Food & Beverage

It's finals! What college kids are pigging out on

College students across the country are holing up in libraries and dorms for finals week, the last burst of intense studying before the end of the semester. They're not leaving their desks for anything, including food.

According to data released by the take-out ordering app GrubHub, food deliveries increase during the early and late hours on college campuses during finals. The number of deliveries to libraries more than doubled during finals in 2014.

GrubHub took a look at about 300 college campuses where the company has a strong presence, and found that some had a larger spike last year than others (Hover over schools to see their stats).

Ivy League schools saw a larger spike in orders during finals week than public schools, making up three of the top 20 schools with the largest increases. Overall, Ivy League campuses had spikes that were 16 percent larger than those at state schools.

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Previous looks at college students' dining habits on GrubHub have showed that students prefer ordering Italian and Chinese food, with calzones, chicken with broccoli and General Tso's chicken delivered at almost twice the rate of non-students.

This week's data show similar preferences in students' finals week orders.

GrubHub doesn't share the number of orders used to calculate the increase on each campus, but college students are presumably an important part of the company's user base. Students dedicate a full 36 percent of their discretionary income to food, spending about $13 billion at restaurants each year, according to Crux Research.

According to GrubHub filings, the company was involved in $1.8 billion in gross food sales last year, and it logged about 183,000 orders every day—a business metric the company calls "Daily Average Grubs." That comes out to an average of $27 an order, and the company walks away with about 14 percent of each transaction.

In fact, college campuses were important enough to merit a mention as a potential source of earnings variability in the company's last annual report—"the effect of academic calendars on college campuses and seasonal patterns in restaurant dining." The company's net income more than tripled last year.