This week, the Princeton Review released the results of its annual college survey (registration required). For me the annual Princeton Review list of the “Best” college radio stations is a summer tradition. I like to see if any new schools made the list (sometimes I find out about college radio stations that way). Additionally, schools are always intrigued to see who ends up where in the rankings and college radio stations blitz social media when they spot their schools on the list. Even the Onion picked up on it this year, posting a hilarious piece about a fictitious prospective student who was making college decisions based on the radio station rankings.
I’ve been looking at these rankings for many years and as I’ve said before, this survey doesn’t assess the perceived quality of college radio stations, despite the “best college radio stations” headline atop the results. Instead, the ranking is based on survey responses among students who attend the 379 colleges included in the book. Students are asked how popular one’s college radio station is. Because of that, it’s more likely that schools with high profile stations, professionally-run stations, or multiple stations will make the list. As you can see from this year’s results, several schools on the list have multiple radio stations. There are no questions in the survey asking students to list the name of their radio station, so it’s impossible to know which station on their campus is really the most popular.
This year’s Best College Radio Station category (registration required), is pretty similar to last year’s list, with 13 of the same schools as last year and 7 new schools appearing on the list. One of those news schools for the 2015 edition, Chapman University, has been on the list as recently as 2013, while two other new schools, Denison University and Manhattanville College have popped up in prior years. Four new schools, including Rochester Institute of Technology, Suffolk University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Michigan Technological University, haven’t appeared during the years that I’ve been tracking (since the 2008 list).
The “most popular” college stations for 2015 are:
2015 Princeton Review’s Most Popular College Radio Stations
(note: I’ve added station names and call signs as the Princeton Review only lists school names. Schools in bold were not on the list last year)
1. Hofstra University (WRHU 88.7 FM, Hempstead, New York)
3. St. Bonaventure University (WSBU-88.3 FM, St. Bonaventure, NY)
6. Fordham University (WFUV 90.7 FM, Bronx, NY)
7. DePauw University (WGRE 91.5 FM, Greencastle, Indiana)
8. Union College (WRUC 89.7 FM, Schenectady, NY)
9. Rochester Institute of Technology (WITR 89.7 FM, Rochester, NY)
10. The College of Wooster (WCWS 90.9 FM, Wooster, Ohio)
11. Knox College (WVKC 90.7 HD2, Galesburg, Illinois)
12. University of Puget Sound (KUPS 90.1 FM, Tacoma, Washington)
13. Guilford College (WQFS 90.9 FM, Greensboro, NC)
15. Manhattanville College (WMVL 88.1 FM, Purchase, New York) Was on 2011 list
16. Suffolk University (Suffolk Free Radio, Boston, MA)
17. Denison University (WDUB 91.1 FM, Granville, OH) Was on 2012 list
18. Illinois Wesleyan University (WESN 88.1 FM, Bloomington, IL)
19. Chapman University (ChapmanRadio.com, Orange, California) Was on 2013 list
20. Michigan Technological University (WMTU 91.9 FM, Houghton, MI)
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