Notre Dame students apparently are not giving South Bend high grades when it comes to being a cool college town. The Princeton Review ranked Notre Dame number 5 out of 20 College Towns Not So Great.
Princeton Review is an education services company. It is used by prospective college students and parents. They also put together lists ranking hundreds of schools. According to the company, all 62 of the ranking lists are entirely based on what students attending the 376 schools reported about their campus experiences and themselves on a student survey. The survey has about 80 questions and for each question the students answer on a five point scale.
So what do Notre Dame students think about their college town? The survey did not ask students to elaborate but WSBT wanted to know so we went on campus.
When Notre Dame student Blake Weaver chose the university, he was looking for a campus that felt like home and where he felt comfortable.
"When I came to Notre Dame I felt like I was at home," says Rydberg.
The same thing goes for students Jessica Rydberg, Erin Myers, Konrad Moss, and Mike Nolte.
"They are really known for dorms and on campus," says Weaver.
And most students WSBT spoke to echoed those sentiments. But the local college town is something students at least consider when choosing where they go to school and recently Notre Dame did not get very high marks when it came to coolness.
"It is fair. I don't know about number 5 but it is pretty fair," says Moss.
This list -- College Town Not So Great -- lists 20 lame college towns and 3 of which are in Indiana.
"They need to be taken with a grain of salt," says Notre Dame spokesperson Dennis Brown.
Notre Dame school officials are skeptical.
"We understand that South Bend is not a classic college town in the way that Ann Arbor or Bloomington are," says Brown, "but there is a lot of great things going on here. And things are getting better all the time and that is exciting."
As for the students we spoke to, they had some suggestions for improvement.
"If there were more places geared toward college students like restaurants," says Rydberg.
"Something they could improve on is the safety of the city," says Weaver.
"I would say more shops. I'm not old enough to drink yet but hopefully more bars more restaurants," says Moss.
Law student Brittany Simpson, who lives off campus, disagrees with the Princeton Review list.
"I love it here," says Simpson.
She questions the Princeton Review’s methods of collecting data and thinks South Bend, at least around Eddy Street Commons, is headed in the right direction.
"It is definitely packed with students on the weekends," says Simpson.
Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Rea commented on the Princeton Review list as well. The list which appeared in the online publication The Huffington Post was followed by a lot of comments from readers.
"Looking at some of the comments around the story, people are talking about party towns and access to bars. I am not sure that is why people come to the university. If those were factors that affected our rating than it probably wasn't such a bad thing," says Rea.