Wellesley College, a private institution with total undergraduate enrollment of 2,481 students, ranks seventh in the 2014 edition of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. Wellesley has a breathtaking natural environment in the classically New England town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Students can choose from more than 150 student organizations on campus. Instead of sororities, Wellesley has societies that serve as social and academic clubs. Housing is guaranteed for incoming freshmen, and the majority of students live in Wellesley's 21 residence halls throughout their four years. Wellesley has a cross-registration program with MIT, offering students a greater range of courses. The college has a strong science program, including the nation's second oldest physics lab and there is a student-teacher ratio of 7:1 and a freshman retention rate of 95 percent.
Going to college is one of the most significant experiences of your life. In fact, college is as much an experience as it is an education. Your freshman year is pivotal in determining the kind of experience you will have in college. A positive first year will greatly increase your likelihood of staying at your school and earning your degree. Not such a good year? You might find yourself looking to transfer to a new school. While transferring isn’t the end of the world, it is a headache: you have to start everything from scratch, make new friends, get to know a new place, and reestablish yourself all over again. In order to avoid the headache of a transfer, it’s important that you find a school at which you’ll be happy your freshman year. To help with that, we have ranked the top 50 schools with the happiest freshmen.
The primary criteria for our ranking are freshman retention rates. But you will notice that many of these schools have the same percentage of freshman that return for their second year. In order to delineate schools within a given percentage of freshman retention, we ranked them based upon overall graduation rate. We figure that you will want to find a school that not only offers a great first year experience, but excels in making sure its students graduate with a degree.
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Colleges and Universities with the Happiest Freshmen
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