UT Ranks As One Of Country’s ‘Happiest Colleges’

Our Longhorn instincts have been scientifically proven — UT officially ranks as one of the country’s happiest colleges.

Well, if not scientifically, then empirically. 

The Daily Beast has ranked the 100 Happiest Colleges in the Country, and UT makes the list at No. 23, outranking Princeton, Dartmouth, Berkeley, and USC.

The high-profile blog factored in everything from the food and lodging on campus to the nightlife and number of sunny days in Austin.

Smartly, it also included freshman retention rates and the indebtedness levels of graduates.

Highlights: We got an A+ for nightlife. Our number of clubs and organizations — 900 — was also impressive, as was our freshman retention rate of 92.2 percent.

California schools, with their 70-plus percentages of sunny days, rank well (Claremont McKenna College is No. 1, and Pomona College is No. 3). So do the Ivies (Harvard is No. 2). A fellow Texas school, Rice, comes in at No. 4.

The rankings seem to favor private colleges. Excluding Caltech and MIT as specialized schools, the only traditional state schools that outrank UT are UCLA and UC-Irvine.

A hint that we’d do well in a ranking like this came last year, when UT came in at a chill 47th on the Daily Beast‘s list of 50 most stressed-out schools.

A more established college research organization, the Princeton Review, only goes through the top 20 as it ranks ‘happiest students,’ and UT doesn’t appear on that list. The Princeton Review does give us high marks for career services, college newspaper, politically active students, athletic facilities, town-gown relations, and yes, partying.

For those of you concerned with methodology, here are some details about how the Daily Beast went about its work.

Whether or not these findings would hold up in a lab or a courtroom, we like ’em.



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