Schools With The Best College Dorms

Commencement at Washington University in St. Louis
Photo by Mark Katzman

For most college students, enrolling often means leaving home for the first time. And for the vast majority of those moving out of home, the dorm will be home for at least the first year of school. Sure, students may not spend a lot of time in their rooms with all the freshmen activities and networking they’ll need to engage in, but no one really wants to sleep in a cramped space with a common bathroom with a perpetual line for a three-minute shower. So if you’re a student looking for the posh dorm life, look no further than The Princeton Review’s list of best college dorms.

According to The Princeton Review’s 2018 survey, Washington University in St. Louis has the best dorms. Students say that the school has support systems that “help ease the college transition immensely.” An example is “South 40 Living,” also known as “The Forty,” because it is forty acres large, located just south of the school’s Danforth Campus, where 3,200 first- and second-year students live. While there are triple and single rooms, most of the rooms here are double rooms, with two rooms sharing a restroom.

On online business website Unigo that matches students with majors, scholarships, loans, and internships, a Washington University student wrote: “The dorms are palaces. My side of the room is bigger than my room at home! You have a choice between modern and traditional dorms. Traditional has the typical communal bathroom for the whole floor. Modern dorms (most of the dorms on campus) are all suites, meaning four to six people will share one to two bathrooms. All the dorms have Tempurpedic mattresses and are paired with a sophomore dorm that you can move into sophomore year.” Another student who identified himself as being a senior at Washington University wrote: “Palatial. Seriously — it’s kind of out of control how nice they are. Furthermore, the school is in a perpetual state of building and rebuilding,” Other students have told The Princeton Review that the dorms are basically “five-star hotels.”


Other than Washington University’s place at the top of the dorm list with over 7,000 students enrolled, the schools in second, third, and fourth place have under 2,000 students enrolled. They are Bowdoin College, Scripps College, and Bryn Mawr College, respectively.

In 13th place on the list is The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, with by far the largest number of students enrolled. With 33,305 students, the public research university is working on a new 166,989-square-foot, $51.2 million dorm that is scheduled to be completed this month. The campus currently has 35 residence halls housing about 8,400 students. Interestingly, Pomona, California, which rests just east of Los Angeles and at the base of the peaks in the Angeles National Forest had two colleges on the list — Scripps College and Pitzer College.

The Princeton Review conducts the survey by reaching out to almost 400 colleges nationwide and asking students the question: “How do you rate residence halls/on-campus housing?” To find out which colleges have the best living spaces, check out the list we’ve compiled below of all those who made made the best dorm list over the past four years.


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