The best quality of campus life is at Rice University, according to student surveys used for the Princeton Review’s 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges.”
In addition to ranking No. 1 for best quality of life, Rice is No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students.
Princeton Review tallied the rankings from surveys of 137,000 students attending the 382 best colleges in the book in 2016-17 and/or the previous two academic years. The surveys included 84 questions about academics, administration, the student body and the students themselves. The college guide published the top 20 schools in each category. Along with three rankings in the top 10, Rice was cited in six other categories in the top 20:
“We’re especially delighted that based on student surveys, Rice University ranks No. 1 for best quality of life and for interaction among students of different ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We are also very pleased that we ranked No. 2 for happiest students, and in the top 20 for health services, food, dorms, beauty of our campus and quality of administration. It’s reassuring to know that these rankings are based on our students’ experiences, and that our students appreciate the hard work of our staff. And congratulations to the Thresher, which made its debut in these rankings as the 12th-best student newspaper in the country.”
The profile in the college guide notes that Rice “manages to foster ‘great research’ along with an ‘unbeatable sense of community'” and attributes much of that to the residential college system. The guide states that Rice provides students with a variety of “experiential learning opportunities such as internships and civic engagement” and that Rice undergrads “work extremely hard” but manage to balance schoolwork with clubs, organizations and social events. Students enjoy exploring Houston’s restaurants, art museums, theater, ballet and opera as well as playing sports for their residential colleges and attending fun events on campus. The guide also notes that students “value that many of their peers come from ‘diverse backgrounds,'” which “leads to an ongoing exchange of new perspectives and opinions.” According to the guide, what Rice undergrads love most is that they have classmates who are “caring.”
Last year the Princeton Review ranked Rice No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 9 for best quality of life.