The 20 best college dorms in the US, ranked

Josephine Sittenfeld/Williams CollegeThe interior of a dorm at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

From location to academics, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a college to attend after high school.

Thankfully, those weighing their options can turn to the Princeton Review, a college-admissions company, for advice. The group recently released its annual list of the best college dorm rooms throughout the country, based on student ratings of their residence halls.

From the University of Dayton to Bowdoin College, here’s a look inside some of the best dorms throughout the United States.


20. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyStudents relax in a dorm room at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers a variety of living arrangements for students.Freshmen are required to live on campus, according to the school’s website, while upperclassmen can dorm or commute.

Ten residence halls are available on campus, which offer accommodations like air conditioning, vending machines, private bathrooms, laundry machines, and ping-pong tables. Gender-inclusive housing is also an option for all students regardless of grade.


19. Columbia University

Isabel Epstein/Columbia UniversityA student works in their dorm room at Columbia University.

Columbia University in New York City offers “traditional residence halls, apartment buildings, and brownstones,” according to its website. Approximately 5,800 students are said to live on campus, paying between $US8,718 and $US9,872 to dorm each year.

The school also makes accommodations for students with specific housing requests, reserving rooms for students who have disabilities, are transgender, or are in a sorority or fraternity.


18. University of Dayton

University of DaytonStudents pose for a photo in a dorm room at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

The University of Dayton, located in Ohio, offers different residence halls to different grades of students. First-year residents can live in four different buildings, most of which have bunk-style beds and close access to dining halls.

Second-year students and upperclassmen, however, can stay in some of the same buildings, though they can also live in bigger dorms that have common areas and private bathrooms.


17. Vanderbilt University

Collegiate Images/Getty ImagesAn academic building on Vanderbilt University’s campus.

According to Vanderbilt University’s website, the Nashville, Tennessee, school offers everything from air conditioning to free cable throughout its 28 residence halls.

Students who live on campus also have access to free WiFi, vending machines, and custodians, while there are security cameras to monitor the buildings’ exterior doors.


16. Kansas State University

Kansas State UniversityThree students hang out in a Kansas State University dorm room.

Kansas State University is located in the city of Manhattan. The school is home to 10 different residence halls, all of which feature dining areas and convenience stores.

Students can also access sand volleyball, basketball courts, study spaces, computer stations, tutors, game rooms, and lounge areas while living on campus.


15. Bennington College

Bennington CollegeA kitchen area in a Bennington College residence home.

Students at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, don’t actually live in dorms – they live in houses. According to the school’s website, 35-40 people live in each home.

While the buildings range in style from modern to “1930s New England,” according to Bennington College, each one is equipped with a kitchen, common area, shower, and bathtub.


14. Christopher Newport University

Christopher Newport UniversityA student lounges in a dorm room at Christopher Newport University.

It makes sense as to why Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, made it onto the Princeton Review’s list. The school is home to 10 residence halls, all of which offer unique amenities.

The Greek Village, for example, was designed with sororities and fraternities in mind, and offers everything from WiFi to elevators. The CNU Apartments also stand out, as they contain fully-equipped kitchens and dishwashers.


13. Pitzer College

Irfan Khan/Getty ImagesTwo students hang out in their dorm room at Pitzer College in 2010.

Located in Claremont, California, Pitzer College has dorm rooms that are fully equipped for life on campus. Students have access to WiFi, laundry machines, and cleaning supplies, as well as basic furniture like beds and desks.

The school also allows students to keep potted plants, mini fridges, and microwaves in their rooms.


12. Williams College

Josephine Sittenfeld/Williams CollegeA student does school work within their dorm at Williams College in Massachusetts.

Students at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, are split between residence halls for first-year attendees and upperclassmen.

Freshmen reside in “The Frosh Quad,” which has rooms conjoined by common areas. Bathrooms are also shared. Upperclassmen, however, can stay within 27 different locations.


11. Scripps College

Scripps CollegeThe interior of a dorm room at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Scripps College is a women’s school located in Claremont, California. The location offers both single rooms and suites to residents, all of which can be found in nine residence halls.

Many buildings at the school have been around since the late 1920s, according to Scripps College’s website, though modern amenities like laundry machines and floor lamps are included. Students can also keep pet fish in their rooms.

Read more:

The 20 most beautiful college campuses in America


10. Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University MarylandThe interior of a dorm room at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

The tenth school on the Princeton Review’s list is Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. It’s home to six residence halls that are filled with enticing features.

The Butler and Hammerman Residence Halls, for example, feature solar panels on the roof to create a sustainable environment. The Gardens, on the other hand, is home to onsite radio and TV stations.


9. Elon University

Elon UniversityStudents congregate in a dorm room at Elon University.

Elon University, located in Elon, North Carolina, says on its website that those who live on its campus “are more involved in student organisations and often have higher GPAs.”

Eight “neighbourhoods” are available at the school, where most students are split by grade. The neighbourhoods are also meant to be representative of different themes, like civic engagement and world cultures.


8. Rice University

Rice UniversityThree students play video games in a dorm at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Located in Houston, Texas, Rice University has 11 residential colleges where students can live.

Of course, commuting to and from the college is also an option, though Rice University says on its website that approximately 78% of students live on campus.


7. Bowdoin College

Bowdoin CollegeStudents relax in a dorm room at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, students can stay in apartments or off-campus houses. First-year students, however, are required to stay in one of eight residential halls.

While each dorming location has something unique to offer, Bowdoin College’s housing locations for upperclassmen stand out the most. They have twin beds, cable television, laundry machines, and parking lots for vehicles.


6. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr CollegeA dorm room inside Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, has dorms with lounge areas, vending machines with soda and snacks, and access to laundry machines, according to its website.


5. High Point University

High Point UniversityStudents hang out in a High Point University dorm room.

In a statement sent to Insider, representatives for High Point University said the North Carolina school offers “collaborative spaces, study areas, and business centres to support academic growth.” Recreation centres are also available.

“Everything at High Point University is intentionally designed,” a school representative said. “For example, residence halls were intentionally constructed in areas that provided students with access to HPU Libraries, student centres, and dining facilities.”


4. Emory University

Emory UniversityStudents congregate in an Emory University common area.

In Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University has dorm rooms that stand out among others across the country. The school has standard residence halls, of course, as well as locations for students involved in the Greek community.

The most unique dorms, however, are found in the Theme Housing & Learning Communities, where students can live with those who share common interests. The dorms create “close-knit, inclusive communities where everyone knows each other,” according to the school’s website.


3. Texas Christian University

Texas Christian UniversityTwo students in their dorm room at Texas Christian University.

Dorms at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth were designed to create a “close-knit community and sense of belonging,” according to the school’s website.

All but one of the school’s 20 residence halls are comprised of male and female students, and most rooms are shared by two or three students. Laundry machines are also included in each dorming area at Texas Christian University, as are lounges for students to study and socialise.


2. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Olin College of EngineeringThe interior of a dorm room at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.

While many schools across the country require students to bring their own dining supplies, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering stores mini fridges and microwaves in each dorm room. Shared printers, laundry machines, and vacuums are also provided to students.

Sustainability is also a priority at this Needham, Massachusetts, school. LED lights, for example, are found throughout each residence hall, and meters are installed to monitor energy use at each building.


1. Washington University in St. Louis

James Byard/Washington University in St. LouisA view of the Washington University in St. Louis campus.

Number one on the Princeton Review’s list is Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dorms at the school house three to six people in each room, and residence halls are found in both traditional and modern buildings.

Washington University in St. Louis also creates a sense of independence among students by allowing them to bring Keurig machines, irons, and mini fridges into their dorm rooms.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.