The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt ranks first in Princeton Review’s best quality of life, drops in other categories

The university’s ranking in other categories, such as great financial aid and happiest students, dropped compared to previous years.
Anseley Philippe
A rooftop view of Vanderbilt’s campus, as photographed on Nov. 11, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Anseley Philippe)

Vanderbilt ranked highly in multiple categories on The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges 2024 rankings, including ranking No. 1 in quality of life. However, the university’s ranking fell significantly in a few other categories, including great financial aid and happiest students.

Through an online survey, The Princeton Review gathered the opinions of 165,000 students from the 389 schools across the U.S. to determine its rankings. The questions focused primarily on four categories: academics/administration, college life, peers and themselves. To ensure that a college does not receive an extremely misrepresented ranking, each school is sent an early copy, prior to publication, of the college’s profile, to which they are able to report objections and corrections.

In an email to The Hustler, a university representative said the university considers the rankings’ methodology when determining if they accurately portray the student experience. 

“Princeton Review’s methodology is based on small sample surveys of a few hundred students at each school with no consideration of other data points,” the representative said. “We believe Princeton Review confirms that Vanderbilt delivers a great experience to students, but we don’t worry too much about year-on-year rises and drops.”

Top rankings

Beyond Vanderbilt ranking No. 1 in quality of life, it also ranked No. 13 in most beautiful campus and No. 15 in best college newspapers. Despite only being on campus for a few weeks now, first-year Emily Cha said she agreed with the university’s No. 1 quality of life ranking.

“[Vanderbilt] is a social, welcoming and inclusive environment where all students and staff seem to be content and engaged,” Cha said. 

The university also scored highly in the best campus food and best student support and counseling services categories, receiving rankings of No. 6 and No. 2, respectively. 

First-year Beatriz Antunes said she believes that it is clear Vanderbilt cares about its students, particularly via the first-year move-in experience. 

“I am reassured by such positive rankings and hope that they will encourage future students to feel confident in their choice to attend Vandy,” Antunes said.

A university dining representative told The Hustler that they are honored to be recognized in the Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food List. 

“We take pride in our commitment to providing value through the highest quality, best-tasting, most nutritious and diverse menus possible,” the representative said. “We welcome student feedback through direct conversations with Dining staff, participation in the Dining Advisory Board and other options, including email and our Text & Tell program.”

Vanderbilt also ranked No. 2 in best student support and counseling services. In a statement offered by the UCC to The Hustler in April, a representative said during the UCC’s transition from VUMC to the Student Care Network, community engagement — especially with Vanderbilt’s historically underserved communities — was extremely important.

“Since that time, the UCC has worked toward breaking down barriers to seeking mental health care and wellness support, reducing stigma and enhancing the health of the communities most impacted by public health disparities and discrimination,” the representative said.

Drops in rankings

The drop in rankings for a few of the other categories, such as great financial aid and happiest students raised concerns for other students. This year, the university ranked No. 19 and No. 22, respectively, in these categories, compared to last year’s rankings of No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Senior Rithwik Guntaka said that a drop in happiest students was “expected.”

“Based on the conversations I’ve had with other students, they all agreed that a No. 1 ranking doesn’t really reflect the Vanderbilt student population right now,” Guntaka said.

Junior Lamiya Adri emphasized the benefits of Vanderbilt’s financial aid, despite the lower ranking. 

“I have seen my peers love Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt offers great support to students with financial aid to students in need,” Adri said.

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About the Contributors
Swarada Kulkarni, Staff Writer
Swarada Kulkarni (‘27) is majoring in neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. Outside of writing for The Hustler, she enjoys singing, reading books and exploring new restaurants with her friends. She can be reached at [email protected].
Anseley Philippe, Staff Writer and Photographer
Anseley Philippe ('25) is a potential biomedical engineering and Spanish double-major who aspires to be an immunologist. Outside of The Hustler, he can be found queuing up at 2301, wandering around campus during his evening promenades or trying to keep up with his Spanish. He can be reached at [email protected].
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