Thursday, August 5, 2010

Princeton Review's 2011 List of "Most Popular" College Radio Stations

I'm always getting asked for lists of the best college radio stations, my favorite college radio stations, and radio stations that excel in specific areas like musical diversity, risk-taking or public affairs. Unfortunately most of the college radio rankings that are out there are based on questionable methodologies. For the past few years I've been documenting one such college radio survey from the Princeton Review. Released this week, their listing of "Most Popular College Radio Stations" (registration required) is based on responses on surveys of college students who are asked "How Popular Is the Radio Station" on campus.

So...when you see stations celebrating the fact that they have the "best" radio station according to Princeton Review, just remember that this listing has more to do with the awareness of the existence of radio stations on the campuses that are included in Princeton Review. In fact, it doesn't even ask about specific radio stations, so schools with multiple radio stations will have to battle it out to decide which station is "most popular." Additionally, this 2011 survey only covers 373 colleges, surveying approximately 122,000 students, so stations located at schools not surveyed by Princeton Review will never be in the rankings.

Over the past few years, the list of "Most Popular College Radio Stations" has remained fairly consistent, with many of the same stations simply moving up or down the list. This year two schools dropped off the list (Bates College and Skidmore College), making room for two new stations at Siena College and Sacred Heart University. Neither of the these schools has been on the list for at least the past 3 years. To see how this year's list compares, here are the listings from 2010, 2009, and 2008.

Princeton Review's
Most Popular College Radio Stations-2011 Edition

(note: I've added station names as the Princeton Review only lists school names)

1. DePauw University (WGRE 91.5 FM, Greencastle, Indiana)
2. Ithaca College (WICB 91.7 FM and VIC Radio, Ithaca, New York)
3. Emerson College (WERS 88.9FM and WECB, Boston, Massachusetts)
4. St. Bonaventure University (WSBU-88.3 FM, St. Bonaventure, New York)
5. Brown University (BSR 88.1 FM and WBRU 95.5 FM, Providence, RI)
6. Stanford University (KZSU 90.1 FM, Stanford, CA)
7. Knox College (WVKC 90.7 FM, Galesburg, Illinois)
8. Howard University (WHUR 96.3 FM & WHBC 830 AM, Washington D.C.)
9. University of Puget Sound (KUPS 90.1 FM Tacoma, Washington)
10. Carleton College (KRLX 88.1 FM, Northfield, Minnesota)
11. Guilford College (WQFS 90.9 FM, Greensboro, North Carolina)
12. Alfred University (WALF 89.7 FM, Alfred, New York)
13. Siena College (WVCR 88.3 FM, Loudonville, NY) (New to list this year)
14. Swarthmore College (WSRN 91.5 FM, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania)
15. Reed College (KRRC 97.9 FM, Portland, Oregon)
16. Seton Hall University (WSOU 89.5 FM, South Orange, New Jersey)
17. Whitman College (KWCW 90.5 FM, Walla Walla, Washington)
18. Sacred Heart University (WHRT and public radio station WSHU-FM, Fairfield, Connecticut) (New to list this year)
19. Westminster College (WWNW 88.9 FM, New Wilmington, PA)
20. Manhattanville College (WMVL 88.1 FM, Purchase, New York)


John Hell said...

How is KZSU more popular than KFJC? I think it's all about Stanford vs. Foothill Junior College. KZSU is good, but it's got NOTHING on KFJC.

Jennifer Waits said...

Princeton Review didn't survey any students at Foothill College, so KFJC isn't even eligible for this list. That's why. They only survey students at 373 colleges, so only stations at those colleges have the potential to make the list.

Pablo said...

I love KZSU.