Photo courtesy of Flyer News.
Lucy Waskiewicz | Contributing Writer
The Princeton Review is in.
The University of Dayton scored high spots in multiple categories of the 2023 set of university rankings by The Princeton Review. The education services company ranked UD in the top 25 schools across the nation for lists including “Best-Run College,” “Best Quality of Life,” “Best Campus Food,” “Best College Dorms” and “Happiest Students.”
UD also made appearances in non-ranked categorizations, including “Best Midwestern,” “Best Value Colleges,” “Colleges That Create Futures” and “Green Colleges.”
“Of particular note, among the 50 colleges and universities that are called out as ‘Colleges that Create Futures,’ UD is one of only two Catholic universities,” said UD Provost Paul Benson. “This reflects in a powerful way UD’s mission, our emphasis on integral education of the whole person in the Catholic and Marianist tradition.”
The rankings are part of The Princeton Review’s annual publication of a college guidebook titled “Best Colleges.” The book rates and profiles 388 colleges and universities across the country according to student survey results.
The Princeton Review’s profile of UD highlighted strengths in campus life and the student body. It quoted students who described their peers as “very friendly and welcoming to others,” and a common mentality to “work hard and have fun.”
Students around campus had thoughts on The Princeton Review’s rankings of UD.
“I one hundred percent agree,” said junior Hannah Wabel. “I love Dayton more than anything. I will go on about it to anyone.”
Junior Hans Rottman said he does not know many students who do not enjoy their experience at the university.
“They meet good people, are able to connect with peers, learn from qualified professionals and are overall happy,” Rottmann said.
Rottmann disagreed with other rankings.
“I think that Dayton’s food is very good. I enjoy it a lot and have no problem eating on campus and think it has a good amount of options for its size. However, I do not think it is a top 25 campus food school in the country,” Rottmann said. “I also think dorms are not top 25 in the country. They are not super modern and can be on the smaller side in the cases of Stuart and Marycrest.”
“Best Colleges” is marketed as an up-to-date guide for the millions of students that will enroll in college each year. But do its rankings carry much weight in terms of college marketability?
“Rankings are not the only thing prospective students look at when choosing a college or university, but they can pique students’ interest to further explore a school, which creates possibilities for us to build deeper relationships with students and families during the recruitment process,” said UD President Eric Spina. “We think these rankings can be of particular interest to prospective students because The Princeton Review’s rankings are based on feedback from our current students.”
Junior and campus tour guide Abby Rutila said she agreed that the rankings are a good talking point with prospective students and their families.
“I agree [with the rankings], and as a tour guide on campus I tell people about them to get them to come here,” Rutila said.
The Princeton Review ranks its 388 colleges and universities in 50 different categories. Student opinions are at the core of each institution’s respective ratings and profiles. Its website details the process of gathering data.
“Most of our ranking lists are based on students’ answers to one survey question, such as ‘How do you rate your campus food?’” the website reads. “Some, such as our ‘Best Classroom Experience’ list, are based on students’ answers to more than one question.”
Provost Benson had thoughts on The Princeton Review’s system of surveys.
“It is important to bear in mind that these rankings are subjective,” Benson said. “They are based on students’ responses to survey questions. These rankings also present broad generalizations and do not address the experience of every group of UD students.”
You can check out UD’s full profile on The Princeton Review’s website.