Why do college students eat ramen? It’s cheap, fast and yummy

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Ramen noodles have long been associated with college students. They are convenient, quick, and cheap food that is well-loved by busy people.

Ramen noodles are not the healthiest food around, but they are a great way to get a quick, filling meal that is budget-friendly.

Why do college students eat ramen? It's cheap, fast and yummy

College students are usually busy attending classes, studying or working, and are usually on a tight budget so any convenience food is often welcome.

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Reasons college students eat ramen

There are many factors that lead college students to eat ramen. Some of these factors are listed here.


Instant ramen is one of the cheapest foods available. You can usually get a full serving of instant ramen for less than a dollar.

Many college students are on a tight budget – with paying for tuition, housing, and books, there is often not much money left over for more expensive meals.

Eating ramen is a good way to save money on food, even though it is not the healthiest option, and it’s not a good idea to live on ramen alone.


Instant ramen is really delicious, almost addictively so. You can get a variety of flavors, ranging from chicken to beef, vegetable to miso.

There are also a ton of brands to choose from, with the most popular being Nissin’s Top Ramen and Maruchan Noodles, and the flavors are endless.

The salty, umami flavors of the ramen are a crowd favorite! Everyone can enjoy ramen, and there is a flavor or brand for everyone.

Easily available

You can purchase ramen noodles just about everywhere. You’ll be able to find them in any grocery store, at convenience stores, and probably even at the dollar store.

No skills required

You don’t need to have any cooking skills to make instant ramen.

Most college students are living away from home for the first time, and most of them have no idea how to cook.

Instant ramen gives college students the chance to eat a meal without having to purchase fast food or learn how to cook.

No kitchen required

Many college students live in dorms without access to a proper kitchen. This makes it nearly impossible to cook a full meal, so ramen is a good option.

All you really need for instant ramen is a kettle or microwave and some water, so it can be made in even the tiniest of dorm rooms.

Alternative to the cafeteria

Most college students who live in a dorm get their meals from a cafeteria, or from fast food places on campus.

These choices can be good, but many students get sick of them after a few months. Having some ramen in their dorm room can be a great alternative when they don’t feel like taking something from the cafeteria.

Time saver

College can be really busy. Many students attend classes, study, may work part-time, and then want to spend their free hours at parties with friends.

Preparing instant ramen takes about 5 minutes, between boiling the kettle and letting the noodles cook in the water.

This makes a really convenient and quick option between classes, while studying or before heading out for a social gathering.


Ramen noodles are quite filling, at least for a short period of time.

They are high in carbohydrates, which can make your stomach feel full. It is worth it to note though that ramen noodles contain very little protein and fibre, two components which help to keep you full.

After you eat ramen, you are usually full for an hour or so, but you might begin to feel hungry soon after due to the lack of fibre and protein in the meal.

Easily customizable

Some college students like to use instant ramen as a base for a larger meal.

If they have access to a kitchen, they can add boiled eggs, vegetables, or meat to bulk up the nutrition and satiety of the meal.

Even with some additions and ramen toppings, it is still very affordable and makes a great starting point for a filling meal.

Great late-night snack

Very few things make a better late-night snack than salty, rich instant ramen!

College students are known for staying up late into the night, whether they are studying or out at a party.

Instant ramen is a great solution to this for all the reasons listed above – it is a cheap snack, easy to make, delicious, and requires very little time and effort.


Ramen noodles are one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest food options out there.

Busy college students, many with no knowledge of cooking, enjoy them because they can make them in just a few minutes, and they’re delicious.

Most college students living in dorms do not have access to a kitchen, so eating ramen is a way to feel like you are eating something “homemade” without having to cook.

Always eating from the dorm’s cafeteria can get old quickly and buying fast food on campus can get pricy.

Next question answered: Will Ramen Noodles Soften in Cold Water? Let’s find out

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.