25 Most Depressed Colleges in the United States (FAQs)

Depressed Colleges in the United States: It’s possible to love college but still be overwhelmed with work for the rest of your college life.

Some of these works might lead to elevated depression in college, but moving away from home for the first time and beginning a challenging academic program are two of the most common contributors.

This article explains the most depressed colleges in the United States, why college students get depressed, and many more tips.

What is Depression in College?

Depression is characterized by a prolonged sense of sadness and a lack of interest in usual activities.

If you suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, it can hurt your mental health and physical health, causing a range of emotional and physical issues.

Depression is a frequent and dangerous medical condition that impairs one’s emotional well-being, cognitive functioning, and impulsive behaviors.

Fortunately, there is a cure for it. For many students, college is an exciting time. Moving away from home, studying, and getting used to a brand-new routine are all major causes of stress for many college students.

Depression might set in for certain students as they struggle to deal with the constant barrage of new challenges.

What are the levels of Depression in College?

Depression can range in severity from minor to severe.

If you experience these symptoms daily, you should see a mental health expert since it may be possible that you are suffering from depression.

One of the symptoms of depression is a feeling of being completely alone and helpless in the world. When a person with a mental illness reaches acceptance, they have accepted their condition for what it is.

We all experience times of profound melancholy and loss. These emotions normally subside after a few days or weeks, depending on the circumstances.

However, if you’ve been feeling down for longer than two weeks and it’s affecting your daily life, it could indicate depression.

Why Do College Students Get Depressed?

College students can get depressed due to pressures like academic stress, being away from home, financial worries, social challenges, and figuring out their future.

Adjusting to a new environment and balancing many responsibilities can be tough. Here are some of the major reasons:

1. Academic Pressure:

College coursework can be significantly more intense and demanding than high school, with higher expectations for independent study.

Some students might feel pressured to maintain high grades in competitive programs or scholarships.

2. Independence and Homesickness:

Leaving the familiar environment of home and adjusting to college life can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.

For some, being away from family support systems can be challenging, especially if they rely on close family ties.

3. Financial Stress:

The fear of accumulating student loan debt and the implications for the future can be overwhelming.

Managing money, perhaps for the first time, including rent, food, and other daily expenses, can lead to stress.

4. Social Pressures:

The desire to belong and form new friendships can be distressing, especially if one feels different or excluded.

Managing romantic relationships, potentially long-distance ones from back home, can be emotionally taxing.

5. Uncertain Future:

Deciding on a career path, worrying about job markets, or doubting one’s choices can lead to anxiety. College is when many question their purpose, values, and identity, leading to existential concerns.

6. Sleep Deprivation:

Late-night study sessions, assignments, and balancing part-time jobs can disrupt regular sleep patterns. Socializing, parties, or other extracurriculars can lead to irregular sleep schedules.

Symptoms of Depression:

Depression is the short form of major depressive disorder, another name for this condition.

It’s just a mental disorder, but it causes many problems. Depression can affect a person’s behavior, feelings, and thoughts.

Most of the time, it results in physical, mental, and emotional issues. Additionally, it impacts a person’s ability to be productive in their day-to-day tasks.

You should be aware that depression is relatively prevalent and may be treated. The symptoms of depression can look very different depending on the person experiencing them.

On the other hand, these are some frequent warning indicators that you need to keep an eye out for:

  • A decline in interest in the activities that you formerly enjoyed. 
  • Insomnia. 
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • A severe lack of energy.
  • Irritability.
  • Having a sense of remorse about something.
  • Having importance of having no value.

Read more:

How Does Depression Influence Students in Higher Education?

College students who suffer from depression in any of the depressed colleges frequently engage in risky behaviors. Most people cope with the stress in their lives by abusing substances like alcohol and drugs.

At the end of each semester, there is typically an uptick in the number of students who take narcotics because of the stress from heavy workloads and tight deadlines.

Unlike some of their classmates, the students who struggle with depression do not drink excessively.

On the other hand, they partake in risky habits, including using unprotected or illegal drugs, among other things. The risk of suicidal behavior is the most troubling aspect of depression.

Here Are Some Ways That Can Help Prevent Depression 

  • Maintain as close of a relationship with your child as you can. When possible, you should always go to events and do things together.
  • Keep in touch with your child even after moving thousands of miles away to attend college. It is also important for freshmen to understand that their families will always have their backs.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a guidance counselor as soon as possible if you have the impression that something is wrong.
  • Students in higher education can maintain a good outlook with the help of encouragement.

Can Depression Be Cured?

The word “cure” might not be the best term for everyone. The aim for many is effective management and leading a full, meaningful life despite the diagnosis.

Depression is like many chronic illnesses. Just as someone with diabetes or asthma might have flare-ups, someone with depression might have episodes. Here’s a bit more on the depression:

1. Treatment:

Many people find relief from depression through therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Lifestyle changes, like exercise, improved sleep, and stress reduction, can also help.

2. Individual Variation:

Everyone’s experience with depression is unique. Some might have a single episode and, with treatment, never experience it again. Others might have recurring episodes.

3. Maintenance:

Even if symptoms lessen or disappear, ongoing treatment or lifestyle changes might be necessary to keep depression at bay.

4. Chronic Depression:

Some people have a persistent form called dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder. They might feel “better” with treatment but still not “well.”

