Princeton Review Ranks SHU

FAIRFIELD—The Sacred Heart University community hasn’t been exaggerating about its cheerful, generous and door-holding students. They are the real thing, and there’s proof—again.

According to The Princeton Review, SHU is not only one of the best 385 colleges and universities in the nation for undergraduates to earn their degrees, it is also home to happy students who give back. Out of 20 schools from across the country, SHU ranked 10th for “Happiest Students,” (up seven spots from last year) and 13th for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” (up six spots from last year).

“It’s wonderful to have this affirmation that our students enjoy Sacred Heart,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “They also understand the importance of volunteering and helping those in need. Many of our students spend their winter, spring and summer breaks on mission trips working with nonprofits to better the lives of families and children near and far. Social justice is a key piece of SHU’s mission, and our strong tradition of community service is an expression of that. This recognition of our students is well deserved.”

Kevin O’Sullivan, executive director of admissions, said the “Happiest Students” rank is a testament to the University’s commitment to providing students with first-class facilities and experiences. “This ranking confirms that we identify and meet students’ needs, allowing them to learn and thrive,” O’Sullivan said.

The Princeton Review company profiles and recommends SHU in the 2020 edition of its annual guide, The Best 385 Colleges. It selects only about 13 percent of America’s 3,000 four-year colleges and universities to profile, based on data it annually collects from administrators about their institutions’ academic offerings. The Princeton Review also considers data it gathers from surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus and community experiences.

Responses from SHU students who answered The Princeton Review survey included, “We all hold doors for each other, help each other out, and look out for one another.” They described the student body as “one of the most tight-knit groups of people” to which they have ever belonged. Students also said the University offers “unique and amazing” internship and job opportunities,” professors are “enthusiastic, encouraging and helpful” and they appreciate that faculty members “allow students to engage with their research which then will allow kids to get published.”

“We salute Sacred Heart University for its outstanding academics, and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 385 Colleges.

The Princeton Review’s school profiles and 62 ranking lists in The Best 385 Collegesare posted at

PHOTO: Sacred Heart University student leaders at the Bobby Valentine Health & Recreation Center. Photo by Sean Kaschak – June 2019

About Sacred Heart University
As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s eight colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 385 Colleges–2020 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 267 Business Schools–2018 Edition. Sacred Heart has a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theater.