Survey claims students “unhappy”

Elysabethe Brown
News Editor

Marywood was recently ranked second for having the least happy student on Princeton Review’s annual list of the “Best 376 Colleges of 2012.” This new information has spurred mixed reactions in Marywood students and faculty alike.

“I have heard students are surprised [at the results of the review], because they are happy,” said Dr. Ellen Boylan, director of Institutional Research and Assessment. Boylan explained that the research done by the Princeton Review was actually conducted in the spring of 2008 as an online survey given to students.

The question that put Marywood near the top of the least happy list asked: “How happy are you?”

According to Boylan, the vaguely worded question asked students to answer based on a scale of ‘not very happy’ to ‘very happy.’” In recent years, the Princeton Review changed the question to “How happy are you with your institution?”

Even though the question has changed in format, the Princeton Review used the same data from 2008 to publish the list in 2012, according to Boylan. “It is really a flawed method of conducting research,” she added.

Matthew Clark, a senior theatre major said he was surprised by the ranking, “I’m happy. I know some people change schools because they are not happy, but I know a lot of [current students] who are happy, so it does surprise me a little bit.”

Although some local papers mainly focused on the negatives about the list, Boylan still agreed that the Princeton Review provides beneficial data on their website as a good way for people to learn about Marywood and all that it offers. As for future participation in the survey, Boylan said she is unsure if Marywood will take part, but added the data could be gathered in a more reliable manner.

“We want to get the word out about how wonderful Marywood is,” she said. “The list was good to be on, but what was focused on was unfortunate.”