The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition
According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 137,000 students at 382 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics of interest to applicants (and to their parents footing the bill), the college with the most highly-rated career center is Clemson University (SC). Clemson finished #1 on the list, “Best Career Services”—one of 62 categories of “top 20” school lists The Princeton Review® reports in its 26th annual college rankings.
On the “Great Financial Aid” list which is based on how students rated their aid awards, Bowdoin College (ME) earned the top spot, and deservedly: Bowdoin’s average undergraduate need-based scholarship grant last year was $42,200.
Sarah Lawrence College (NY) where 90% of the school’s classes are seminars is #1 on the Princeton Review list, “Professors Get High Marks,” based on how students rated their faculty as teachers.
The Princeton Review’s complete lists of top 20 colleges in these and 59 other categories will post today at www.princetonreview.com/best382 where they can be accessed for free with registration. The ranking lists will also be published in the 2018 edition of Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” guidebook, “The Best 382 Colleges” (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, $24.99). It will be on sale tomorrow, August 1, in print and available September 26 in an e-book edition.
“We picked the 382 ‘best’ colleges for our book primarily for their outstanding academics: we highly recommend each one,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief and the book’s lead author. “However, we know applicants need far more than an academic rating or ranking to find the college that will be best for them. We created our 62 ranking lists to help narrow that search. They are based entirely on data we gather beyond academics that gives insight into what the schools’ enrolled students say about their professors, administrators, school services, campus culture, and student life. In the end, it’s all about the fit.”
Other Princeton Review ranking list categories and #1 colleges on them in the new lists and book include:
- “Most Accessible Professors”— Colby College (ME)
- “Best College Dorms”— Scripps College (CA)
- “Best Campus Food” — University of Massachusetts Amherst
- “Best Health Services” — University of Wisconsin—Madison
- “Most Beautiful Campus”— University of San Diego (CA)
- “Best Athletic Facilities — Auburn University (AL)
- “Happiest Students” — Vanderbilt University (TN)
- “Most Politically Active Students” — Columbia University (NY)
- “LGBTQ-Friendly” — Bryn Mawr College (PA)
- “Party Schools” —Tulane University (LA)
- “Stone-Cold Sober Schools” — Brigham Young University (UT)
- “Students Pack the Stadiums” — Syracuse University (NY)
- “College City Gets High Marks” — Tulane University (LA)
- “Their Students Love These Colleges” — Virginia Tech
The Princeton Review tallied the rankings for the 2018 edition based on its surveys of 137,000 students (average 358 per campus) attending the 382 colleges in the book in 2016-17 and/or the previous two school years.
The survey (www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/student-survey) asks students 84 questions about their school’s academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. More information on the ranking methodology is at www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/how-it-works
“The Best 382 Colleges” is one of 150 Princeton Review books published by Penguin Random House (www.princetonreview.com/bookstore). The book’s college profiles feature ratings of the schools in eight categories including: Academics, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green. The book also has two bonus lists, one titled “Great Schools for 20 of the Most Popular Undergraduate Majors.” The other, “Colleges That Pay You Back,” lists 200 schools chosen for their academics, affordability/financial aid, and ROI (return on investment) data. They are profiled in the Princeton Review book by that title published in January 2017.
The Princeton Review offers many resources for college applicants including: college admission counseling and application review services (https://www.princetonreview.com/college-admissions/college-counseling), a free College Advisor app (available in the App Store) that helps students build their personal lists of dream, match and safety schools, and a rich database of college information and expert advice on navigating the admissions process on www.princetonreview.com