Wash. U.: The Happiest College in Missourah

Apr 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm
click to enlarge What a hap, hap, happy place! - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
What a hap, hap, happy place!

The Daily Beast taketh. A lot. Every week, it seems, the website comes up with another set of rankings designed to humiliate and anger St. Louisans. We live in the 21st craziest city with the 45th worst traffic jams in a state with the 44th ugliest people and the 13th most stressed college students.

But sometimes -- albeit rarely -- the Daily Beast also giveth. Our very own Washington University, home of those stressed-out students, has been ranked the 25th happiest college in America, no mean feat when one of the criteria for happiness was number of sunny daylight hours. (Stressed students, apparently, are not unhappy ones.)

The other criteria included quality of campus housing, quality of campus dining, amount of local nightlife, average freshman retention rate, average graduate indebtedness and number of student clubs and organizations.

Let's take a look at how Wash. U. fared in each category!

Campus dining: B+

Campus housing: A-

Nightlife: B+

Graduate indebtedness (avg.): n/a

Freshman retention rate: 96.5%

Total clubs/organizations: 200

Sunny days: 57

The hard numbers come from U.S. News and World Report, except for the weather, which comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The grades are according to the website College Prowler. (The A- seems a bit shabby for a school that offers TempurPedic mattresses in the dorms, but maybe they're bad TempurPedic mattresses, like only three inches thick or something.)

Wash. U. has the distinction of being the only university in Missouri to make the happiness list, though the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana squeaked in at number 96. The happiest college in America is Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, which has A+ dining and sunshine 73 percent of the time.