Schools With The Happiest Students In 2019

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Both positivity and negativity can be contagious. So why not surround yourself with positivity and positive thinkers? 

In The Princeton Review’s 2019 survey of the best colleges, one of the questions they asked students was how strongly they agreed with the statement, “I am happy with my school.” And at the top of the list of schools was the College of William and Mary, a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. 

Perhaps notable is the fact that the College of William and Mary also made it to more than 15 other Top-20 lists by The Princeton Review. It placed second on the list of schools with lots of race and class interactions and the list where students love their colleges. The school came in fifth place for having a beautiful campus, sixth on the list of best schools for internships, and seventh on schools where students were most engaged in community service. Other Top-20 lists the institute made it to were for schools with the best career services, best quality of life, most popular study abroad program, impact schools, LGBTQ-friendly, best science lab facilities, best college theatre, and best college library. 

At the “Public Ivy,” students say the school “does a great job networking their students with alumni,” which include a wide range of past and present reputable names like “Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler, [and] Jon Stewart.” The Cohen Career Center “does a great job placing students” at internships and full-time work, and the school has “a powerful reputation” that “allows employers and graduate schools to feel comfortable with W&M student’s abilities to perform in a real job situation.”

Students also say that William and Mary is a place where it’s okay to be “pretty nerdy,” or “quirky” and “fun,” where everyone gets that learning is “not just for grades or jobs but [for] developing and satisfying your curiosity.” One student said: “When we stress ‘One Tribe, One Family,’ we aren’t just doing it for the postcards.”

In second and third place on the list of schools with the happiest students is the University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University, respectively.


At the University of Oklahoma, the love for sports ties many of the students together. The school came in fourth place on the list of schools where students pack the stadium, and students say that with their strong athletic teams, they frequent football games and athletic events “just for fun.” Greek life is also “very important” at the University of Oklahoma. There are 27 social sororities and 27% of students are part of one. About 23% participate in intramural sports and 2% in collegiate sports. The Division 1 school has 10 sports teams for men and 11 for women, including golf, gymnastics, tennis, and basketball for both genders. 

Vanderbilt University has done extremely well on the top-20 ranking lists by The Princeton Review, including being first on the list for having great financial aid. The school, based in Nashville, also came in third for quality of life and beauty of their campus, fourth for their college city and connections with their community, and sixth place in the lists of best-run colleges, where students love their colleges, and for having lots of greek life. Other lists they made it to celebrated their athletic facilities, campus food, college dorm, students internship rates, community service engagement by students, and high-quality professors as rated by students.

The Princeton Review conducts the survey by reaching out to students at almost 400 colleges nationwide. Check out the list we’ve compiled below of all those who made the list over the past few years.


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