NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 126,000 students at 378 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the college at which students report the highest satisfaction with their financial aid awards is Swarthmore College (PA).
The school that earned the #1 spot on Princeton Review's ranking list, "Best Career Center Services" (which the Company created at the request of a college parent in 2007) is Penn State.
The Princeton Review reports the top 20 colleges in these and 60 other categories in the 2014 edition of its book, "The Best 378 Colleges" (Random House / Princeton Review Books, $23.99) on sale tomorrow, and on www.princetonreview.com where the rankings will post today.
For "Best Science Facilities"—the Company's newest ranking category—California Institute of Technology is first on the list. Its students gave their science labs the strongest ratings in the survey. The school at which students graded their professors most favorably is Marlboro College (VT).
"Every college in our book offers outstanding academics," says Robert Franek, the guide's author and Princeton Review Senior VP / Publisher. "We don't rank them academically, 1 to 378, because they differ importantly in their academics, services, and campus culture. That variety is their strength. Our purpose is not to crown one college 'best' overall, but to give applicants the resources and campus feedback they need to choose, get into, pay for, and graduate with a job from the college that's best for them."
Other lists in "The Best 378 Colleges" and #1 colleges on them:
- Best-Run College – Claremont McKenna College (CA)
- Best College Library – Columbia University (NY)
- Best Campus Food – Bowdoin College (ME)
- Best College Dorms – Smith College (MA)
- Most Beautiful Campus – University of Mississippi (MS)
- Most Politically Active Students –George Washington University (DC)
- Most Conservative Students – Auburn University (AL)
- Most Liberal Students – Bennington College (VT)
- LGBT-Friendly – Emerson College (MA)
- Town-Gown Relations Are Great – Clemson University (SC)
- Top Party Schools – University of Iowa (IA)
- Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
- Students Pack the Stadiums – University of Notre Dame (IN)
- Best Athletic Facilities – Kenyon College (OH)
- Their Students Love These Colleges – Virginia Tech (VA)
The rankings are based on surveys of 126,000 students (average 333 per campus) at schools in the book in 2012-13 and/or the previous two school years. The survey (at http://survey.review.com) asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The ranking methodology (detailed at www.princetonreview.com/how-we-do-it.aspx) uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons.
The Princeton Review also tallies ratings for all schools in the book in eight categories. The rating scores (from 60 to 99) are primarily based on data from Princeton Review's 2012-13 surveys of administrators at the colleges. Among the rating categories: Financial Aid, Green, Fire Safety (schools scoring 99 in these categories are highlighted in the book's Honor Rolls), Admissions Selectivity, and Academics.
Published since 1992, "The Best 378 Colleges" is one of 150 Princeton Review books published by Random House. In addition to its college profiles, rankings, and ratings, it includes two lists: "Great Schools for 20 Popular College Majors" and "150 Best Value Colleges." No school has ever paid a fee to be profiled in the book.
The Princeton Review is a privately held education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources. Headquartered in Framingham, MA, with editorial offices in New York and locations across the U.S.A. and abroad, the Company is not affiliated with Princeton University.
SOURCE Random House / Princeton Review Books