Princeton Review's Annual College Rankings

September 23, 2008 8:44:43 AM PDT
According to a survey by The Princeton Review that asked 120,000 students at 368 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the best professors are at Middlebury College (VT). The tastiest campus food is at Wheaton College (IL) and the best dorms are at Loyola College (MD). The students happiest with their financial aid attend Princeton University, which also tops the list for the most beautiful campus. Ranking lists report the top 20 colleges in these and over 50 other categories in the 2009 edition of The Princeton Review's annual college guide The Best 368 Colleges (Random House / Princeton Review, $21.95), on sale tomorrow. Other ranking categories report on campus political leanings, race/class relations, social scenes and sports interests.

The book also includes ratings (numerical scores from 60 to 99) on each college profile in eight categories tallied by The Princeton Review. Among them is a new Green Rating based on the schools' environmentally-related practices, policies and course offerings. The book's ranking lists and school profiles will be posted on PrincetonReview.com today.

"In our opinion, each school in this book is first-rate academically," says Robert Franek, the author at The Princeton Review. "But their campus cultures and offerings differ greatly. Instead of ranking schools academically, 1 to 368, we tally ranking lists in 62 categories based on what students at the schools (their customers) report to us about them. We also compile rating scores in eight categories based on institutional data we collect. We believe college applicants need to know far more about schools than an academic ranking to identify which colleges may be best for them. It's all about the fit."

Other ranking lists in the book and #1 colleges on them are:

  • Best Career / Job Placement Services ? Northeastern University (Boston)
  • Best Classroom Experience ? Stanford University
  • Most Conservative Students ? Texas A&M University (College Station)
  • Most Liberal Students ? Occidental College (Los Angeles)
  • Most Politically Active Students ? American University (DC)
  • Top Party School ? University of Florida (Gainesville)
  • Top Stone-Cold Sober School ? Brigham Young University
  • Least Religious Students ? Lewis & Clark College (OR)
  • Race / Class Relations Friendliest ? Pitzer College (CA)
  • Most Diverse Student Body ? City University of New York ? Baruch College
  • Gay Community Most Accepted ? Emerson College (Boston)
  • Best Athletic Facilities ? University of Maryland at College Park
  • Everyone Plays Intramural Sports ? University of Notre Dame
  • Great College Town ? DePaul University (Chicago)
About the rankings and student survey

368 schools in the book during the 2007-08 and/or previous two school years. Ninety-five percent were completed online at http://survey.review.com. Five percent were paper surveys completed on campuses. The 80-question survey asks students about their school's academics, administration, campus life, student body and themselves. The schools are not ranked 1 to 368 in any category.

About the ratings

The ratings are scores from 60 to 99 based largely on institutional data collected during 2007-2008. Rating categories include Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green ? a rating The Princeton Review developed with ecoAmerica, a non-profit research and partnership-based environmental organization. A "Green Rating Honor Roll" list in the book salutes 11 colleges that received Green Ratings of 99 (the highest score).

About the book

The Best 368 Colleges also has a section listing "Great Colleges for 15 of the Most Popular College Majors." Annually published since 1992, the book is one of 200 Princeton Review titles published by Random House. No school has ever paid a fee to be in it.

The Princeton Review is a New York-based education services company also known for its test-prep courses. From August 2?10, it will host free "Getting In" seminars at locations nationwide at which experts on college admissions will give advice to college applicants and parents.

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and not a magazine.


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