Ursinus Designated ‘Up and Coming’ College

The Princeton Review has cited Ursinus as one the 50 “Best Value” private colleges, and, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, has for the first time included Ursinus College in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

The Best Value list, which features 100 schools — 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities — was featured on the websites of The Princeton Review and USA TODAY, which partnered to present the lists. Ursinus is one of three schools on the list located in Pennsylvania, with Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr colleges.

In its profile of Ursinus on USA Today’s website, The Princeton Review editors commend the school for its student experiences. “Ursinus College has roots of reform that have translated into a college experience that makes serious changes in a student’s life,” according to the write-up. “Ursinus participated in the national Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), and has received high laurels for its transformational experience. The First Year Experience includes excellent first-year advising by faculty, first-year clustering in guaranteed housing, a laptop, and the Common Intellectual Experience where first-year students read, write, and learn in small seminar-style classes.”

The Princeton Review also notes Ursinus’s commitment to environmental responsibility by including it in its Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

The “green guide” cites colleges and universities which have demonstrated an “above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.” The guide is online and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.

According to the guide, Ursinus College “has made important strides in campus practices like recycling and waste diversion, and eco-friendly food purchasing. More advanced sustainability projects like a composting system and converting used cooking oil to biodiesel fuel are currently in the works. Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers, like an organic garden and a constructed wetland ecosystem.”

The Best 373 Colleges: 2011 edition, published in August, notes that Ursinus is a “transformative experience.” And: “If you embrace liberal arts education, this is the institution to be at.”

For the third year in a row, Ursinus was designated an Up and Coming college by U.S. News & World Report. Ursinus is second in the National Liberal Arts list for 2011.

In this category, college administrators surveyed for the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings were asked to nominate colleges they think have made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities. Ursinus was Number 2 on the liberal arts list.

Ursinus was also on the list for Schools with a Strong Commitment to Teaching, ranking Number 25 on that list, tied with Centennial cohort Haverford College. Eighty-six colleges and universities were cited by college administrators asked to identify up to 10 schools where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.

U.S. News ranks Ursinus overall in the top tier of 187 National Liberal Arts Colleges at Number 71.

The Fiske 2011 guide also praises Ursinus, noting its selectivity. It states, “At Ursinus, you can truly make a name for yourself.” The Fisk guide notes that “Professors draw praise for their skills in the classroom;” and “Ursinus is on the rise.”

The Yale Daily News Guide, which is popular with prospective students, says that the College is “known for the close realtionaships between faculty and students,” developed from the first days of The Common Intellectual Experience, the required freshman course. “This liberal studies seminar epitomizes the value that the staff at Ursinus puts on the development of conversational skills and well-roundedness of its students.” It cites “activities galore” and mentions everything from The Grizzly to the scuba club. Finally, it calls Ursinus “a place where tradition and history matter.”