Princeton Review Releases 27th Annual College Rankings

Lifestyle, National News
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Editor’s Note: Below is a release from Princeton Review of college rankings.  Princeton is unique of such rankings because it is not based just on academics, but also other important factors, such as college life. 

According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 138,000 students at 384 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 Bentley University (MA). Bentley finished #1 on the list, “Best Career Services”—one of 62 categories of “top 20” school lists The Princeton Review reports in its 27th annual college rankings.

On the “Great Financial Aid” list which is based on how students rated their aid awards, Vanderbilt University (TN) earned the top spot, and deservedly. Vanderbilt’s average undergraduate need-based scholarship grant last year was $47,294.

Reed College (OR), where a majority of class sections contain just two to nine students, is #1 on The Princeton Review list, “Professors Get High Marks,” based on how students rated their faculty specifically in their roles as teachers.

“We picked the 384 ‘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.”

The Princeton Review’s complete lists of top 20 colleges in these and 59 other categories will post today at where they can be accessed for free with registration. The ranking lists will also be published in the 2019 edition of Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” guidebook, “The Best 384 Colleges” (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, $24.99).  It will be available tomorrow, August 7th.

#1 colleges in additional categories in The Princeton Review’s new lists and book include:

  • “Most Accessible Professors”— United States Military Academy (NY)
  • “Best College Dorms” — Washington University in St. Louis
  • “Best Campus Food” — University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • “Best Health Services” — University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • “Most Beautiful Campus” — Bucknell University (PA)
  • “Best Athletic Facilities” — The University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa
  • “Happiest Students” — College of William & Mary (VA)
  • “Most Politically Active Students” — American University (Washington D.C.)
  • “LGBTQ-Friendly” — Emerson College (MA)
  • “Party Schools” — University of Delaware
  • “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” — Clemson University (SC)

New this year is the “Are U In” campaign in which students, alumni and friends are encouraged to share the breaking news of their school’s ranking in “The Best 384 Colleges” across social media.

One of the most beloved features of college life is the enduring sense of community and school pride in one’s chosen college or university that continues long after graduation. The Princeton Review shares in that excitement and is privileged to be a part of supporting school pride by kicking off “Are U In!”

Additional Survey Background:

The Princeton Review tallied the rankings for the 2019 edition based on its surveys of 138,000 students (average 359 per campus) attending the 384 colleges in the book in 2017-18 and/or the previous two school years.

The 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

“The Best 384 Colleges” is one of 150 Princeton Review books published by Penguin Random House ( 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 2018.

The Princeton Review offers many resources for college applicants including: college admission counseling and application review services (, a free college search tool 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

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. Its brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 15 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University

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