Princeton Review Cites Academic Rigor and Accessible Faculty

Ursinus College’s academic rigor and supportive faculty help make it one of the country’s best 377 colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s “The Best 377 Colleges – 2013.” Only about 15 percent of the country’s 2,500 four-year colleges (and three colleges outside the U.S.) are profiled in the renowned college guide.

The Princeton Review cites the strength of academic programs at Ursinus, especially the Common Intellectual Experience first-year required course, and the sciences, which allow students to “maintain strong connections in other fields, from art to education.”

The book describes the Ursinus culture as being “about creating free-thinking, intelligent, [and] contributing members of society” and “letting people be who they are without fear and while accomplishing learning beyond the classroom.”

Outstanding academics is “the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior Vice President and publisher and author of “The Best 377 Colleges.” An 80-question student survey asks students to rate their own schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. The schools profiled in the book are based on institutional data and school visits.

The Review describes Ursinus as a “close-knit college community” which “offers an exceptional academic record,” and a “campus filled with motivated students and professors who worked toward every student’s success. It cites “academic integrity” and the Ursinus focus on community service. The small classes and professors who are “accessible and have extensive knowledge in their fields” and set the academic bar high. Professors “tend to be very attentive to your performance in class and are available to help if you need it,” according to student surveys. The book also notes a heavy emphasis on student research, “an emphasis that can only be carried out with the one-one attention Ursinus students receive from their professors.”

The schools in “The Best 377 Colleges” also have rating scores in eight categories that The Princeton Review tallies based on institutional data collected from the schools during the 2010-11 academic year and/or its student survey for the book. All schools are scored from 60 to 99 in eight categories including Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green: a rating based on environmental commitments. All of the book’s school profiles and ranking lists can be found on

In related news, Ursinus College is included in Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” The Princeton Review, in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), profiles the most environmentally responsible colleges in its third annual edition which was made available on Earth Day, April 22, and now in conjunction with “The Best 377 Colleges.”

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition” profiles 322 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The book can be downloaded from the Princeton Review and Center for Green Schools.

The green guide states, in part, “Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers, like an organic garden, a constructed wetland ecosystem, and an on-campus bike sharing program. For just $5 per academic year, students can gain access to the college’s fleet of bicycles for easy transportation around campus or through nearby nature trails. To support future efforts, Ursinus College has established an independent, annual budget to fund energy efficiency initiatives.”