Useless Rankings: Brown ranked thirteenth on list of “happiest freshmen”


The U.S. Department of Education recently released a list of the top 25 freshmen retention rates of private colleges and universities. The difference between consecutive rankings here comes down to a fraction of a percent—Brown has an average retention rate of 97.5 percent, coming in at an unlucky a respectable thirteenth place. According to a Yahoo! news report, this officially renders Brown the school with the thirteenth happiest freshmen. The equivalency being presumed between retention and happiness can be easily deconstructed and dismissed, but it’s easier just to point out how irrelevant Yahoo! is.

Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones that mark these statistics as a measure of our  happiness—HuffPo and CBS News, among others, do the same. We always find it disconcerting when studies attempt to calculate the amount of happiness someone has (or a group people have), but in this case it is particularly discomforting as Princeton is ranked happiest. Sorry, but if this letter situation is happening at your school, you can’t win the happy-go-lucky award. Also, Princeton sorta just sounds sad. (Whoever said orange was the new black was seriously disturbed.)

We commend these sites for trying to gauge our happiness, but laugh at their shortcomings. Continue Reading

Princeton band surprises Ratty breakfast, students still asleep

The (two) students in the Ratty got a treat for breakfast this morning. No, not crepes again or cupcake day—just Princeton’s Marching Band storming the dining hall.

The small huddled masses of hungover sleepy students got renditions of Tequila, 99 Luftballoons and Rock Lobster delivered in boater hats and orange-black checker blazers (though they might have needed more pieces of flair).

Reception ranged from amused to are-you-fucking-kidding-me. Gail, however, seemed to enjoy herself.

Earlier this morning, the marching band also brought the gift of music to the equally desolate Rock, which had the added enjoyment of observing a tuba player get stuck in the revolving door.

It wasn’t nearly as cool as Drumline.

Harvard and Princeton to restore early action programs

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post

After going four admissions cycles without an early admission option for prospective students, Harvard and Princeton announced yesterday that they will be restoring their early action plans.  Both reinstated programs will allow prospective students to apply in the fall through a non-binding application process.

The admissions offices at Harvard and Princeton announced in September 2006 that they would be eliminating their early admission programs due to the fact that they catered mostly to students from high-income families and purportedly led to increased stress on high school seniors.  In the last several years, however, the early application pool at other universities appears to be skewing less towards privileged students, according to Harvard President Drew Faust.

A Thousand Words: Men’s Basketball Upsets Princeton but Loses to Penn

Photos by Sam Rubinroit/Herald[nggallery id=24]

Another way to measure college preferences

Sarah Forman writes in today’s Brown Daily Herald about the University’s spike in applicants in the last few years. But the article notes that most other highly selective schools are getting similar attention, leading to a decrease in matriculation rates. A prominent college consultant told The Herald that about 95 percent of her students would choose Yale over Brown if they got into both schools. There’s no way to know for sure, but this 2005 study details preferences more specifically. Faced between Princeton and Brown, 73 percent of admitted students would choose Princeton; between Brown and Columbia, 56 percent would matriculate to Brown, according to the mathematical estimate. Read more in the next few weeks about how Brown is branding itself.

Life is hard.

While Brown students are lounging at home or partying it up on Spring Break, it seems that our compatriots still can’t get over how hard life is. What is it this time? The Daily Princetonian’s three-part examination of “stress as a way of life.”