(NEXSTAR) – Academia is all well and good, but it’s certainly better with a view. The Princeton Review has released its rankings of the 25 prettiest college campuses in the country, as determined by a survey of over 160,000 students from colleges and universities across the nation.
The results come as part of the Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” publication, which seeks to rank higher-education facilities by “Best Classroom Experience,” “Best Athletic Facilities” and even LGBTQ-friendliness, among dozens of other categories.
The rankings, according to the Princeton Review, are to be viewed as a tool to help college applicants choose a school based on their interests and the qualities they find most important.
“Since 1992, when we debuted our multiple ranking lists as an alternative to a single academics-only mega list, our mission has been to give students a more useful resource to find the best college for them,” Rob Franek, the editor-in-chief of the Princeton Review, said.
But if students are purely in it for the aesthetics, they can’t go wrong with the University of San Diego (not to be confused with the University of California, San Diego), which took the top spot for “Most Beautiful Campus” on the 2023 list. Students gave USD high marks for its weather, beach-adjacent location, and a “campus so beautiful [that] most students spend time outside,” according to the Princeton Review.
Rounding out the top five were Bryn Mawr College, in Pennsylvania; the University of Richmond, in Virginia; Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles; and Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.
A complete list of the top 25 “most beautiful” campuses can be found at PrincetonReview.com.
All of the Princeton Review’s rankings are based on the survey results from more than 160,000 current students at 388 colleges throughout the country. Each student is instructed to answer 85 questions about their school’s academics, campus life and student body, and final rankings in any given category are based on students indicating “a very high consensus of opinion” in one of 50 different categories.
The Princeton Review itself also selects which colleges are chosen to participate — 388 in total for the 2023 edition — based on data its staff has collected (on the school’s offerings, faculty, etc.), recommendations from its advisory board, and student evaluations, according to Franek.
Additional information on the review’s methods, as well as its ranked lists in 49 other categories, can be found at the publication’s website.