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 & School2017 Rank2016 Rank2015 Rank2014 Rank
Montana Tech of the University of Montana172010
New Jersey Institute of Technology2331
United States Coast Guard Academy3415NR
United States Naval Academy4694
Clarkson University59109
University of Hawaii at Manoa6546
United States Merchant Marine Academy7222
McGill University88NR11
Simmons College9NRNRNR
Illinois Institute of Technology1010616
Marlboro College11NRNRNR
University of California – Berkeley12NRNRNR
University of Mary Washington13NRNRNR
Wheaton College (MA)14NRNRNR
University of Louisville15NRNRNR
Transylvania University16NRNRNR
St. John’s University1711NR17
University of New Orleans181316NR
California State University, Stanislaus1914NRNR
Portland State University2016NRNR
Manhattanville CollegeNR1511
United States Military AcademyNR12135
Wesleyan CollegeNR15NRNR
Duquesne UniversityNR177NR
City University of New York – Queens CollegeNR18NR14
Alfred UniversityNR1912NR
Indiana University of PennsylvaniaNR20148
Marywood UniversityNRNR17
Suffolk UniversityNRNR8NR
State University of New York – Stony Brook UniversityNRNR11NR
City University of New York – Baruch CollegeNRNR173
The University of South DakotaNRNR18NR
The Catholic University of AmericaNRNR19NR
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and ArtNRNRNR13
University of MaineNRNRNR15
Rider UniversityNRNRNR18
Wesleyan University (GA)NRNRNR19
University of North DakotaNRNRNR20

Source: The Princeton Review