Every year, the Princeton Review ranks the most conservative and liberal colleges in America. These rankings can be very important information to know for prospective students. Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at the top 15 schools that Princeton Review ranked as most conservative, and what that means.
Overall, these schools are scattered all over the country and significantly vary in size. From the the very large Texas A&M to the very small Thomas Aquinas College, here are the schools with the most conservative students.
15. United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland
“I call the Naval Academy the world’s most beautiful prison…we work to defend freedom, not enjoy it,” says a student of the Naval Academy. It provides undergraduates with the opportunity to be among America’s next generation of leaders. The majority of the student body can be summed up as male that are very conservative, religious and very morally upright. They weigh in at #6 of Princeton Review’s “Best Run Colleges” list, but #9 on “Most Unhappy Students” list. Notable alumni include John McCain, United States Senator and former Republican nominee for president.
14. Campbell University – Buies Creek, North Carolina
Campbell is a small, Christian-centered school with a friendly community located 30 minutes south of Raleigh, NC. Campbell attracts a student body that is predominately white, middle class, and moderate to conservative in politics. On that note, most students feel that “Campbell is very accepting of all types and personalities,” says a current student. With 3500 students on campus, the student to faculty ratio is 14:1.
13. Wheaton College – Wheaton, Illinois
Pretty much the entirety of Wheaton is composed of “academically strong, driven, and Christian students.” The school attractively draws students from all over the country. All Wheaton students adhere to a community covenant. This is a set of rules and regulations governing students that forbids things, such as drinking and smoking. We assume all students mostly follow those rules, as they weigh in on #2 of Princeton Review’s “Stone Cold Sober Schools” list.
12. Wofford College – Spartanburg, South Carolina
Wofford is a private, liberal arts college in South Carolina. It should come as no surprise that “the frat scene is high” at Wofford, since “the typical Wofford student is very similar to the ‘stereotypical’ Southerner: polite, tied to tradition, friendly, welcoming, living life at a slower pace, and very passionate about their beliefs.” says one student. With only 2,500 students, many students receive a lot of one-on-one time with professors with a student to faculty ratio of 11:1.
11. Clemson University – Clemson, South Carolina
Not only is it primarily conservative, it also weighs in at #1 on Princeton Review’s “Best Alumni Network” and #3 on “Happiest Students” lists. The size and Southern charm offer students the best of both worlds: the “friendly atmosphere of a small town college, with the advantages and opportunities of a huge university,” says a student. While the majority of students are Southern, students of all backgrounds are bonded “by their sheer love of Clemson.”
10. Hillsdale College – Hillsdale, Michigan
Students say most would describe the typical student at Hillsdale College as being “friendly, conservative, and religious.” It is indeed a private, independent, nonsectarian institution of higher learning. Hillsdale refuses to accept aid from or control by federal authorities. Even with a majority as Christian conservatives, Hillsdale is open to any faith or belief system and accepting of anyone who has justifications for why they believe what they believe. They weigh in at #4 on Princeton Review’s “Most Religious Students” and #8 on “Most Accessible Professors.”
9. Hampden-Sydney College – Hampden-Sydney, VA
HSC is a private, all male college. It is one of the best schools for a stepping stone to business, law and medicine careers. It has also been voted the “Preppiest College in America.” The conservative, affluent, southern students of Hampden-Sydney embody a combination of “the characteristics of a gentleman” and the “stereotypical good ol’ southern boy,” states one student. Not only is this campus highly conservative, they also weigh in at #18 on Princeton Review’s “Most Politically Active Student Bodies”
8. Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia
With Ted Cruz announcing his bid for presidency at Liberty University, you had to have known it was conservative. Liberty is private, Christian university located in Lynchburg, VA. LU is the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world. It’s stated mission is to emphasize both the intellectual and spiritual development of the university’s students. Students are held to The Liberty Way, an university code of conduct. Notable alumni is Shannon Bream, a FOX News anchor.
7. Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama
Weighing in at #1 of Princeton Review’s “Jock Schools” list, Auburn University is #7 on our conservative college list. Auburn is a big school in a small college town, where the people are friendly and love their football. It is a traditional Southern school full of Southern hospitality that provides a surprisingly “family-like atmosphere” for a school of 25,000 and an unsurprising level of school spirit. Despite the huge amount of students, the student to faculty ratio is 18:1. Famous alumni include Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) and Millard Fuller (Founder of Habitat for Humanity)
6. Brigham Young University – Provo, Utah
BYU is a private Mormon university in Utah. Brigham Young has an extremely conservative “Honor Code” derived from the Mormon Church. On other Princeton Review’s lists, they rank #9 on “Best Run Colleges,” #4 on “Best Entrepreneurial Programs For Undergrad.” and #1 for “Most Religious Students” Notable alumni is Mitt Romney, former Republican nominee for President and former Governor of Massachusetts.
5. University of Dallas – Irving, Texas
University of Dallas is a Catholic college in Irving, Texas. With an intimate student body, everyone is friends with everyone, according a student. The largely Catholic and conservative students of UD are “highly motivated and religious,” a group for whom “the topic of faith is a regular part of conversation.” It ranks at #1 on Princeton Review’s “Least Beautiful Campuses” Ouch.
4. College of Ozarks – Point Lookout, Missouri
Students come here so they can graduate debt-free and get a free education consisting of hard work and Christian qualities. The school’s slogan is “Hard Work U,” and students are expected to work hard while receiving a Christian education in a positive, private college environment. With 1,433 students, a student explains C of O as one of the most conservative places you will find. The traditional religious values mean a typical student at C of O is responsible and respectful to authority while following high moral standards. They weigh in on #19 of Princeton Review’s “Best Run Colleges” list.
3. Grove City College – Grove City, Pennsylvania
Grove City College is a Christian college in Pennsylvania with roughly 2,500 students. Students avow that Grove City is “a great option for someone who wants to learn from a Christian perspective.” Located near Pittsburgh, this “small, conservative, independent” college is renowned for its “great spiritual atmosphere,” providing a “very high-quality and competitive education,” according to one student. Many undergrads generally have a strong Christian faith. It ranks #6 on Princeton Review’s “Most Religious Schools” and #8 on “Stone Cold Sober Schools“
2. Thomas Aquinas College – Santa Paula, California
Thomas Aquinas College is a small Catholic college in California. Thomas Aquinas College only has 378 students. With a “strong Catholic identity” and “rigorous curriculum,” TAC offers a “holistic education” that’s “demanding on every level.” All classes are seminar-based, a method many students here feel “better facilitates learning.” Importantly, the “Catholic and small-college setting creates an atmosphere of trust and faith that makes it easier to study, to live, and to grow at school.” The vast majority of students are Catholic, devoted to learning and their faith, and politically “conservative.”
1. Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas
Not only is Texas A&M conservative, it is also the biggest university on our list! With 47,093 students, you might think you’d be just another number here, but students say “runs as a tight-knit family despite the numerous population.” This strong family dynamic makes the school an “open, friendly place to learn and grow.” Another student stated, “At Texas A&M, you learn to be a well-rounded, moral, and ethical person.” Notable alumni is former Texas Governor Rick Perry.