Princeton Review ranks WU first for ‘Best College Dorms’

Tyler Sabloff | Senior Editor

Washington University was ranked number one in this year’s edition of the Princeton Review’s list of the “Best College Dorms.”

The University also ranked third for “Great Financial Aid”, “Best-Run Colleges” and “Best Campus Food.”

The list was published in the 2019 edition of “The Best 385 Colleges” based on the answers from an 80-question survey taken by 143,000 students across the country. These answers were compiled to create a list of the top 20 colleges over 62 different categories, broken down into eight major divisions: academics and administration, quality of life, politics, campus life, town life, extracurriculars, social scene and schools by type.

According to Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rob Wild, the current status of residential life has been the result of a concerted effort over the last 25 years to renovate dormitories.

“The residential life program at Washington University is really the product of a planning process that took place in the mid-1990s where Student Affairs leaders, faculty, students and academic leaders set out to create a unique residential experience for Wash. U. students,” Wild said.

Sophomore Lindsay Mitzner lived in Beaumont Hall last year and currently lives in Wheeler House. She believes that the ranking holds true for modern dorms, but not traditional ones.

“I think it’s true for the modern dorms, but having lived in a traditional dorm last year, it did not seem true at all. My dorm seemed worse than a lot of what my friends had at other schools last year,” Mitzner said.

Sophomore David Bromberg, who currently lives in Nemerov House and lived in Eliot House last year feels that the ranking is appropriate, but was concerned about other, more general ranking decreases in recent years.

“I think the ranking is pretty right. Our dorms are pretty nice; way bigger, more spacious than other colleges,” Bromberg said. “I also think we should be focusing on, while yes we do have the number one dorms, our U.S. News and World Report rankings have dropped over the last 10 years.”

The University ranked highly on similar dorm ranking lists, but has not topped the Princeton Review for dormitories since 2012. Since that ranking, College Hall has been renovated and the construction of Umrath House and South Forty House was completed in 2016.

Wild credits the University’s return to the top spot in the rankings to the finalization of several planned dorm renovations.

“I wouldn’t say we set out after 2012 to get back to number one or anything like that,” Wild said. “[But] the Lofts have been added to our portfolio as a great living option right in the heart of the Delmar Loop.”

Wild said that the University takes pride in its residential facilities, regardless of the rankings.

“I’m not sure we are always aspiring to be number one in every ranking, but it’s nice when you get recognized for all you’ve done,” Wild said.

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