Maybe good weather isn’t as important as we thought. The happiest college students in the country are spread out everywhere, in a regions across the East, West, Midwest, and South.
Every year, The Princeton Review compiles a list of colleges with the happiest students. They send surveys to almost 400 schools across the country, asking the question, “Overall, how happy are you?” The results are all over the place for some schools, and pretty steady at others. Consistently at the top are Vanderbilt University, Rice University, Virginia Tech, Kansas State University, the University of California-Santa Barbara, Claremont McKenna College, and Clemson University.
In 2014, Vanderbilt released an article on their website addressing why their students are so happy. They chalked it up to five things: a good balance between academics and life outside the classroom, affordability, a non-competitive academic community, diversity, and the charms of the city of Nashville.
If personal happiness is important to you, and you’re in the process of picking a college, you may want to check out the schools on this list. Poets&Quants has compiled the most recent Princeton Review “Happiest Students” lists below.
Ranking The ‘Happiest Students’ From 2014 to 2017
|2017 Rank & School||2017 Rank||2016 Rank||2015 Rank||2014 Rank|
|University of Dayton||3||6||NR||NR|
|University of Iowa||5||NR||NR||NR|
|Kansas State University||6||4||7||6|
|University of California – Santa Barbara||8||12||13||5|
|Claremont McKenna College||10||3||2||1|
|St. Mary’s College of Maryland||12||5||NR||NR|
|The College of New Jersey||13||NR||NR||NR|
|University of Vermont||14||NR||NR||NR|
|University of Oklahoma||15||NR||NR||NR|
|The College of William & Mary||16||NR||NR||NR|
|Lake Forest College||17||NR||NR||NR|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||19||NR||NR||NR|
|Saint Anselm College||20||NR||NR||NR|
|Washington State University||NR||14||NR||NR|
|Southern Methodist University||NR||15||NR||17|
|Loyola Marymount University||NR||17||NR||15|
|The College of Idaho||NR||NR||12||NR|
|Wheaton College (IL)||NR||NR||15||NR|
|Washington University in St. Louis||NR||NR||18||9|
|Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering||NR||NR||19||NR|
|Thomas Aquinas College||NR||NR||NR||11|
|Ohio University – Athens||NR||NR||NR||18|
|University of Southern California||NR||NR||NR||19|
|University of Mississippi||NR||NR||NR||20|
Source: The Princeton Review