Today Newsweek magazine released its list of "2012's Best Colleges for You" and Carleton College is featured twice -- ranking as one of the top five "happiest" campuses in the nation, as well as one of the most "rigorous" colleges academically. The rankings reflect the Carleton's passion for working hard, while appreciating the importance of having fun and enjoying life both in and out of the classroom.
Of the nation's top 25 "happiest" campuses, Carleton College came in at #2. The happiest students, according to Newsweek, are those who got what they expected from their college of choice. Relatively immune to drop-outs and transfers, these schools also scored high marks for student opinion on satisfaction with the overall college experience and, if given the choice, would attend the same school.
Now in its third year, Newsweek's college-rankings package focuses on the quality of life at American colleges and universities and staff assessed schools by specific factors, both practical and existential. Long-term affordability. Student happiness. Colleges for students with a politically liberal bent or a conservative philosophy. Schools that provide the highest levels of academic challenge, and those that create the most stressful environments.
To create their rankings, they tailored the sources and methodologies to fit the topic. For half of the lists, Newsweek partnered with College Prowler, one of the most comprehensive online resources for information on colleges and student life. College Prowler provided data on student contentment, politics, campus culture, and peer opinion. Newsweek also culled information from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Institute for College Access & Success, PayScale, CollegeView, and the College Board.
Newsweek's complete "2012's Best Colleges for You" listing can be found here.