Your brief posting history seems to indicate repeated attempts to disparage Princeton. Such an attempt, on the basis of the quality of student life at Princeton, would be a HUGE mistake. Princeton has always been known, as the MSN Encarta survey below reveals, to have among the happiest students in the nation. Here is an excerpt from the MSN Encarta national survey:
"Top 10 Schools with the Happiest Students"
While the factors that go into creating a college campus full of "happy" students may vary, one thing is for certain: some schools do a better job of it than others. Observing the attitudes of the students on campus will tell you more about a school than all the brochures you've read, virtual tours you've taken, and conversations you've had with eager admissions officers. While you'll still need a campus visit to seal your impressions, The Princeton Review's survey of 120,000 college students for the Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition, revealed the top ten schools with the happiest students.
1. Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington)
At Whitman College, the sheer variety of opportunities to have fun keeps students happy. One student reports, "There is always a ridiculous amount of things going on around campus. Sometimes the trouble is choosing what you are going to do or having time to do all of the things you are interested in. There are tons of clubs (and some really odd ones, like the Ender's Game Alliance and the Flight Club) to get involved in and lots of musical performances, plays, parties, speakers, etc."
2. Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
"The social scene is a lot like the academic scene" at Brown "in that there is a huge variety of options, and people tend to experience most of them. From hanging out to cocktail parties, from hippies partying in their co-ops to kids studying in the library, from fraternity parties to watching a movie, everything you can imagine doing for fun happens." Students agree that "Brown is a school that definitely parties, and Wednesday night through Sunday students here are partying," but not until they get their schoolwork done.
3. Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)
"Clemson football and tailgating are the most amazing experiences of college," most Clemson undergrads agree, noting that "Saturdays in the fall there is no question where everyone is." Aside from their intensity for football, "Clemson students approach life 'Southern style': We're pretty laid-back, we like to have a good time, we work hard, and we have pride." The surrounding area offers plenty in the way of outdoor activity, as "Lake Hartwell borders the campus. We're about a half hour from great hiking and mountain biking, and the weather is great most of the time, so we spend a lot of time outdoors."
4. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
Princeton University students love that they are in good company. One student writes, "I have friends who are Presidential Scholars, stayed with the UN Secretary General in Paris over fall break, produced hip-hop CDs, or represented different countries at the Olympics. Back home, I would have thought it amazing if I could meet just one of these people. If I stopped thinking of my friends as friends and thought of what they have accomplished, it's mind-boggling and a little humbling."
5. Stanford University (Stanford, California)
It's true that Stanford students "work hard" but they "play hard, too." At Stanford, playing hard comes in various forms. One prominent form, of course, is partying. On any given Friday (or Saturday) night, "You can find most students heading out to one of the many parties that are held around campus." Others choose to hit "local bars/clubs, and, on occasion, [ride] into San Francisco" for the city's nightlife. Given the "perfect" weather, it's hardly surprising that undergrads also like to take it outdoors for a good time. "Running, swimming, and sunbathing are some of the more common outdoor activities."
6. University of Tulsa (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
All students here complete the cross-disciplinary Tulsa curriculum that one student says "has been incredible in helping me learn to think in a variety of ways, and connect thoughts across curricula." One undergrad explains, "TU is pretty laid-back in my opinion because they trust us to be adults, and we haven't abused their confidence so far." A freshman from California says she had a bit of "culture shock. The fried food and the popularity of football freaked me out at first. But the Oakies take you in." Nearly everyone is "very serious and passionate about what we are studying."
7. The College of New Jersey (Ewing, New Jersey)
The TCNJ campus "is gorgeous, with tree-lined paths and brick buildings in the Georgian Colonial style," though some students wonder whether construction will ever end." Extracurricular options are varied here. Those involved in the Greek scene say it's "always available and fun." We're told the Greeks and the sports houses are the location of many off-campus parties. Tuesday, a.k.a. "Tuesday Booze Day," is one of the big party nights here. That's because "the school doesn't offer a lot of classes on Wednesday."
8. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)
Students love how Bowdoin "embraces the intellectual experience in a balanced, healthy way, so that its students are generally very happy. There is an awareness that in college, learning comes from everywhere, so there is a real effort by the Bowdoin administration as well as Bowdoin students to bring speakers, events, and entertainment to the campus so that students can learn in every way possible." Extracurriculars are part of the constant learning; students here "are always doing at least one if not ten things at a time."
9. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
Yale is extremely demanding academically, but students here still find time for plenty of extracurricular enrichment and fun. One student reports, "People generally study Monday through Thursday, and oftentimes have extracurriculars in the evenings. On the weekends, people tend to study during the day and go out at night." Undergrads tell us that "art, music, theater, and sports are huge, loved, and well funded, as are organizations such as the Yale Daily News, the Slavic Chorus (a cappella is huge here), Just Add Water (a comedy troupe), and the fire-juggling club (best Halloween show in the world!)."
10. Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, California)
What do students at TAC think about in their free time? Well, they ponder the usual questions, like, "What is life? Why are we here? What makes the heavens move? Can you prove that God exists?" In general, writes a senior, "Life at Thomas Aquinas College is focused around the academic program," which means that the questions spurred in class regularly carry into Friday and Saturday nights. Official campus parties, such as formal dances and banquet dinners, are also in line with this focus. Off-campus activities "whether it be drinking in the woods or going to the opera, also complement the program."
Hey deter1, thanks for your boosterism. I'm sure an outsider browsing these forums would like to see a richer picture of life at Princeton than the one you get through college guides or alumni from fairly well-to-do backgrounds. Moreover, I could just as easily pull the card that certain posters (i.e. you) give a one-sided view of Princeton in the positive direction, ignoring some inconvenient facts about the school. Finally, you don't actually address the core problem identified by the survey, which is that it appears certain segments of the student body feel left out of Princeton's social scene, despite a high level of student satisfaction, and this sentiment is decently correlated with class (it's VERY interesting they neglected to mention race, but an educated guess would probably say that this also divides the institution).
What does this survey say we don't already know? Rich people are happier. Rich people have more opportunities. Duh. Where does this not occur? The fact that Princeton did a survey to address the issue and is now trying to think of steps to correct it says a lot.
Not only are Princeton students among the happiest in the nation but they also are tops in "QUALITY OF LIFE" as well. Here is an excerpt from an MSN Encarta report detailing such.
"Top 10 Colleges with the Best Quality of Life"
A college education isn't just about the lessons learned in the classroom. The quality of life at school--from campus location, to the quality of food, to the friendliness of students--will determine whether the four years you spend as an undergraduate are memorable or miserably unforgettable. For the Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition, The Princeton Review surveyed 120,000 college students to find out how they rated the overall quality of life at their schools. The following ten schools came out on top.
1. Macalester College (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Mac students often cite the Twin Cities as one of their main reasons for choosing the college. The area, they agree, is "very cool, with lots of opportunities for culture." Mac is located in Saint Paul, in "a great neighborhood for the bored college student, with lots of neat shops and restaurants and when we get tired of Grand Avenue, we can explore the rest of the Twin Cities with their stellar music scene and great sporting events."
2. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)
Extracurriculars are part of the constant learning experience at Bowdoin College; students here "are always doing at least one if not ten things at a time." Physical activity is part of the mix and many students participate in Outing Club events, hiking, whitewater kayaking, and rafting at nearby parks. "It seems like almost everyone is on a sports team, so during the week most people find a release there." Students tell us that "on the weekends, there is a lot of partying (and with that comes a lot of alcohol)," but "it's not excessive."
3. Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington)
Some students feel the town is "Whitman's biggest drawback," but many observe that "being in such a small town forces the campus life to be amazing." By most accounts, campus life is just that. One student reports, "There is always a ridiculous amount of things going on campus. Sometimes the trouble is choosing what you are going to do or having time to do all of the things you are interested in. There are tons of clubs (and some really odd ones, like the Ender's Game Alliance and the Flight Club) to get involved in and lots of musical performances, plays, parties, speakers, etc."
4. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
Eating clubs, a phenomenon unique to Princeton, "are the center of social life" at this "country-club-like school." One student explains how they work: "During daytime, the clubhouses serve as a place for upperclassmen to dine. (You don't have to join one because they are a bit costly.)" Many hail the clubs "as great places to party because there is always somewhere to fit in. Because everyone parties on one street it is impossible to go out and not see someone you know." Another adds, "The best part is that even though Princeton is a small town, there is a train station on campus that takes you to Philly or New York in 45 minutes."
5. St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota)
At St. Olaf College, "Campus life is centered on campus, not in the town of Northfield." "While Northfield is an extremely nice town," students say, "we just don't get off campus much. Being on a hill creates what we call the St. Olaf Bubble--it's not the real world." It's also not a dull world. The school "has plenty of stuff going on. The student government brings in many activities--concerts, free movies, speakers--and it's not too hard to find something to do or someone to hang out with." Students here "tend to be active in some kind of organization."
6. Rice University (Houston, Texas)
"Hands down, the residential colleges system and lack of Greek life make Rice an incomparably tight-knit, unique, spirited school," students here report. The colleges "dominate the social scene, holding parties almost weekly, usually with various themes such as its two largest: Night of Decadence (NOD) (synonymous with 'campus-wide undergarment party') and Bacchanalia, complete with togas. Other parties include 80s or Pimps and Hos. Each week a different college sponsors "Pub Night" with free drinks and pizza. Parties are well-attended, and dancing is very popular."
7. Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)
Washington life strikes a balance of "great academics, good sports, a medium size, yummy food, a breathtaking campus, nice dorms, friendly people, and financial assistance." Students here are "extremely bright" and believe they have brains to spare if they decide to drink their weekends away. Though management has started down "a path to make the campus dry," undergrads are currently able to "break into a philosophical or political debate in the middle of a game of beer pong."
8. Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, California)
"Some say CMC should stand for Club Med College, because it's fun in the sun and a great place to learn," but the nickname probably puts too much emphasis on "Club Med" and too little on "College." Students here work hard; they "focus intently on schoolwork Monday through Thursday, plus they usually have jobs on-campus doing anything from research to tutoring to technology assistance. They also know how to kick back and relax, though, often with the help of the administration, which "is very lenient in its alcohol policy, as long as we're all responsible with what we do."
9. University of Tulsa (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
"In general, academics come first for most students" at TU, "but many students enjoy unwinding on the weekends by going out to local bars (to hear several popular local bands), or heading to a nearby party." The Greek houses are popular party destinations, but so, too, are dorm rooms, off-campus apartments, and the greater Tulsa area, where "there is a burgeoning bar and nightclub scene downtown." The party scene is happening without getting out of hand, students tell us. One undergrad explains, "TU is pretty laid-back in my opinion because they trust us to be adults, and we haven't abused their confidence so far."
10. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Needham, Massachusetts)
A popular saying used to describe student life at Olin goes like this: "Choose two: work, sleep, fun." The majority of students choose the first and the last because "an Oliner at rest is an unhappy Oliner." The "entrepreneurial spirit is strong" here, leading many people to choose to spend what little free time they have "working on cool projects" like "hacking the thermostat in their room" and "playing with lasers and circuits." Another student remarks, "There are definitely typical college parties with drinking games," and "Clubs and student organizations put on a lot of activities."
Actually if you've taken any basic statistics and psyc course you'd realize the survey and conclusions are fundamentally flawed. If you've also worked for GS and spent all your summer manipulating data to show a desired conclusion you would also recognize several strage phenomenon on both the survey and the way they present the results.
Prospective students- If you think you're smart enough for Princeton, then you should be smart enough to work out the flaws of both the survey and conclusions- both of which are attached below: