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Princeton Review’s 2013 List of the “Best” College Radio Stations

Princeton 2013 Survey's College Radio Question

Princeton 2013 Survey’s College Radio Question

Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges, 2013 Edition has hit the shelves, bringing with it a brand new list of the “best” college radio stations in the United States.

The guide collects the results of mostly online surveys conducted with more than 122,000 students at the 377 institutions included in the book. An average of 324 students per school are interviewed for the 80+ question survey.

As I mentioned two years ago, a survey question asks students to assess their school radio station’s popularity. This year’s question reads: “How popular is your college radio station?” and the respondents are allowed to choose from the following multiple choice options: “we have a college radio station?”, “we occasionally tune in,” “popular in some crowds,” “always playing somewhere,” or “everyone’s tuned in.”

Since the college radio rankings are based on answers to this question, the results can’t be viewed as respondents’ perception of the quality of a station. Despite that, they are categorized in the book as falling under the category of “best college radio station.”

I’ve also mentioned previously that since radio stations aren’t mentioned by name in the survey, it’s impossible to know which station students are providing feedback about. In some cases schools have multiple radio stations, so the results really can’t be looked at as an endorsement of a specific radio station. Six schools on this year’s list have multiple radio stations, including Howard University (with a commercial FM station and a student station on HD3 and on a campus television network) University of Kansas (with a student-run radio station and a public radio station), Brown University (with a commercial and a non-commercial station), Emerson College (with an online-only station as well as a public FM station), Ithaca College (with an online-only student station and a non-commercial FM student station), and Sacred Heart University (with a student station and a public radio station).

This year’s Best College Radio Station category (registration required), is pretty similar to last year’s list, with 14 of the same schools as last year and 6 new schools appearing on the list. Even the 6 new school have all been featured on this list in the past few years, so the 2013 list doesn’t introduce any new schools that haven’t been featured since at least 2009.

The complete list for 2013 is listed below (for comparison, here are the lists from the 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 editions of Princeton Review). The “most popular” college stations for 2013 are:

2013 Princeton Review’s Most Popular College Radio Stations

(note: I’ve added station names as the Princeton Review only lists school names. Schools in bold were not on the list last year)

1. Emerson College (WERS 88.9FM and WECB, Boston, MA)

2. DePauw University (WGRE 91.5 FM, Greencastle, Indiana)

3. Ithaca College (WICB 91.7 FM and VIC Radio, Ithaca, New York)

4. St. Bonaventure University (WSBU-88.3 FM, St. Bonaventure, NY)

5. Seton Hall University (WSOU 89.5 FM, South Orange, NJ) (was on 2011 list)

6. Hofstra University (WRHU 88.7 FM, Hempstead, New York)

7. Westminster College (WWNW 88.9 FM, New Wilmington, PA)

8. Brown University (BSR and WBRU, 95.5 FM, Providence, RI)

9. University of Puget Sound (KUPS 90.1 FM,Tacoma, Washington)

10. Evergreen State College (KAOS 89.3 FM, Olympia, WA) (was on 2009 list)

11. Guilford College (WQFS 90.9 FM, Greensboro, NC) (was on 2011 list)

12. Bates College (WRBC 91.5 FM, Lewiston, Maine) (was on 2010 list)

13. Knox College (WVKC 90.7 FM, Galesburg, Illinois)

14. Sacred Heart University (WHRT and public radio station WSHU-FM, Fairfield, Connecticut)

15. Fordham University (WFUV 90.7 FM, Bronx, NY)

16. University of Kansas (KJHK 90.7 FM and public radio station KANU 91.5 FM, Lawrence, Kansas)

17. Howard University (WHUR 96.3 FM and WHBC Washington, DC) (was on 2011 list)

18. The College of Wooster (WCWS 90.9 FM, Wooster, Ohio)

19. Skidmore College (WSPN 91.1 FM, Saratoga Springs, NY) (was on 2010 list)

20. Chapman University (ChapmanRadio.com, Orange, California)



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8 Responses to Princeton Review’s 2013 List of the “Best” College Radio Stations

  1. benjamin wilder August 24, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    from 1977 to 1985 the wasn’t a more popular, professional, diverse or better in any way college radio station than WMUA-FM University of Massachusetts Amherst,.. but the students caved to pressure from the administration to allow university control and the talented voices of freedom and musical diversity moved on so now it’s an average college station.. One of the things that distinguished it was that it was on air 24/7 365 days a year. Their aren’t many like that in the country. m Now WERS is professionally run, but the content isn’t far from Commercial radio stations so I wouldn’t really call them a college station. they are a farm team for commercial top 40 radio. the best College station in Boston for content is WZBC Boston College. Benjamin Wilder ex Program Director WMUA FM and long time DJ and life long student of diverse music.

    • Vincent February 21, 2013 at 2:48 am #

      YEahhh WZBC ALL DAAAY!!!

  2. Marshall Stax August 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Hmmm.. guess there’s something about UC Berkeley’s KALX-FM that keeps it off this list year after year… guess I’ll have to listen even more: http://kalx.berkeley.edu/ to try to guess what’s “wrong!”

  3. Roscoe August 28, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    Way to leave the 2012 MTV Woodie award winner off the list.

    wasufm.com!

  4. Roscoe August 28, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    oops, wasuradio.com forgot about that change.

  5. Son December 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I wrongly assumed that it was in the US at first. To discover it was here in the UK is quite saddening.

  6. tehrdbl February 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    KGRG-FM & KGRG-1, Auburn, WA (Seattle-Tacoma) should be on the list.

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