Best College Newspapers: 2014 Ranking Released by Princeton Review

Check out 2015 Best College Newspapers list

The Yale Daily News is once again number one. For the first time since 2010, the Yale University pub has reached the pinnacle of the Princeton Review’s “Best College Newspapers” ranking. Released yesterday, the 2014 edition of the high-profile list features a mix of expected and out-of-nowhere campus papers.

The Daily Orange at Syracuse University vaulted from seventh in last year’s rundown to second in the current version. Roughly 50 miles away, The Cornell Daily Sun at Cornell University dropped from first in 2013 to third this time around. Meanwhile, clocking in at number four, The Daily Bruin at UCLA is the highest-rated paper to break into the top 20 after being left off the year before. Just below the Bruin at number five, The Maroon at Loyola University New Orleans is also a new invite to the Princeton Review “Best College Newspapers” party — capping off a stellar year in which the paper also opened a new multimedia newsroom.


A number of papers rose and fell negligibly on the list — including perennial selections such as The Daily Collegian at Penn State University, The Independent Florida Alligator at the University of Florida and The Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — while others dropped off entirely without explanation. Most ironically, The Daily Nexus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is missing this year after boasting a top-10 ranking in 2013. Yes, that is the same Daily Nexus which earned major journalism industry praise in May for its coverage of the Isla Vista killings. Sigh.

The two most interesting, out-of-left-field entrants in this year’s ranking (in my humble, college-media-geek opinion) are both based at New York schools: The Wagnerian at Wagner College (which sports a depressingly barebones website) and The Bona Venture at St. Bonaventure University.

Kudos to both pubs. But seriously, where is the Emerald at the University of Oregon, The Crimson White at the University of Alabama, the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University, The Daily Pennsylvanian at the University of Pennsylvania, The Daily Princetonian at Princeton University, The Harvard Crimson at Harvard University, The State Press at Arizona State University, The Collegiate Times at Virginia Tech, The Daily Californian at the University of California, Berkeley, The Red & Black at the University of Georgia, The Iowa State Daily at Iowa State University, The College Heights Herald at Western Kentucky University, The Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan, The State News at Michigan State University or The Daily Evergreen at Washington State University? OK, I get worked up. But the MIA list of worthy candidates (the papers I’ve mentioned and many others) is long.

So are the valid criticisms of this ranking. As I have previously posted, the process by which student newspapers achieve a “Best” distinction from Princeton Review is, well, fairly ridiculous.

Yet, the ranking seems to receive more attention from the public and mainstream media than every other student journalism contest and competition combined, including the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemakers (the student press equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes). Why? My guess, without sarcasm or cynicism: It’s an offshoot of the coverage granted to the sexier rankings such as “Reefer Madness” and “Best Party Schools.” (The latest winner in the party category, in case you are curious, is Syracuse University.)

2014 Princeton Review “Best College Newspapers” Ranking

1. The Yale Daily News, Yale University

2. The Daily Orange, Syracuse University

3. The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University


4. The Daily Bruin, University of California, Los Angeles


5. The Maroon, Loyola University New Orleans


6. The Daily Collegian, Penn State University

7. The Tufts Daily, Tufts University

8. The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University


9. The Daily Tar Heel, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

(Tie) 10. The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison

(Tie) 10. The Daily Cardinal, University of Wisconsin-Madison

11. The University Daily Kansan, University of Kansas

12. The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida

13. The Daily Gamecock, University of South Carolina

14. The Wagnerian, Wagner College


15. The Bona Venture, St. Bonaventure University


16. The Hilltop, Howard University

17. The Heights, Boston College


18. The Vermont Cynic, University of Vermont


19. The Dartmouth, Dartmouth College


20. The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa



Best College Newspapers: 2013 Ranking from Princeton Review

Princeton Review Best College Newspapers: 2012 List

Princeton Review Best College Newspapers: 2011 List

Princeton Review Names 2010 Best College Newspapers

10 Responses to “Best College Newspapers: 2014 Ranking Released by Princeton Review”
  1. Perhaps the reason that so many top papers aren’t even mentioned in the Princeton Review’s ranking is that, just like virtually every other college-ranking metric, this has nothing to say about actual quality and a lot to say about selling copies of the Princeton Review?

  2. Chuck Clark says:

    I take all these lists — the ones we appear on and the ones we don’t — the same way: With a healthy grain of salt. I’ll let the College Heights Herald, the Talisman and the students whose work has brought home 30 Pacemakers over the years speak for themselves.

  3. Joe Gisondi says:

    Rankings such as this are worthless. As you noted, many quality papers are forgotten in favor of questionable entries.

    • Dan Reimold says:

      This is definitely the worst or among the worst rankings I’ve come across in respect to the actual criteria used to make selections. The one thing that makes it at least marginally worth it is the attention it brings to college media. My hope is that for one second, it might elicit interest from a casual reader and make them more curious about their own campus paper or the student media at schools they’re considering.

  4. Candace says:

    Dan, I think this is the perfect excuse to begin putting out your own Best Of/ Top 20 (or Top 30?) list.

    • Dan Reimold says:

      OK, now this is fun. In total midnight brainstorming freeform mode, what would be the qualities or aspects of student media that I should focus on to judge them? Or what might be a judging process that isn’t already being done to death??

  5. C.K. says:

    Each rankings system is flawed but different. This one certainly doesn’t determine “best” in a sense of pitting the papers against each other, but is there not some merit to a rankings system based on what a university’s students think? After all, their opinion is the only one that should matter to each of these papers, because if they aren’t reading, the paper won’t be publishing soon enough. Could we see these rankings as a glimpse into 20 student newspapers that are well-read and respected on campus? You could make the case that is more valuable than what a group of judges (or anyone else) has to say.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] In a list of the best college newspapers released today, the University Daily Kansan was pegged at No. 11. The Princeton Review site is behind a paywall, so I have no details as to why the UDK was picked. […]

  2. […] The Yale Daily News tops the list, reclaiming the spot that it last held in 2010, according to the College Media Matters blog. […]