Author: Lucy Feickert
New college ratings released by The Princeton Review rank Occidental as No. 20 on their list of colleges with the happiest students. The Princeton Review ranks colleges on various factors and then chooses the top colleges in those categories.
This ranking is based on student responses to the question: “Overall, how happy are you?” The Princeton Review ranks the schools with the top 20 most happy and least happy students. Occidental is No. 20 on the “Top-20” list, but the ranking is actually out of the 377 colleges that The Princeton Review includes in its annual book of college rankings. The book is compiled from over 2,000 schools from which The Princeton Review collects data annually.
Students on campus seem to agree with the top 20 happiness ranking.
“I think it’s probably pretty legitimate. A lot of students here really like Occidental College . . . they’re happy with their college experience and the things that go on here,” geology major Colin Bloom (sophomore) said.
Even without a lot of experience or time on campus, first-years’ and transfer students’ happiness is apparent.
“That sounds pretty accurate to me,” Jaiden Dokken (first-year) said. “Not only do I [want to] be happy, but I want to surround myself with happy people too, so it looks like I made the right decision.”
Transfer students come to Occidental searching for their perfect school where they can find their own happiness. “When I first came here, I transferred [last fall], I was kind of suspicious because everyone was really nice and like really friendly,” studio art and geology double major Aya Gerpheide (junior) said. ”I actually think that Occidental has just done a really good job of collecting really nice, happy people.”
Though students complain about elements of the school and daily life, they are happy overall.
“I think that’s an interesting figure because it speaks to more happiness, maybe, than we thought we had,” CTSJ and ECLS double major Tania Flores (senior) said.
Each year, The Princeton Review collects data on academics at colleges, selects the top schools and sends surveys to students at those schools. The surveys include 80 questions in four categories including administration, academics and campus life. The Princeton Review compiles the survey results into profiles of the colleges and rankings.
Occidental College does not just have happy students, but also receives attention in other aspects in terms of college rankings.
The Princeton Review ranks Occidental as No. 14 on their list of schools with the most race and socioeconomic interaction, according to student reported answers on the same survey mentioned above. Occidental also made The Best Value Colleges (Private) list, which compiles information from surveys and other data considering undergraduate academics, tuition costs and financial aid.
The US News and World Report ranks Occidental as No. 39 overall (tied with Lafayette College) on their 2013 list of National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings. This ranking is based on data collected regarding graduation rates, faculty strength and academic excellence from quantitative values and surveys by students at the schools, according to The US News and World Report’s website.
Occidental is No. 22 in 2013 High School Counselor Rankings by The US News and World Report. High school counselors ranked schools on academics, faculty, curriculum and graduate successes to give each school a score on a scale of one to five. Occidental’s score is 4.3 out of five for 2013 and is an average of the scores from surveys in 2011 and 2012.
Unigo.com, an online college resource, ranks Occidental as No. 8 on a 2013 list of schools with the most unique traditions, providing the Birthday Dunk (into the Lucille Gilman Memorial Fountain) as an example of these unique traditions.
The Huffington Post ranks Occidental at No. 6 on their list of colleges with the most attractive campus and students. This ranking comes from research by College Prowler into the attractiveness of the students and Newsweek’s research on campus architecture and aesthetic. The scores were compiled for a ranking of overall beauty of schools, according to The Huffington Post.
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