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50 most stressful colleges

Jenna Johnson

No question about it, college is stressful.

Getting in is stressful. Keeping your grades up is stressful. Planning your schedule is stressful. Graduating within four years is stressful. Dealing with friends and relationships is stressful. Putting up with your weird roommate is stressful. Paying for everything is stressful. Trying to find a job or internship is stressful.

College isn't easy. So, why not create a stress ranking system for the rankings-obsessed world of higher education?

That's what the news Web site The Daily Beast did. Their No. 1 pick for most stressful college in America? Stanford University.

The Daily Beast limited its ranking to the top 50 universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings and then looked at five factors: Cost of tuition, room and board (weighted at 35 percent), competitiveness and academic rigor (35 percent), acceptance rate (10 percent), rigor of the graduate engineering program (10 percent) and crime on campus (10 percent).

Want to know where your school ranks? Keep reading or check out The Daily Beast's cool photo slide show.

1) Stanford

2) Columbia

3) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4) University of Pennsylvania

5) Harvard

6) Princeton

7) Vanderbilt

8) Carnegie Mellon

9) California Institute of Technology

10) Northwestern

11) University of Chicago

12) Yale

13) Washington University in St. Louis

14) Dartmouth

15) Johns Hopkins

16) Duke

17) Cornell

18) University of Southern California

19) Georgetown

20) Brown

21) Tufts

22) Rice

23) University of California, Berkeley

24) New York University

25) Boston College

26) Emory

27) Notre Dame

28) Wake Forest

29) University of Rochester

30) University of California, Los Angeles

31) Brandeis

32) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

33) Lehigh

34) Tulane

35) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

36) University of Virginia

37) University of California, San Diego

38) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

39) Case Western Reserve

40) Georgia Institute of Technology

41) University of California, Santa Barbara

42) University of California, Davis

43) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

44) College of William and Mary

45) University of Wisconsin, Madison

46) Penn State

47) University of Texas at Austin

48) University of Washington

49) University of California, Irvine

50) University of Florida

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By Jenna Johnson  |  April 7, 2010; 7:56 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania  
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"rigor of the graduate engineering program (10 percent)"

Hm. I find it interesting thtat they arbitrarily picked that major/program. I could make an argument for stress coming from several other programs at a really intense level. (Pre-med, anyone?)

Posted by: | April 7, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised none of the U.S. service academies made the list. Given the academic demands as well as the military requirements, I cannot think of a more stressful undergraduate experience. Kind of like rushing a fraternity for all 4 years...

Perhaps "free" tuition and a lack of graduate engineering programs knocked them out of the running...flawed selection criteria I think.

Posted by: davekindt | April 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Measuring "stress" by tuition, without actually looking at what people end up paying by taking into account financial aid? None of these factors look at the ACTUAL experience of students and whether they are stressed or not. This just illuminates one metric for the possibility of a stressful experience, and takes no account of how these schools may have worked on combating stress and bolstering the mental health of their student populations.

Posted by: stevenmcrane | April 7, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I hardly see why Harvard or, for that matter, most of the Ivy's should be on this list given their known massive grade inflation. Stress for what?

Posted by: bhrgarden1 | April 8, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

This may be fun to think about but is in fact pretty ridiculous and ultimately reinforcing of the cultural elitism of US-News. I don't see any community colleges here - don't you think juggling two jobs, three kids, and working toward an associates degree as a first-generation student would be a little more stressful than studying at Stanford? I don't see any HBCUs here either. Or service institutions. I think studying at West Point or the Air Force Academy would be incredibly stressful, knowing that as soon as you graduate, you're going to active duty . . . So this seems like just so much privileged-kid whining and WashPo readers' upper-class status anxiety to me . . .

Posted by: frannyg | April 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

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