It’s August, which means that droves of students proudly wearing college logo T-shirts will soon start to camp out in coffee shops across the city. No matter the school, you’ll hear them complain about unfair professors and looming exam dates. But, when it comes down to it, they’ll probably argue that their school is the best.
But what do they mean by the best? The best food? The best campus facilities? Or, maybe, the best parties? All of these are highly subjective survey areas, but that never stopped the Princeton Review from making these opinions into lists.
Since 1992, the Princeton Review, the organization that publishes those massive standardized test prep books, has also published college rankings. On Tuesday, the organization will release the 2016 edition of its book, The Best 380 Colleges.
To determine “the best’’ colleges, The Princeton Review surveys 136,000 students at 380 schools. It doesn’t pick one “best’’ overall school, but instead it creates 62 lists of “bests’’ and “worsts’’ that range from “great financial aid’’ to “best party schools.’’
Because only students at “380 top colleges’’ are surveyed, it’s hardly a conclusive list, given that the most recent numbers show there are about 4,700 degree-granting institutions in the country. Still, the surveys offer some insight into what life on campus is like at schools across the country.
Four Massachusetts schools earned the top spot on their respective lists. Emerson is the “LGBT friendliest,’’ Babson has the top entrepreneurial program, Brandeis has “students most engaged in community service’’ (which was a new category this year), and Becker College was the least politically active school.
Becker College isn’t the only Massachusetts school where students aren’t politically engaged. Assumption College and UMass-Amherst also made the top 10 list. Some other I-wouldn’t-brag-about-that rankings included Emerson’s No. 2 spot on “students who study the least’’ list, and Suffolk’s No. 9 spot on the worst financial aid list.
There was also good news for Boston in general. Both Boston University and Suffolk University made the top 10 list for best college city, which means Boston is representing itself as a great college town.
You can view all of the results on the Princeton Review site.
Related gallery: New England schools in the Forbes top colleges list