Universities With The Happiest Students


People are very concerned with personal happiness these days, and among young people, the pursuit of individual happiness is right up there alongside career success and straight As.

Articles abound with happiness advice – sometimes disguised as advice for living a stress-free or healthy life, but always citing overall happiness as a reason to do something, move somewhere, eat differently, or maybe even exercise. There are lists ranking everything from the happiest cities, to the happiest age group, to the happiest schools, and The Princeton Review is not to be left out. It lists the top 20 schools with the happiest students among its yearly university rankings.

The lists are compiled based on the survey question: “Overall, how happy are you?” In the past six years, 49 schools have made the list. Happiness appears to be fickle however, as only four schools made the list every year, and 17 of them were only listed once.

There is one consistency that can be used to infer fact, however. Nine of the listed schools are in California, making it by far the most commonly listed state. Tying for second are Massachusetts and New York with four schools each.

Here are the schools with the happiest students:

Ranking The ‘Happiest Students’ From 2015 to 2010


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2015 Rank & School 2015 Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Rank 2012 Rank 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
 Vanderbilt University  1  8  5  NR  NR  NR
 Claremont McKenna College  2  1  6  12  2  3
 Clemson University  3  12  4  2  5  2
 Tulane University  4  4  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Virginia Tech  5  7  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Rice University  6  2  1  1  10  8
 Kansas State University  7  6  8  NR  NR  NR
 Bowdoin College  8  10  2  5  9  5
 Vassar College  9  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Hillsdale College  10  3  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Whitman College  11  13  NR  NR  NR  15
 The College of Idaho  12  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
 University of California – Santa Barbara  13  5  3  11  NR  NR
 Yale University  14  14  NR  17  7  6
 Wheaton College  15  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Wesleyan University  16  16  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Pomona College  17  NR  10  9  NR  NR
 Washington University in St. Louis  18  9  19  NR  NR  NR
 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering  19  NR  NR  8  4  16
 Auburn University  20  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
 Thomas Aquinas College  NR  11  7  NR  NR  NR
 Loyola Marymount University (CA)  NR  15  18  6  NA  NR
 Southern Methodist University  NR  17  15  NR  NR  NR
 Ohio University – Athens  NR  18  NR  NR  NR  NR
 University of Southern California  NR  19  9  NR  NR  NR
 University of Mississippi  NR  20  12  10  NR  NR
 Stanford University  NR  NR  11  4  3  4
 Pennsylvania State University – University Park  NR  NR  13  7  17  NR
 Brown University  NR  NR  14  3  1  1
 University of Dayton  NR  NR  16  NR  16  13
 Hamilton College  NR  NR  17  16  NR  NR
 Occidental College  NR  NR  20  NR  NR  NR
 University of Texas at Austin  NR  NR  NR  14  NR  NR
 Ohio Wesleyan University  NR  NR  NR  15  NR  NR
 Colgate University  NR  NR  NR  18  6  17
 Tufts University  NR  NR  NR  19  14  NR
 University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus  NR  NR  NR  20  8  NR
 St. Michael’s College  NR  NR  NR  NR  11  NR
 College of William and Mary  NR  NR  NR  NR  12  14
 Colorado College  NR  NR  NR  NR  13  10
 Prescott College  NR  NR  NR  NR  15  NR
 Pitzer College  NR  NR  NR  NR  18  NR
 St. Mary’s College of Maryland  NR  NR  NR  NR  19  9
 Webb Institute  NR  NR  NR  NR  20  NR
 Stonehill College  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  7
 University of Alabama at Birmingham  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  12
 James Madison University  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  18
 Duke University  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  19
 Worcester Polytechnic Institute  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  20

Source: The Princeton Review

DON’T MISS: Schools With The Best Classroom Experience or The Princeton Review: 2015 Rankings

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