Applicants to Harvard and Yale may be interested to know that the two universities ranked a the top of “Newsweek’s” and “The Daily Beast’s” list of happiest schools. And how do “Newsweek” and “The Daily Beast” rank the happiest schools? Well, such factors as campus housing grade (how students at the respective universities rank the dormitories), nightlife, average graduate indebtedness, average freshman retention rate, student-teacher ratio, campus dining grade, number of student clubs and organizations, and daylight hours that are sunny.
Last year, Claremont McKenna topped the list followed by Harvard, Pomona, Rice, Harvey Mudd, Scripps, Stanford, Caltech, Yale, Bowdoin, MIT, Occidental, UCLA, Haverford, Wellesley, University of California – Irvine, Colorado College, Brown, Davidson, and Boston College. This year, Yale wins the rankings followed by Harvard, Rice, Stanford, Bowdoin, Pitzer, Occidental, Colby, Emory, University of California – Davis, Southern Methodist, Rollins College, Hamilton, UCLA, USC, Cornell, Wellesley, Colorado College, Smith, and James Madison.
One can’t help but notice a ton of California universities in the top spots. Maybe that number of sunny days per year factor needs to go to create a more geographically balanced ranking! Besides, Denmark isn’t exactly a tropical paradise and yet the Danes are frequently ranked at the very top for the happiest country on earth! We think social psychologists should thus have a say in the happiest schools in the country ranking!