Princeton Review’s Annual College Ratings

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–July 27, 2009 — According to a survey by The Princeton Review that asked 122,000 students at 371 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the best professors are at Davidson College (NC). However, the college at which students are happiest with their financial aid – the issue many parents care most about – is Swarthmore College (PA).  Colgate University (NY) takes top honors as the most beautiful campus while Virginia Tech serves the best campus food and Smith College (MA) has the best dorms.

The Princeton Review, an education services company, reports the top 20 colleges in these categories and over 50 others in the 2010 edition of its annual college guide “The Best 371 Colleges” (Random House / Princeton Review, $22.99), on sale tomorrow.  Other student survey-based ranking lists in the book reveal the schools at which students most highly rated their administrators, campus career centers, and athletic facilities.

The book also has unique ratings – scores from 60 to 99 – on each college’s profile in eight categories including Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green: a rating based on the schools’ environmental commitments. The book’s ranking lists and school profiles with ratings will post on today.

“Each of our 371 ‘best’ colleges offers great academics,” says Robert Franek, author of the book and V.P. / Publisher, The Princeton Review.  “However, we don’t rank schools academically because our goal is to help students find and get into the best school for them.  Instead, we tally 62 ranking lists based how students at these schools rated their campus experiences, plus ratings based on institutional data we collect on issues important to applicants.  It’s all about the fit.”

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

· Best Career Services – University of Florida
· Best Classroom Experience – Pomona College (CA)
· Most Accessible Profs – U.S. Military Academy (NY)
· Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University
· Most Liberal Students – Warren Wilson College (NC)
· Most Politically Active Students – George Washington University (DC)
· Least Religious Students – Bennington College (VT)
· Race / Class Relations Friendliest – University of Miami (FL)
· Gay Community Most Accepted – New York University
· Top Party Schools – Pennsylvania State University
· Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
· Everyone Plays Intramural Sports – University of Notre Dame (IN)
· Best Athletic Facilities – University of Maryland at College Park
· Best Town-Gown Relations – Clemson University (SC)

About the rankings and survey

The 62 ranking lists are based on surveys of 122,000 students (325 per campus / average) at the 371 schools in the book during the 2008-09 and/or previous two school years. The 80-question survey asks students about their school’s academics, administration, campus life, student body, and themselves.  Almost all of the surveys were completed online at

About the ratings

The ratings are scores (60 to 99) based largely on institutional data collected during 2008-09.  Categories include Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green – a rating The Princeton Review developed with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental organization. Honor Rolls in the book salute schools that received rating scores of 99 for Financial Aid (13 schools), Green (15 schools) and Fire Safety (15 schools), plus 10 Tuition-Free schools.

About the book

“The Best 371 Colleges” also has a section listing “Great Colleges for 15 of the Most Popular College Majors” and The Princeton Review list, “100 Best Value Colleges for 2009.”  Annually published since 1992, it is one of 165 Princeton Review books published by Random House.  No school has ever paid a fee to be in the book.

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other resources for college and graduate school-bound students. It is headquartered in Framingham, MA with editorial offices in New York City and test-preparation locations across the country and abroad.

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