The stated mission of the Black & Scholes Surf Club at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management is simply “to have fun surfing together and make some good friends with our classmates.” For beginners, club outings generally target “mellow long boarding waves.” For experienced surfers, club excursions are scheduled on “swell arrivals” aimed at providing MBA students “a chance to surf Southern California’s most renowned waves at their best.”
It’s just one of those less than obvious but real advantages to the MBA program at UCLA which it turns out is the business school with the “best campus environment” in the world, according to the Princeton Review.
Don’t laugh. While most MBA applicants aren’t likely to pick a school on the basis of its safety, attractiveness or location–the attributes Princeton Review measures on student surveys to pick business schools with the best campus environment–it just might matter to some–especially if you want to be less than half an hour from a beach. “it can be a fun in the sun school to some extent,” an MBA student at Anderson told the Review, “but I spend a whole lot more time with formulas and (financial) models than i do with the surfboard.”
Nonetheless, UCLA’s welcoming 419-acre campus, with its sculpture gardens, fountains, museums and proximity to Venice and Santa Monica beaches, has helped to give Anderson a first place ranking for the past five consecutive years. The business school complex is located on the original North Campus where many of the buildings are constructed of imported Italian brick. It’s a neighborhood where tourists are sold maps to help them discover the luxury homes of movie stars in Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and Brentwood, the posh residential areas that border the campus. The weather doesn’t hurt, either. Just ask the students who stroll the campus in shorts and scandals during the winter and fall when their East Coast rivals are bundled up in heavy coats and gloves.
Every year, Princeton Review surveys MBA students at some 300 business schools and publishes a top ten list of the schools with the “best campus environment.” The Review ranks schools on the basis of student surveys that assess “the safety, attractiveness and location of the school,” though it does not reveal which questions on its survey are used for the ranking.
OUR ANALYSIS LOOKS AT THE PRINCETON REVIEW LISTS OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS
Questions on three key elements of the ranking are among the 78 multiple-choice questions and seven “free-response” questions asked of current full-time students. Princeton Review says that at least 10% of full-time students responded “at almost all institutions we surveyed; at many schools, we scored responses from as many as one-third or one-half of the student body–and nearly all in a few cases.”