Rice again ranked No. 1 for happiest students


B.J. Almond

New Princeton Review college guide also ranks Rice No. 2 for best quality of life

HOUSTON – (Aug. 21, 2012) – For the second year in a row, Rice University is ranked No. 1 for happiest students in the U.S. in the Princeton Review’s annual guide to the country’s best colleges.

“The Best 377 Colleges,” released today, also ranks Rice No. 2 for best quality of life, best-run college and students’ love of their school.

The rankings are based on the Princeton Review’s survey of 122,000 students at the colleges profiled in the book. The guide lists the top 20 schools for 62 categories, and Rice appears on nine of those lists, including No. 5 for relations between the city and university, No. 7 for lots of race-class interaction, No. 13 for great financial aid and for best athletic facilities and No. 14 for best health services.

“We are very pleased for the second year in a row that, based on student surveys, Princeton Review ranked our students the happiest in the country,” Rice President David Leebron said. “That is a reflection of the dedication of our faculty, staff and students to the overall student experience. We are also excited that we ranked No. 2 out of 377 schools in three additional categories: quality of life, love of our students for their university and how well overall the university is run. We pride ourselves on our sense of community and mutual support, which contribute immensely to the academic success and opportunities that are at the core of our students’ experience.”

Rice ranked No. 1 for best quality of life in the Princeton guide the past three years and also in the 2007 edition; it was No. 2 in this category in 2009 and No. 6 in 2008. Rice’s ranking for happiest students was also No. 1 in 2012 and No. 10 in 2011.

Rice offers “the most amazing balance of serious education and an unbelievable rewarding personal life,” wrote a student quoted in the guide’s profile of Rice. “Rice genuinely has a diverse community that accepts people of all backgrounds,” wrote another. The guide states that students cite the “Hogwarts style” residential college system as being key to this “geek chic” school. “Most Rice professors love what they’re doing, and you can tell that they are truly passionate about the material,” wrote one of the students surveyed. “They may show this by literally dancing around in the front of the classroom or by simply being available at any time to help the students.” Another wrote, “Academics are very challenging, but working hard will take you a long way.”

For more information about the new rankings, visit www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings.aspx.

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About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.