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Princeton Review's Bogus College Radio Rankings

It’s time for my annual rant about the Princeton Review college survey! Every year they survey college students from all over the land (at 371 colleges this time around) in order to learn more about campus life for their “Best Colleges” guide that they market to high school students. 300ish students on average are surveyed per school and they are asked a range of questions about academics, food, the social scene, etc.

What irks me is that they hype some of their lists as one thing, when they are really another.

Although they ask college students, “How popular is the college radio station?” the top 20 list (you have to register on the Princeton Review site to see it) is headlined “Best College Radio Station” (with “How popular is the radio station?” on the second line).

Because of this, college radio stations get to proclaim that they were named “Best College Radio Station” by Princeton Review. Kind of deceptive….when it’s actually just a popularity contest AND when the survey doesn’t even specify the names of the radio stations (some campuses have more than one—so it gets left to them to fight over who gets bragging rights over the survey results).

Additionally, there are many college radio stations that will never appear in the rankings since students at their schools have not been surveyed. This includes my own station, KFJC at Foothill College.

According to the brand new 2010 survey, Ithaca College has the most popular radio station (although they have two: WICB and VIC Radio). You can see the complete list on Spinning Indie, along with results from 2009 and 2008.

Oh, and did I mention that the online listing only has 19 stations, as they inexplicably left off poor #3. Any guesses on who it could be?

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