5. Seeking Help:

It’s crucial for anyone feeling depressed to seek professional help. Even if it can’t be “cured” traditionally, it can often be managed effectively, leading to a better quality of life.

Which Schools Have the Highest Rates of Students Suffering from Depression?

Society must make students aware that they are unique and lovely individuals. Encourage the students to recognize their strengths and make effective use of them.

On the other hand, society places an incredible amount of stress and pressure on students, which results in sadness, tension, anxiety, and even the possibility of suicide.

Here are the most depressed colleges in the United States:

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Irvine
  • UC San Diego
  • UCLA
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Wake Forest University
  • Yale University

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), despite its status as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States, is widely known for its pervasive criminal activity.

Analysis conducted in 2019 revealed a growing mental health epidemic among graduate students at MIT and nationwide. 39% of graduate students are affected by depression, and 41% by anxiety.

2. University of Pennsylvania:

Nearly half of Penn’s more than 11,000 graduate students who participated in a recent study reported feeling depressed in 2018.

Approximately 12.5% of Penn’s graduate students responded to a poll recently conducted by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, yielding 1,456 responses.

The University of Penn is one of the most depressed colleges in the United States.

3. Cornell University:

College students’ most prevalent mental health issues are anxiety and depression.

Students at Cornell are more likely than not to encounter episodes of sadness or anxiety at some point during their time there, whether temporarily or regularly.

Many variables can make college life a difficult experience: adjustment challenges, academic stress, interpersonal conflicts, financial pressures, and loneliness are just some examples.

That goes double for students embarking on a new academic experience away from home and dealing with various unfamiliar challenges.

It can’t be easy to keep such an excellent reputation for Cornell University, which must be a source of worry because the university is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.

The university was forced to employ security personnel to stand watch on the bridges to stop students from leaping off the bridges surrounding Cornell’s gorges.

Nobody can say whether these instances were caused by stress, but it’s a reasonable assumption.

4. Harvard University:

Harvard is one of the most depressed colleges in the United States.

The students at this institution are some of the most conscientious people you’ll ever meet. Still, in recent years, as much as half of the student population has reported experiencing depression.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that approximately one-third of students report having experienced feelings of being overwhelmed at least a dozen times during the academic year.

More so, according to the survey, from 2014 to 2018, the percentage of Harvard undergraduates experiencing depression or anxiety grew from 22% to 31%, and those reporting an anxiety disorder increased from 19% to 30%.

5. Wake Forest University:

Students at Wake Forest University have given it the nickname “Work Forest.” Why? Getting a break at this institution is difficult.

If you are serious about attending this school, you should get a head start on the application process as soon as possible.

Not only do you need to have strong marks, but you should also be prepared to do a lot of writing to get into this prestigious college.

NB: Wake Forest University has always taken a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Its goal is to create an environment where students, instructors, and staff can openly discuss their mental health and well-being concerns.

6. Arizona State University

The rapid transition from virtual to in-person classes contributed to the challenge of depression at Arizona State University.

There’s a high demand for counseling services and month-long appointment wait times, indicating a need for more support resources.

7. Boston University:

A survey revealed increasing levels of depression and anxiety among college students attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality.

Stress factors have also impacted academic performance, with many students experiencing loneliness and isolation.

8. Carnegie Mellon University:

A study found rising stress and depression levels among students throughout the semester.

About 58% of students showed high depressive symptoms by the semester’s end. While these levels are similar to other colleges, they are still alarming.

The study used smart technology to monitor daily activities, revealing that students spend about half their waking hours on school-related activities.

9. Duke University:

The culture at Duke contributes to stress, with students often hiding failures and downplaying successes.

High academic expectations and the normalization of sacrificing sleep and self-care for grades contribute to mental health issues.

Students are encouraged to prioritize self-care and be open about failures to create a healthier campus environment.

Frequently Asked Questions on Most Depressed Colleges:

Are Ivy Leagues more depressed?

Students at Ivy League colleges are three times more worried and unhappy than the general population. As a result, drug misuse and other criminal activity may become more prevalent.

How stressful is Harvard?

According to one report, students at Harvard University are under stress, overworked, anxious about how they compare to their friends, and unable to maintain good coping mechanisms. It was also discovered that Harvard’s extracurricular activities were typically a cause of competition and stress.

Is Harvard strict?

Harvard is the third most tough institution to get into, with an acceptance rate of roughly 4%. The acceptance rate for Harvard College, the university’s primary undergraduate institution, is represented by this number. Harvard Medical School, for example, is one of the most competitive schools in the university.

Is Oxford better than Harvard?

U.S. News and the Round University Rankings have ranked Harvard as the second-best national university and the best in the world. U.S. News and the QS World University Rankings have ranked Oxford as the best university in Europe and the fifth-best university in the world, respectively.


Depressed Colleges in the United States: Depression is extremely common among students, and it has a detrimental impact on the academic performance of many of them.

On the other hand, the number of students who take their lives is much lower than the number of people who do it in general.

Only one college student out of every five who suffers from depression will decide to take their own life. At some point, 6-8% of people will consider suicide.

Keeping up with the demands of today’s society is not easy, and this is especially true at the collegiate level.

Because of this, many people experience severe sadness and severe pain. Misery is an inevitable and unavoidable part of life, and you can do nothing about it.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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