Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mercer Featured in Latest Edition of “Best 368 Colleges” by The Princeton Review

For the sixth consecutive year, The Princeton Review has named Mercer University to its list of America’s best colleges in the 2009 edition of the book, “Best 368 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in America and two Canadian colleges were chosen for the book.

In its profile on Mercer, Princeton Review says: “‘Good scholarships,’ ‘challenging courses,’ an appealing ‘professor-to-student ratio, small class sizes,’ and ‘a great campus” initially convince many students to attend Mercer University in Macon—but it’s the ‘very good professors who actually care about the students’ who keep them here.” The profile goes on to quote extensively from Mercer students Princeton Review surveyed for the book. Among their candid comments on the University: “professors are very friendly and love to interact with the students” and “even the introductory courses in the School of Engineering are taught only by professors with Ph.D.s. I’ve never been taught by a (teaching assistant).”

“We chose schools for this book primarily for their outstanding academics,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president of publishing. “We evaluated them based on institutional data we collect about the schools, feedback from students attending them, and our visits to schools over the years. We also consider the opinions of independent college counselors, students, and parents we hear from year-long. Finally, we work to have a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”

The ranking lists in “The Best 368 Colleges” are based on The Princeton Review’s survey of 120,000 students (about 325 per campus on average) attending the 368 colleges in the book. A college’s appearance on these lists is attributable to a high consensus among its surveyed students about the subject. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Ranking lists report the top 20 schools in categories that range from best professors, administration, and campus food to lists based on student body political leanings, race/class relations, sports interests, and other aspects of campus life. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 368 in any category, nor do the rankings reflect The Princeton Review’s opinion of the schools.

The school profiles in “The Best 368 Colleges” also have school ratings in eight categories. The ratings are numerical scores on a scale of 60 to 99 based largely on school-reported data collected during the 2007-08 academic year. Rating categories include Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and a new Green rating that The Princeton Review developed in partnership with ecoAmerica, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental organization. The Green rating is based on several criteria concerning environmental policies and practices reported by the colleges to The Princeton Review.

In a “Survey Says...” sidebar in the book’s profile on Mercer, Princeton Review lists topics that Mercer students surveyed for the book were in most agreement about. The list includes: “small classes,” “great computer facilities,” “great library” and “athletic facilities are great.”

The Princeton Review ( is a New York-based company known for its test preparation, education, and college admission services. It is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

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