JULY 29, 2008
Academy tops in sobriety, bad food
St. John's College gets good marks for student participation
By Earl Kelly, Staff Writer
If a straight-laced atmosphere is what you're seeking in a college, the Naval Academy ranks as the seventh most "stone cold sober" school nationwide, and No. 1 in the "least likely to have marijuana laying around" category, according to a new ranking of colleges.
The survey of 368 colleges was released yesterday by "The Princeton Review" and lists the Top 20 schools in 62 categories.
The University of Maryland-College Park has the best athletic facilities in the country, according to the survey, and the students go to events in droves. They have time for sports, according to the survey, because they don't study.
St. John's College ranked 12th in the country in "Everyone Plays Intramural Sports," and 13th in the "Intercollegiate Sports Unpopular or Nonexistent."
"The Princeton Review" surveyed 120,000 college students for this, its 17th annual college guide.
Unlike the famous annual ranking released each year by U.S. News and World Report, this survey lists the top colleges within categories, but does not have an overall rating of institutions.
"We are very adamant about not doing that because we believe there is no such thing as the best college," Seamus Mullarkey, editor of the Princeton survey, said in a phone interview yesterday. "We take a completely different approach, this is about the individual student … , the best fit for any particular student."
Students offered comments when responding to the survey, and a Naval Academy midshipman wrote, "We are here to defend liberty, not to enjoy it."
A chemistry major wrote, "The administration is what it is - deal with it," and still another described mids as "resilient, hard-working."
Not everyone was so sanguine, though, and one mid said, "Think of Stalin and Hitler having a child, and then that child running your school."
Another mid concluded, "The food will always suck."
That student wasn't alone in his assessment, and the Naval Academy scored 19th in the country in the worst food category.
But, as one mid noted, "Nobody here was drafted."
A Naval Academy spokesman declined to discuss the rankings except to say "The Naval Academy has nothing to add to 'The Princeton Review rankings.'"
Across King George Street, at St. John's College, a Johnnie wrote that the school was "exhilarating and exhausting," and another praised the faculty for being so well-educated they can "bounce from Newton to Leibniz to Baudelaire to Bach."
"There is little or no lecturing," one St. John's student wrote, noting that classes are run as seminars and not as traditional lectures. A fellow student said, "There is an almost snugly feeling of community here."
"The one thing Johnnies have in common is their love of learning and their love for thought," a junior stated in his comments.
The Naval Academy ranked 9th in faculty accessibility, and one student wrote that the professors are "some of the most caring and well-educated people in the world."
Naval Academy mids also ranked as the 12th most conservative students and 15th most active in intramural sports.
Out at the Air Force Academy, the professors ranked as the most accessible in the country.
Clemson University students were rated as the happiest students in the United States, while midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., ranked as the least happy.
The Merchant Marine Academy also ranked 2nd in giving profs low marks, 3rd in "Dorms Like Dungeons" and 3rd in worst food.
The Military Academy at West Point ranked in the top 20 schools in 11 categories, including 3rd in "More to Do on Campus" and 5th in professor accessibility, to 17th in students studying the most and 19th in least happy students.
West Point ranked No. 20 in "Dorms Like Dungeons."
The Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., also finished in the top 20 schools nationwide in 11 categories, ranging from 2nd in "Don't Inhale" and "Dorms Like Dungeons," to 16th in intramural sports.
The Coast Guard Academy also had the 2nd worst college library in the country, according to the report, and Coast Guard cadets ranked as 7th least happy students in the country.
Profs at Johns Hopkins University came in No. 6. in "Professors Get Low Marks," while students at Loyola College in Baltimore ranked their dorms as the most "like palaces" in the United States.
Not only did College Park rank first in athletic facilities, which include a deep-sea diving pool and a climbing wall, but they ranked second in popularity of intercollegiate sports, and second in students who studied the least.
College Park's student newspaper "The Diamondback" ranked No. 6 nationwide.
The University of Florida was ranked the No. 1 party school, beating out last year's title holder, West Virginia University.
Brigham Young University students ranked as the most sober and most religious, while Occidental College in Los Angeles ranked as the most liberal.
"The Best 368 Colleges" went on sale today for $21.95. For more information visit Page Not Found | The Princeton Review