The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
According to its website, Princeton University—the top-ranked National University in U.S. News's Best Colleges rankings—considers its "closely knit and integrated residential community" one of its most distinctive characteristics.
It's no wonder, then, that Princeton tops the list of National Universities with the largest percentage of undergraduate students living on campus.
[Read five tips for getting along with your roommate.]
Of the 1,259 schools that provided campus housing data to U.S. News, an average of 48 percent of the undergraduate student body lives on campus. Ten of the schools that provided data on campus housing in 2010 said that their entire undergraduate student body lives on campus, while 52 reported having no undergraduate students living in campus dorms.
Of the 251 National Universities—87 of which are private universities, and 164 are public—that provided data about campus housing, an average of 38.5 percent of the undergraduate population lives on campus. Only one, University of Massachusetts—Boston, reported no undergraduate students living on campus.
[Learn more about how commuters can make campus feel like home.]
Princeton topped this list with 97 percent of its students living in campus dorms. Five other schools on this list fall within the top 10 of the U.S. News National Universities ranking—Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Yale University—while the lowest ranked school on the list was Stevens Institute of Technology (No. 88 in U.S. News's National Universities ranking).
Schools that were designated by U.S. News as Unranked were not considered for this report. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs, because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
[View a slide show of the top 10 colleges for housing.]
The table below highlights 10 National Universities with the highest percentage of undergraduates living in campus housing.
|School name (state)||Percent of undergrads living on campus||U.S. News national university ranking|
|Princeton University (NJ)||97%||1|
|Columbia University (NY)||95%||4|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||93%||5|
|California Institute of Technology||92%||5|
|University of California—San Diego||92%||37|
|Stanford University (CA)||91%||5|
|Yale University (CT)||88%||3|
|Dartmouth College (NH)||86%||11|
|Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)||85%||88|
|Vanderbilt University (TN)||85%||17|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find housing statistics, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2011 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists have no influence over U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.