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Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Angelo State Makes Princeton Review’s List of ‘Best Colleges’

The Best 371 CollegesAngelo State University has joined the elite among the nation’s colleges and universities, according to the Princeton Review, which has named ASU to its list of “The Best 371 Colleges” nationally for 2010. 

The nationally distributed college guide, along with its affiliated Web site, is used by hundreds of thousands of prospective students across the country to evaluate university options.  Princeton Review operates on the philosophy that college admission is not about getting into the best college, but rather “about getting into the best college for you,” the prospective student. 

ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said, “This is great national recognition for Angelo State and marks the university’s first time to make Princeton Review’s national list.  It reaffirms the strides we are taking as an institution to enhance the educational opportunities and experiences for our students.”

Chancellor Kent Hance of the Texas Tech University System, ASU’s governing body, said, “We have always known what a great university Angelo State is and this makes us proud that we are now being recognized on a national basis.”

Tuesday (July 28) marked the release of Princeton Review’s annual book on the nation’s top undergraduate colleges.  Only about 15 percent of the United States’ 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the book, which is the Princeton Review’s flagship annual college guide.  It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with school rating scores in eight categories, based on Princeton Review’s surveys of students attending the colleges.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing and author of “The Best 371 Colleges,” said, “We commend Angelo State University for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book.  We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.  We make our choices based on institutional data we gather about schools, feedback from students attending them, and input from our staff, who visit hundreds of colleges a year.” 

The Princeton Review gathers college information through a 79-page standard questionnaire submitted to colleges nationally and a shorter supplemental questionnaire regarding distinctive programs and activities of the university.  What differentiates Princeton Review from many college guides is its reliance upon student surveys to augment the statistical data provided by the university. 

More than 122,000 students nationally participated in the survey with an average of 325 students responding per college.  The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences.  Topics range from student assessments of their professors and administrators to financial aid and campus food. 

ASU’s Student Government Association encouraged undergraduate participation in the Princeton Review survey, which was available online to ASU students from late November through mid-February.  The student survey results, combined with the data provided by the university, resulted in ASU’s selection to the list.

In the 2010 guide Angelo State students touted the university as “a small school with big opportunities” and “bang for your buck” as well as for “excellent scholarship opportunities.”  ASU was described academically as a “science haven” with professors who “are on a first-name basis with their students” and who “get to know you personally.”  Overall, “academics are pretty important” to most students, according to the survey responses.

Rallo said, “The process reflected a total university effort, starting with our faculty who deliver the education, our staff who support the educational process and the students who recognize the quality of our efforts.  Such recognition helps not only to build the reputation of ASU as a member of the Texas Tech University System, but also to enhance the value of an Angelo State degree to our alumni.”

Rather than limiting its best colleges list to an arbitrary number, such as “100,” publication staff members each year make an overall determination on the universities they believe belong on the list, thus the “Best 371 Colleges” for 2010. 

“The Best 371 Colleges” is the 18th edition of Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” book.  It is the flagship publication of 165 Princeton Review books published by Random House in a line that also includes “The Complete Book of Colleges.”  The schools in “The Best 371 Colleges” are also part of 640 colleges and universities that Princeton Review commends in its Web site feature, “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region – Northeast/Midwest/Southeast/West.”

The recognition marks the second national honor ASU has received in July.  Earlier in the month, the Chronicle of Higher Education, named ASU to its list of “Great Colleges to Work For” in 2009.  The Chronicle is the primary national source for job listings in higher education with a readership approaching half a million people in the profession.