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)
2. DePauw University (WGRE 91.5 FM, Greencastle, Indiana)
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)
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)
15. Fordham University (WFUV 90.7 FM, Bronx, NY)
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)