The schools on this list have two qualities: terrific weather and a smart student body. Weather is measured by warm temperatures, low humidity, and the average number of sunny--and rainy--days each year. To be eligible for this list, schools had to be located in a region with an average temperature of 60 degrees or higher and have fewer than 100 rainy days per year. Not surprisingly, there isn't a single East Coast college or university in the bunch. With more than 200 sunny days a year, Arizona State takes the top spot, but on this list, California rules with 22 schools that rank high by these measures. The lesson? Students who don't want to sacrifice sun for school should head west.
About the Rankings:
Researchers Peter Bernstein and Courtney Kennedy drew dozens of sources to compile these rankings including information from the National Center for Education Statistics, The Washington Monthly, and College Prowler. A portion of the data they used for this ranking is at the end of this slideshow, but for the full methodologies, see our FAQ here. Ranking Methodology. And if you're not a rankings fan, take a look at this piece by Colin Diver, the president of Reed College, about why schools dislike rankings and how students can use them wisely as part of their college decision-making process.