Sonoma State University ranks high in annual Princeton Review

For the second consecutive year, the Princeton Review has selected Sonoma State University as not only one of the best colleges in the Western United States, but one of the best colleges in the entire nation. 

By surveying 143,000 students across the United States, the Princeton Review selected the top 381 colleges in the country, including 126 schools in the 14 states listed in the Western Region. 

“Any type of accolade or visual form of publication is great,” said Director of Enrollment Management at Sonoma State Gustavo Flores. “With this type of accolade there will be a number of students interested in Sonoma State that will see this accomplishment and want to read more into what our university is about.”

The Princeton Review’s best colleges list does not rank schools from 1-381. Instead, it uses 62 different categorical lists, such as “Best Classroom Experience,” “Best College Library,” and “Best Campus Food,” to rank schools from 1-to-20 based on the responses given by the surveyed students. 

The survey contains questions based on a school’s academics and administration, a student’s life at their respective college, their fellow students and the students themselves. In the 2015-16 school year, Sonoma State was ranked in the “Best College Dorms” list at number 12 while this year the university is not ranked in the top 20 in any of the 62 categories.

Some students are aware of the recognition Sonoma State has received over the past few years, but there are a few students who feel the university can do even better.   

“One of the reasons I came to Sonoma State was because of the dorms,” said Erin Lynch, a fourth year math major, “I know that complaints about the quality of housing in Verdot have been around for a few years now and that could be why we are not ranked in the top 20 this year.”

Other California State Universities’ that were selected as the top colleges for the 2016-17 school year were East Bay, Long Beach, San Bernardino and Stanislaus. CSU Long Beach was featured on the “Colleges That Pay You Back” list, meaning the school offers many benefits to its students post graduation, while CSU Stanislaus was ranked in the top 20 for having the least happiest students.  

According to the Princeton Review website, Sonoma State’s quality of life rating, based on a 60-99 scale, was given an overall score of 84. 

This grade is weighted on students’ overall assessments on different aspects of campus life such as overall happiness, the safety of campus, the comfort of the dorms and the overall appearance of the school itself. 

“The Student Center, as well as the Green Music Center, are all aspects of campus that make the school stand out,” said Dylan Krings, a fourth-year psychology major. “Those buildings, along with our dorms, really do make this school more prestigious.”

Other than the quality of life, Sonoma State’s highest rankings, all scored based on student responses to select survey questions, were in fire safety and financial aid with scores of 85 and 82 respectively. 

The university’s lowest ranking is in professor accessibility with an overall score of 72. 

“I haven’t encountered too many problems with reaching my teachers during my time here,” said Stephen Johnson, a third-year history major. “The classes are getting bigger, with the amount of students coming in, but I think classroom size is still not that big compared to other colleges.” 

All of the information regarding Sonoma State’s rankings and scores can be found on the Princeton Review website,, or by purchasing the 880-page book called “The Best 381 Colleges, 2017 Edition”, which includes a more in-depth catalog of rankings and scores from each college.