Princeton Review rates Centre among nation’s best colleges
Adding to its list of national rankings and acknowledgements, Centre College has been recognized again by the Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in America.
The 2014 edition of “The Best 378 Colleges” serves as the Princeton Review’s flagship college guide, annually featuring a prestigious listing of the nation’s most academically outstanding institutions. Of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States, only about 15 percent are selected for inclusion.
While the Review does not numerically rank the 378-featured colleges, it does provide a detailed profile of each institution with ratings and top-20 lists over a variety of categories, including academics to campus life. The compiled information is primarily based on an annual survey of students who attend the schools listed in the guide, providing an intimate and candid review in a way other rankings and college guidebooks do not.
Again this year, Centre’s profile reveals high marks in a number of categories, including an overall academic rating of 94 out of a possible 99. According to the students surveyed, Centre offers “a genuine, personal, practical education in all areas of life,” pointing to small classes that offer an 11 to 1 ratio of students to faculty as “focused and challenging.”
On teaching alone, Centre’s faculty received a near perfect score, with 98 of 99 possible points on accessibility, and 96 on interest and engagement. In the category of accessibility, Centre’s faculty also landed a #12 ranking out of all featured institutions.
Student remarks reinforced these high ratings, referring to Centre faculty as being “extremely passionate and dedicated,” and further describing them as “kind, supportive and caring,” and “always available outside the classroom.”
Centre’s idyllic campus also received distinction, landing a #10 spot in accessibility and ease of “getting around.” The guidebook goes on to say that Centre’s relatively small size and rural setting contribute to what students call a “welcoming atmosphere” and “close-knit community” that make the College feel like a home away from home.
Relatedly, the Review gave the College a “quality of life” rating of 91, describing campus life as “active,” and touting “the small picturesque town of Danville” as “very much a college town.” Students said, although Danville is growing with new restaurants and more activity downtown, “there is so much going on at campus that students don’t ever want to leave.”
The opportunity to study abroad for a semester may provide an exception, however. With 85 percent of Centre students traveling to locations across the globe, the guidebook cites the College’s “impressively strong study abroad program” with a #8 ranking among all institutions listed.
The Review also highlights Centre’s goal of “preparing students to be actively engaged global citizens”—the College promising each student the opportunity to study abroad as one component of the Centre Commitment. The student guarantee goes on to assure an internship or research experience and graduation in four years, or Centre pledges one year of tuition free (provided the student meets the College’s academic and social expectations).
In the area of admissions/selectivity, Centre received a rating of 91, this high score supported by the College “living up to its mission of improving racial diversity on campus,” as stated by one student included in the profile. In fact, the incoming first year class is Centre’s most racially diverse ever, with 21 percent of students identifying as students of color.
Overall, Centre claimed the #15 “Best-Run College” designation, with the guidebook referring to the “combination of global, local and personal learning” among the attributes students most appreciate.
In preparing students for success in graduate-level and professional futures, one student stated that Centre “looks toward the future…of our world and the need for students to be prepared for it…Centre has and will continue to prepare me for what comes next in my journey.”
To learn more about the Princeton Review’s guidebook of college rankings, “The Best 378 Colleges,” visit princetonreview.com.
By Amy Wise