Angelo State Repeats on Princeton Review’s List of ‘Best Colleges’
For the second year in a row, Angelo State University has been named to the Princeton Review’s list of best colleges nationally, becoming one of only three state-supported and 11 Texas universities overall to make the annual honor roll.
With the selection, ASU is considered among the nation’s elite colleges and universities by Princeton Review, which announced its list Tuesday (Aug. 3) simultaneously with the release of its college guide “The Best 373 Colleges” for 2011.
ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said, “This continuing national recognition of Angelo State by the Princeton Review is testament to the hard work and the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and administration. Such recognition strengthens our reputation and increases our ability to attract more top students to ASU.”
Chancellor Kent Hance of the Texas Tech University System, ASU’s governing body, said, “Angelo State University continues to make great strides to enhance their academic standard of excellence, and this national recognition is a well-deserved honor. Providing students with a quality education remains our top priority, and we are proud to be acknowledged for setting an example in higher education.”
The nationally distributed college guide, along with its affiliated website, 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. In addition to considering various statistical measures for inclusion, Princeton Review also surveys university students for their assessment before including an institution in the listing.
Tuesday 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.
ASU joined Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin as the only state institutions from Texas to make the list. Texas private universities on the list were Austin College, Baylor University, Rice University, SMU, Southwestern University, TCU, Trinity University and University of Dallas.
Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing and author of “The Best 373 Colleges,” said, “We commend Angelo State University for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book. Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools, and the opinions of our staff and our 28-member National College Counselor Advisory Board. We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”
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.
In the 2011 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.
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 373 Colleges” for 2011.
“The Best 373 Colleges” is the 19th 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 373 Colleges” are also part of 640 colleges and universities that Princeton Review commends in its website feature, “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region – Northeast/Midwest/Southeast/West.” ASU was one of 120 colleges selected for the “Best in the West” section of the Princeton Review website.