong Greek life tradition. There are 16 recognized fraternities/sororities with Greek students being outstanding models both in the classroom and beyond held accountable by grade reports and scorecards.
Speaking about housing, the fact that the campus has won 3 awards – ‘Best Dorms In America’ according to Niche, ‘Best College Dorms’ In the Nation (Princeton Review) and Best Colleges First-Year Experiences Nomination in U.S. News and World Report, says it all. The wording used to describe its accommodation is of the highest degree – ‘top-notch’, ‘swanky’, ‘ultra-modern’, ‘the way forward’ and so on.
Use the interactive map to check the university’s campus.
The university is notable for investing a lot in students’ physical and mental health. Relaxation stations, food pantry, coaching program and many more resulted in the University winning a Healthy Campus Reward (2018). Housing options are abundant (apartments, suites and traditional) as well as Living Learning Communities which unite under one roof students with similar majors or hobbies.
More than 600 clubs and student organizations, plus 19 varsity sports make it close to impossible not to find anything to spark enthusiasm even in lonely wolves.
St. Louis is neither overwhelming nor boring as it is said to be home to world-class attractions, more numerous than elsewhere but for Washington D.C. Its Danforth Campus finds itself at the juncture of the city of St. Louis, Clayton and University City. Such a location offers a variety of big city perks. What is more, all the buildings are interconnected by the area light rail and bus system while community members are eligible for free passes.
Student dorms are cited as ‘five star hotels’ according to Niche rating 97 percent satisfaction ratio.
What makes the social life even more vibrant is student-run businesses. You can start your own business venture on campus by joining the Student Entrepreneurial Program.
A 1,400-acre Forest Park between the 2 university campuses serves a perfect ground for outdoor activities. You can take a stroll, drop into the Zoo, Art or History Museum, explore the Science Center or just embrace stunning nature.
It makes the top of Niche ranking of the best college campuses in America (out of 1,408 reviewed). As if not enough, it also boasts of serving the best college food (out of 1,377 reviewed). The rating takes into account key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education as well as millions of student insights.
The tremendous success of UCLA athletes extends far beyond the US. In fact, they brought home 261 Olympic medals with more than half of them of the highest quality. Therefore, it should not be surprising that 88% of the interviewed consider varsity sports is part and parcel of campus life.
With more than 1,000 clubs and student organizations, you will make here the best time of your life.
To Draw the Line
Location, conditions, the number of student societies – all that matters when it comes to choosing the perfect university. Tastes differ but facts don’t lie. So, the tip when choosing a university is google everything about your choice before applying.
Not only do the listed schools satisfy the above-mentioned criteria, but they can also offer a lot more. Student reviews can be subjective, while appearances are deceptive, so before making up your mind we advise to visit the campus in person.