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Princeton Review names most, least religious colleges

August 13, 2010

WASHINGTON

Brigham Young University was named the nation’s most religious campus, and Sarah Lawrence College the least religious, in new rankings released Aug. 3.

The Princeton Review released the 2011 edition of their yearly assessment of “The Best 373 Colleges,” which included rankings of the most and least religious students.

Mormon-owned BYU rose from second place in last year’s rankings. It also ranked first in the list of “Stone-Cold Sober Schools,” an honor which the school has held for 13 consecutive years.

All of the schools with the most religious student bodies hold some kind of church affiliation — including two Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related colleges, College of the Ozarks and Grove City College — other than the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, which came in 14th.

On the other side of the spectrum, Sarah Lawrence College in New York took the lead as having the least religious students, up from the No. 9 spot last year. Also in the top 10, in the No. 8 spot, is PC(USA)-related Macalester College in Minnesota.

“It is true that not very many of our students practice organized religion,” said Allen Green, dean of studies and student life at Sarah Lawrence College, “though we do have active, even growing, Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups and popular spiritual space.”

The rankings, he said, do not indicate that students face a difficult time making the right decisions. “Our students value moral and ethical principles including tolerance, diversity, respect, and honesty,” he said.

All the rankings included in The Princeton Review’s tome are compiled from approximately 122,000 survey results from students at the 373 schools surveyed. An average of 325 students commented from each school.

The question regarding religiosity on campus has been asked every year since the survey began in 1992.

Most religious students:

    1. Brigham Young University (UT)

    2. Thomas Aquinas College (CA)

    3. Wheaton College (IL)

    4. Hillsdale College (MI)

    5. University of Dallas (TX)

    6. Samford University (AL)

    7. College of the Ozarks (MO)

    8. University of Notre Dame (IN)

    9. Grove City College (PA)

    10. Baylor University (TX)

Least religious students:

    1. Sarah Lawrence College (NY)

    2. Bennington College (VT)

    3. Vassar College (NY)

    4. Eugene Lang College — The New School (NY)

    5. Reed College (OR)

    6. Bard College (NY)

    7. Bard College at Simon's Rock (MA)

    8. Macalester College (MN)

    9. Emerson College (MA)

    10. Hampshire College (MA)

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