10 Schools Where Students With Cars Are Rare

Delece Smith-Barrow

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

College students who want to drive at their leisure may be disappointed if they attend a school where parking spaces on and around campus are limited. For freshmen at these schools, bringing a car may not even be an option.

These students may not be stranded on campus, though. Car-sharing networks such as Zipcar are capitalizing on the college market.

A decade ago, it served a handful of universities. Now, it offers car sharing to more than 300 colleges and universities in North America. In the fall of 2012, it launched car-sharing programs at some of the least car-friendly universities, such as Georgetown University.

[Consider these points before taking a car to college.]

At Georgetown, along with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and University of Wisconsin--Madison, the percentage of students with cars on campus is zero, according to data collected by U.S. News in the spring of 2012. These schools top the list of the 10 National Universities where students who live on campus and have cars are sparse.

Most of the schools on the list are located in major cities, such as Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C. At 5 percent, Yale University, Loyola University Chicago and Johns Hopkins University had the highest percentage of students with cars on the list.

[Find college options for late applicants.]

At the other end of the spectrum, 99 percent of the students at Indiana University-Purdue University--Indianapolis have cars, making it the most car-friendly university of the 178 ranked schools that submitted data to U.S. News about the percentage of students with cars. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

Most schools on the list are home to at least 15,000 students. Polytechnic Institute of New York University had the fewest students: 4,487.

Below is a list of National Universities where the smallest percentage of students have cars on campus. The percentages below do not reflect students who live off campus, where they may have cars.

National university (state) Total enrollment Percentage of on-campus students with cars U.S. News rank
Georgetown University (DC) 17,130 0 21
Polytechnic Institute of New York University 4,487 0 139
University of Wisconsin--Madison 42,441 0 41
Boston University 32,439 2 51
DePaul University (IL) 25,398 2 134
University of Pennsylvania 19,919 3 8
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 10,894 4 6
Johns Hopkins University (MD) 21,139 5 13
Loyola University Chicago 16,040 5 106
Yale University (CT) 11,875 5 3

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find information about students with cars, complete rankings and much more.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2012 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The car data above are correct as of June 11, 2013.