Princeton Review offers 'quality of life' rating for every SEC school
Vanderbilt is the best school in the SEC, according to The Princeton Review’s “Quality of Life” ratings.
The metric measures how happy students are with their lives outside the classroom on a scale of 60-99. Several factors are weighed, including students’ assessments of their overall happiness; the beauty, safety and location of the campus; the comfort of dorms; the quality of food; the ease of getting around campus and dealing with administrators; the friendliness of fellow students; the interaction of different student types; and the quality of the school’s relationship with the local community.
Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s college admissions guru, visits dozens of college campuses each year and meets thousands of students. His team surveys 130,000 students to get their unfiltered opinions about everything from campus life to best courses.
Here’s a look at where your SEC favorite school landed.
1. Vanderbilt (98): In terms of “Quality of Life” ratings, Vandy is the No. 10 university in the country, according to the The Princeton Review, which lists 380 schools. Vanderbilt students say “there is never a lack of opportunities for fun on campus,” which unfortunately didn’t apply to the Commodores last season on the football field. Derek Mason’s squad went 3-9 — including 0-8 in league play — the only SEC team to finish without a conference win.
T2. Auburn, Ole Miss (97): Sports (both watching and playing) “drive a ton of campus life and help unite the student body” at Auburn, one student told The Princeton Review. “Football Saturdays at Auburn are second to none,” said another. “I was looking for a large school with an SEC football team but also a good academic program,” said one Auburn student-athlete, who apparently found both. According to TPR, the average high-school GPA of Auburn’s 16,958 applicants this past year was 3.77.
“During football season, the Grove consumes our weekends. It’s an amazing experience!” said one Ole Miss student, an occurrence that more than likely won’t change when you consider that the Rebels go into this season with consensus All-Americans in offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.
T4. Georgia, Missouri (90): It seems only fitting that these teams would be tied in these rankings, especially since they have been battling for SEC East supremacy the last two seasons. “On Saturday afternoons in the fall, nearly everyone on campus is at the football game. It’s a way of life here,” said one Georgia student, who probably can’t wait to see Nick Chubb move up the Bulldogs’ all-time rushing lists in 2015.
According to TPR, all Missouri athletic events are “heavily attended,” especially football and basketball, although that may change this season if returning QB Maty Mauk keeps completing just 53 percent of his passes.
6. Texas A&M (89): “Saturdays in the fall are owned by football,” said one A&M student, which pretty much describes College Station and the rest of the SEC in a nutshell.
7. Arkansas (86): Sports, says The Princeton Review, and especially Razorbacks football, are things the campus takes very seriously. Ever since Jonathan Williams went down with a season-ending foot injury, it has been harder to take the Hogs seriously, but at least they still return fellow running back Alex Collins and quarterback Brandon Allen.
8. South Carolina (82): “School pride and traditions” are integral to the USC experience, according to the Princeton Review, especially on game day. Here, “football is a religion,” and, throughout the fall semester, “the whole student body spends all day Saturday tailgating” at Williams-Brice Stadium, where the Gamecocks had their 18-game home winning streak snapped by Texas A&M in last year’s season opener.
9. Tennessee (80): ”Students flock here for family history, athletics, and to sing ‘Rocky Top,’” TPR says. “We love football just about as much as academics,” says one of Tennessee’s 15,442 applicants this year, whose average high-school GPA of 3.79 was a notch higher than Auburn’s.
10. Florida (78): “A lot of UF culture is based around sports,” a student told TPR, which is something new Gators coach Jim McElwain is sure to find out if he hasn’t already.
11. Kentucky (70): It is TPR’s belief that Kentucky students “would be football fanatics if our team would win a game every now and then.” We know how you feel Wildcats fans, especially since your team hasn’t had a winning season since 2009, when it finished 7-6 after losing to Clemson in the Music City Bowl.
12. LSU (66): “On Saturdays during football season everyone is on campus before the game with friends, beer, and barbecue,” LSU students say. With a combination like that, and the Tigers’ winning ways during the Les Miles era, it makes us wonder why this rating is as low as it is.
Note: No “Quality of Life” rating was available for Mississippi State, but we’re guessing Bulldogs fans were pretty happy with last season when Dak Prescott and company got off to a 9-0 start and finished 10-3 after spending five weeks at No. 1. And in case you were wondering, Rice University is the No. 1 school on TPR’s list.