The Princeton Review, an annual publication which catalogs, measures, and ranks many aspects of the higher education experience in an effort to assist prospective students in their decision making, released its notorious annual lists today, ranking America's colleges and universities against one another in a multitude of categories. These categories focus on everything from Greek life and student studiousness to campus beauty and student religiosity - that is to say, nearly everything that most prospective students are interested in when making a higher ed decision.
Ole Miss cracked the top-20 in nine different categories, as well as earned a spot on the Review's "Best 376 Colleges" - prestigious? - and "Best Southeastern Colleges" lists. What were those categories, you ask?
- #14 Party Schools - Number fourteen?! How'd that happen? We are a powerhouse at partying! We're a damned party dynasty! We're the USC of partying! Somebody needs to be fired over this. Coming in at number one for this category was West Virginia, with UGA and Florida coming in at #5 and #6 respectively to lead the SEC.
- #17 "Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution" - What does that mean? Well, it's a fancy way of saying "most conservative." The Princeton Review explains that schools on this list "are those at which surveyed students' answers indicated: their personal political persuasions to be very conservative, low levels of acceptance of the gay community on campus, high levels of popularity for student government on campus, and a very religious student body." The counterpart for this group was the "Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians," and no I am not at all making that up. Hillsdale College in Michigan was number one in this group with only Auburn raking higher in the SEC.
- #12 Happiest Students - This explains itself. It's great to be an Ole Miss Rebel. Students at Rice were listed as happiest, with only Vanderbilt ranking higher than Ole Miss in the SEC at #5.
#15 Lots of Greek Life - Also self-explanitory. Even if Greeks at Ole Miss are technically in the minority, social life on campus and student government is dominated by fraternities and sororities, causing the Greeks to seem more numerous than they actually are. DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana was ranked number one here. Vanderbilt was ranked number two, and highest in the SEC.
#4 Most Beautiful Campus - The transformation Ole Miss has undergone in the past twenty years has been incredible. With new student housing and academic buildings along with rebuilt and redesigned pedestrian areas, all of which are flanked by numerous gardens and trees, the Ole Miss campus feels more like a large wooded park than anything else. This ranking was the highest in the SEC. In fact, no other SEC school cracked the top twenty. Florida Southern (?) was number one.
#12 Students Pack the Stadiums - If by "pack" you mean "get there halfway through the first quarter only to leave sometime during the third," then yeah, our students pack the shit out of Vaught-Hemingway. Hey, nobody said these rankings were perfect. Of course, if Swayze Field were taken into consideration, then perhaps Ole Miss does deserve a nod here. Florida and Auburn were ranked higher than Ole Miss, with Florida at #4 and Auburn at #8. Notre Dame came in first.
#19 Most Religious Students - Would it shock you to know that BYU comes in first here, with schools like Thomas Aquinas College, Notre Dame, and Baylor in the top ten? Auburn came in at #12 and Texas A&M at #13.
#5 Students Study the Least - You're all so damn lazy, you know that? Number one was Alabama. South Carolina and Florida were also in the top-20.
#11 Town-Gown Relations are Great - This ranking is basically a "how well do students blend in with local life" type of ranking. To determine these rankings, the Princeton Review surveyed students with this question: "How well do students at your college get along with members of the local community?" Considering the Oxford Board of Aldermen and the Oxford Police Department and, like, their existence, I'm stunned that actual Ole Miss students answered this so favorably. Then again, the folks pouring drinks at the Library frying eggs at Big Bad Breakfast are "members of the local community", so there's that. Clemson was ranked number one on this list, with Auburn coming at #13 as the only other SEC member in the top-20.
So, if the rankings of the Princeton Review are to believed, Ole Miss has the third-hardest partying, second-most conservative, second happiest, second-most Greek, third-most sports obsessed, third-most religious, second laziest students in the Southeastern Conference, all of whom are peerless in conference when dealing with locals and townies. All of this, again per the Princeton Review, takes place on the SEC's most beautiful campus.
Not too bad, y'all.