Centre College remains among nation’s best according to Princeton Review
Once again, Centre College has landed on the Princeton Review “Best 379 Colleges” list, an honor earned by just 15 percent of the approximately 2,500 colleges and universities considered for the ranking.
What has long distinguished Princeton Review from other rankings is its reliance on student input. This process includes surveying a total of 130,000 students at the top 379 colleges, or an average of nearly 350 per campus, and asking 80 questions about all aspects of campus life.
While Princeton Review avoids an overall numerical ranking of colleges, it filters survey responses into 62 lists, each of which has a top-20 ranking.
Centre appears on four of these lists, including #16 in the nation for “best-run colleges,” #13 in the nation for “most accessible professors,” #11 in the nation for “easiest campus to get around” and #4 in the nation for “most popular study abroad programs.”
The high marks for faculty are based on a rating scale of 1 to 99, for which Centre professors received a 98 for “most accessible.” In addition, faculty were rated 96 for “most interesting” and Centre’s overall academic program received a 95.
In other quantitative measures, Centre’s campus life received a 91 out of 99 for “quality of life,” and Princeton Review also rated Centre’s admission process a 92 in terms of selectivity. While no numerical rating is offered for the study abroad ranking, Princeton Review notes that Centre has an “impressively strong study abroad program, and about 85 percent of their students take advantage of it.”
Besides this quantitative information, the print edition of the Princeton Review also includes a qualitative “Survey says” section as a sidebar entry. There, a compilation of short responses reveals that Centre students are happy; they think classroom, lab and athletic facilities are great; the school is well run; no one cheats; students are friendly; the campus feels safe; and there’s an active student government.
A “Students say” section that focuses on academics, campus life and the student body complements the “Survey says” section. Among the highlights, faculty are characterized as “extremely passionate and dedicated” by one student, and “kind, supportive, caring and … always available for help outside the classroom” by another.
Danville, Centre’s home since its founding in 1819, is defined as “very much a college town,” and campus is described as having a “welcoming atmosphere” that creates a “close-knit community” for the “hyper-involved” students.
Besides living “up to its mission of improving racial diversity on campus,” says one student, Centre offers “a genuine, personal, practical education in all areas of life” intent on “preparing students to be actively engaged global citizens” and fostering “a big movement on getting out of the classroom with … community-based learning,” say others.
Ultimately, Princeton Review sums up what students say by concluding that they “love this combination of global, local and personal learning.”
by Michael Strysick