With four years of hard work ahead of them, it’s important for prospective college students to find schools with housing that meets their needs for comfort, community bonding and scholarship. The best college dormitories should offer great food choices and advanced technology. Below are the four colleges with the best on-campus student housing, as determined by the Princeton Review.

Washington University in St. Louis

The university adopted a plan in 1996 to create ten residential colleges consisting of one to three separate homes each. Each college has a faculty adviser, membership from all four undergraduate classes and a diverse mix of students. The university hopes to encourage traditions, customs and rituals unique to each college. Each residential college has about 300 students and includes social lounges, study rooms, computing labs and recreation rooms. One student told the Princeton Review that Washington University offers an Ivy League-quality education with the atmosphere and warmth of home.

Smith College

This all-female liberal arts college in Northampton, Mass., has no traditional dormitories or sororities. Incoming students pick from one of 36 houses, each with a distinct character, size and architectural style, ranging from Gothic to Victorian to modern. Complementing the facilities is a tree-filled campus with a pond and waterfall. Most students get a roommate. They get housemates from all four classes, with 10 to 100 undergraduates living in a given house. Each house is self-governed. Most friendships forged within the houses last a lifetime, according to the college.

Loyola University Maryland

This Baltimore, Md., university offers 16 residence halls. Some are new, while others are retrofitted apartments. All are spacious, modern and fully furnished, with laundry facilities, vending machines and recreation areas. The college offers both freshman-only dormitories and mixed-level undergraduate housing. The Newman Towers includes apartments for two, four, six or eight students, with an upscale convenience store that provides grocery items and fresh meals, including crab cakes, steak, steamed shrimp and tilapia. Resident assistants plan floor dinners and recreational outings for students under their supervision.

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass., opened in 2002, so the entire campus, including student housing, has modern communications capabilities. Student housing has quad power outlets, quad Cat6 copper wiring for voice and data communications, cable TV and fiber-optic capability. The bedrooms are single- or double-occupancy, and the East Hall has two music practice rooms, an exercise room, a kitchenette, study rooms, lounges and a bicycle storage area. The living space fosters the mandate for the 355 undergraduates to complete the school’s project-based curriculum.

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