Daily Beast Ranks Penn State Only 89th In Things Students “Really Care About”

We’ve seen the numerous college rankings that attempt to systematically combine a variety of factors into one comprehensive list. Now, The Daily Beast has taken a unique approach, providing different lists “to rank schools on things students say they really care about.”

It’s an amusing exploration, featuring categories that factor in affordability, sex appeal, happiness of the student body, return on investment, rigor, and social life.

In its overall category, which The Daily Beast says combines “the most important factors when it comes to choosing a school,” Penn State ranks as the 89th-best college in the nation, ranking just behind San Diego State University, 23 spots behind Rutgers, and about 40 spots behind many other overall Penn State rankings, which doesn’t seem to make much sense. Eight Big Ten schools are found before Penn State.

Penn State cracks the top 25 in Biggest Party Colleges (at No. 23), Happiest Colleges (No. 18), and Sexiest Colleges (No. 24). The rankings feature an impressive amount of detail and telling statistics. For example, the university’s “raging party scene” scores an 8.8, while party girls (8.7) receive a higher rating than party guys (8.4). In the Sexiest Colleges poll, one factor is Trojan Sexual Health Ranking, in which Penn State comes in at a respectable No. 26.

Penn State ranked No. 11 in athletics and No. 8 in nightlife, accurate testaments to both the pride and debauchery that comes with State College weekends.

And then comes the bad news. Penn State is slotted at No. 130 for academics, No. 96 for campus quality, No. 98 for student life, and all the way down at No. 489 in diversity.

The Beast selects athletics, night life, and campus quality as the university’s three most salient categories. You can see it’s full methodology here, and peruse its findings here.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA


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