Universities With The Happiest Students


People are very concerned with personal happiness these days, and among young people, the pursuit of individual happiness is right up there alongside career success and straight As.

Articles abound with happiness advice – sometimes disguised as advice for living a stress-free or healthy life, but always citing overall happiness as a reason to do something, move somewhere, eat differently, or maybe even exercise. There are lists ranking everything from the happiest cities, to the happiest age group, to the happiest schools, and The Princeton Review is not to be left out. It lists the top 20 schools with the happiest students among its yearly university rankings.

The lists are compiled based on the survey question: “Overall, how happy are you?” In the past six years, 49 schools have made the list. Happiness appears to be fickle however, as only four schools made the list every year, and 17 of them were only listed once.

There is one consistency that can be used to infer fact, however. Nine of the listed schools are in California, making it by far the most commonly listed state. Tying for second are Massachusetts and New York with four schools each.

Here are the schools with the happiest students:

Ranking The ‘Happiest Students’ From 2015 to 2010


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2015 Rank & School2015 Rank2014 Rank2013 Rank2012 Rank2011 Rank2010 Rank
 Vanderbilt University 1 8 5 NR NR NR
 Claremont McKenna College 2 1 6 12 2 3
 Clemson University 3 12 4 2 5 2
 Tulane University 4 4 NR NR NR NR
 Virginia Tech 5 7 NR NR NR NR
 Rice University 6 2 1 1 10 8
 Kansas State University 7 6 8 NR NR NR
 Bowdoin College 8 10 2 5 9 5
 Vassar College 9 NR NR NR NR NR
 Hillsdale College 10 3 NR NR NR NR
 Whitman College 11 13 NR NR NR 15
 The College of Idaho 12 NR NR NR NR NR
 University of California – Santa Barbara 13 5 3 11 NR NR
 Yale University 14 14 NR 17 7 6
 Wheaton College 15 NR NR NR NR NR
 Wesleyan University 16 16 NR NR NR NR
 Pomona College 17 NR 10 9 NR NR
 Washington University in St. Louis 18 9 19 NR NR NR
 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering 19 NR NR 8 4 16
 Auburn University 20 NR NR NR NR NR
 Thomas Aquinas College NR 11 7 NR NR NR
 Loyola Marymount University (CA) NR 15 18 6 NA NR
 Southern Methodist University NR 17 15 NR NR NR
 Ohio University – Athens NR 18 NR NR NR NR
 University of Southern California NR 19 9 NR NR NR
 University of Mississippi NR 20 12 10 NR NR
 Stanford University NR NR 11 4 3 4
 Pennsylvania State University – University Park NR NR 13 7 17 NR
 Brown University NR NR 14 3 1 1
 University of Dayton NR NR 16 NR 16 13
 Hamilton College NR NR 17 16 NR NR
 Occidental College NR NR 20 NR NR NR
 University of Texas at Austin NR NR NR 14 NR NR
 Ohio Wesleyan University NR NR NR 15 NR NR
 Colgate University NR NR NR 18 6 17
 Tufts University NR NR NR 19 14 NR
 University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus NR NR NR 20 8 NR
 St. Michael’s College NR NR NR NR 11 NR
 College of William and Mary NR NR NR NR 12 14
 Colorado College NR NR NR NR 13 10
 Prescott College NR NR NR NR 15 NR
 Pitzer College NR NR NR NR 18 NR
 St. Mary’s College of Maryland NR NR NR NR 19 9
 Webb Institute NR NR NR NR 20 NR
 Stonehill College NR NR NR NR NR 7
 University of Alabama at Birmingham NR NR NR NR NR 12
 James Madison University NR NR NR NR NR 18
 Duke University NR NR NR NR NR 19
 Worcester Polytechnic Institute NR NR NR NR NR 20

Source: The Princeton Review

DON’T MISS: Schools With The Best Classroom Experience or The Princeton Review: 2015 Rankings