Monday, April 5, 2010

Washington University Among the Most Stressful Colleges in America

Posted By on Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Be nice to Wash. U. students. They're really stressed out.
  • Be nice to Wash. U. students. They're really stressed out.
Another day, another ranking.

This one involves rating which of the nation's top 50 campuses are the biggest pressure cookers, of which Washington University placed No. 13 -- in between Yale and Dartmouth. Stanford is the leading stress factory, followed by Columbia University, M.I.T., the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard.

The findings were published this morning in The Daily Beast, based on five criteria employed by Ken Anderson, chairman of best practices at the American College Health Association.

Anderson says moving away from home for the first time and starting a a rigorous academic program can contribute to high stress, and stress tends to be higher at campuses with a "student body that in general is more the type-A characteristic type of student."

Adds Anderson: "Students who go into the sciences and engineering programs, in general, they're probably going to be a little higher across the board stress level-wise students."

Anderson's used these factors in his ranking methodolgy:

* Cost: Financial pressures can be withering, and Anderson weighted tuition and board at 35 percent. (The total cost at Wash. U. is $51,193 a year.}

* Competiveness: Just how rigorous are the are the academic standards at a particular college? And again, this factor was weighted at 35 percent. 

* Acceptance rate: How difficult is it to gain entry to the college of ones choice?  This was weighted at 10 percent. (Wash. U.'s acceptance rate is 21.7 percent.).

* Engineering: Is the school renown for its exacting engineering program? Weighted at 10 percent. (Wash. U. placed 35 of the 50 colleges ranked.)

* Crime on campus: By using The Beast's crime analysis and data  from the U.S. Department of Educatiom, Wash. U. placed 46.

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