Universities With The ‘Least Happy’ Students

It’s never good to make a list like this one. Once a year, The Princeton Review ranks the universities with the least happy students — the students who just aren’t finding fulfillment at their chosen school. And while there’s a fair amount of turnover, a few schools are making the list every year. Regulars include the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, the United States Naval Academy, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Clarkson University, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

While The Princeton Review‘s “quality of life” rankings are based entirely on student surveys, a study conducted in 2014 shows that the rankings can actually affect application numbers. A school that makes the “happiest students” list will see applications go up an average of 2.9%, while a school that makes the “least happy students” list will see applications go down by 5%.

The survey is sent to students at nearly 400 universities, and this ranking is determined by answers to the question, “Overall, how happy are you?” To see which schools made the list over the past four years, check out the chart below.

Ranking The ‘Least Happy Students’ From 2014 to 2017

2017 Rank & School 2017 Rank 2016 Rank 2015 Rank 2014 Rank
Montana Tech of the University of Montana 1 7 20 10
New Jersey Institute of Technology 2 3 3 1
United States Coast Guard Academy 3 4 15 NR
United States Naval Academy 4 6 9 4
Clarkson University 5 9 10 9
University of Hawaii at Manoa 6 5 4 6
United States Merchant Marine Academy 7 2 2 2
McGill University 8 8 NR 11
Simmons College 9 NR NR NR
Illinois Institute of Technology 10 10 6 16
Marlboro College 11 NR NR NR
University of California – Berkeley 12 NR NR NR
University of Mary Washington 13 NR NR NR
Wheaton College (MA) 14 NR NR NR
University of Louisville 15 NR NR NR
Transylvania University 16 NR NR NR
St. John’s University 17 11 NR 17
University of New Orleans 18 13 16 NR
California State University, Stanislaus 19 14 NR NR
Portland State University 20 16 NR NR
Manhattanville College NR 1 5 11
United States Military Academy NR 12 13 5
Wesleyan College NR 15 NR NR
Duquesne University NR 17 7 NR
City University of New York – Queens College NR 18 NR 14
Alfred University NR 19 12 NR
Indiana University of Pennsylvania NR 20 14 8
Marywood University NR NR 1 7
Suffolk University NR NR 8 NR
State University of New York – Stony Brook University NR NR 11 NR
City University of New York – Baruch College NR NR 17 3
The University of South Dakota NR NR 18 NR
The Catholic University of America NR NR 19 NR
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art NR NR NR 13
University of Maine NR NR NR 15
Rider University NR NR NR 18
Wesleyan University (GA) NR NR NR 19
University of North Dakota NR NR NR 20

Source: The Princeton Review