These are the best colleges for sports, financial aid and partying

Christopher L. Eisgruber addresses a gathering at Princeton University, in Princeton, N.J., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. The school was included in a new list of the 380 best colleges. (AP)

What's the most important factor in choosing a university? Posh dorms? A pretty campus? A generous and easy to access financial aid system? No matter what you're looking for in higher education, there's a school for you. The Princeton Review has released its 2016 list of the best colleges around the country.

Happiest College: Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University


The Nashville school was followed closely behind by Virginia Tech and Claremont McKenna College. "'The campus is beautiful' and 'the people-staff, students, professors-are warm and welcoming,'" one Vanderbilt student told The Princeton Review.

Great Financial Aid: Princeton University

Princeton University


The New Jersey Ivy League institution was ranked to be the best school for great financial aid. "[The school] offers one of the strongest need-based financial aid programs in the country, ensuring that all qualified students, regardless of financial need, can afford to attend," according to The Princeton Review.

Students Pack The Stadiums: Clemson University

Clemson fans cheer on their Tigers during the ACC Championship game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bank of America Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Sports fans may want to consider enrolling at this Ohio institution, where students had the most school athletic pride. This category was determined by the survey question "How popular are intercollegiate sports at your school?"

Party Schools: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In this Jan. 27, 2014, file photo, students walk between buildings on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Ill.


Party schools were ranked on students' answers to survey questions on topics like the use of alcohol and drugs at their school and popularity of fraternities and sororities.

Students Study The Most: Harvey Mudd College

Student work in a group to problem solve during a chemical and thermal processes class at Harvey Mudd College on October 27, 2014 in Claremont, Calif.


Students at this Claremont, Calif. college noted the school's rigorous academic offerings. "You feel really smart before Mudd, you feel really stupid during Mudd, and after Mudd you feel like a genius," one student told The Princeton Review.

Not all of the rankings were praiseworthy, though. College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. was ranked to have the worst dorm offerings. "While 'some of the buildings are very old and sketchy,' 'in a few years that won't be the case because they have plans of renovation and construction,'" one student told The Princeton Review. Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas were ranked to have the least happy students and least beautiful campus, respectively.

You can see some of the best college rankings below. Check out The Princeton Review for the full list.

Best Financial Aid

1. Princeton University
2. Yale University
3. Vassar College
4. Pomona College
5. Claremont McKenna College
6. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
7. Stanford University
8. Thomas Aquinas College
9. Trinity College
10. University of Virginia

Best Quality of Life
1. Rice University
2. Bowdoin College
3. Claremont McKenna College
4. Virginia Tech
5. Scripps College
6. Kansas State University
7. Southern Methodist University
8. Dartmouth College
9. Whitman College
10. Vanderbilt University

Most Beautiful Campus
1. Rollins College
2. Southern Methodist University
3. Rhodes College
4. St. Mary's College of Maryland
5. Pepperdine University
6. Scripps College
7. Elon University
8. Florida Southern College
9. Colgate University
10. Bennington College

Party Schools
1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2. University of Iowa
3. University of Wisconsin-Madison
4. Bucknell University
5. Syracuse University
6. University of California--Santa Barbara
7. West Virginia University
8. University of Georgia
9. Tulane University
10. Colgate University

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