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Saint Michael’s again among Princeton Review “Best 380”

08.05.15

Saint Michael’s College is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company features Saint Michael’s again in the new 2016 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 380 Colleges, released August 4. The latest guide places the Colchester liberal arts college in “top 20” rankings for “Town-Gown Relations are Great” (#11), “College City Gets High Marks,” (#12) and “Best College Radio Station” (#13).

“If you’re genuine and true to who you are, you’re bound to do well at Saint Mike’s,” the guide quotes a student as saying.

"Saint Michael’s College’s outstanding academics are the chief reason we chose it for this book, and we strongly recommend it to applicants,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP-Publisher and author of The Best 380 Colleges. "We make our selections primarily based on data we collect through our annual surveys of administrators at several hundred four-year colleges. Additionally, we give considerable weight to observations from our school visits, opinions of our staff and our 23-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, and an unparalleled amount of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools. We also keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character." 

Only about 15% of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book, which is one of The Princeton Review's most popular guides. Published annually since 1992, it includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 schools in the book in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students attending the colleges.

“Saint Michael’s College is proud to have been included in The Princeton Review’s Best 380,” said Saint Michael’s President John J. Neuhauser. “We remain true to our belief that young adults grow intellectually, socially and morally when they are able to test themselves with faculty and staff members who are dedicated to their students.  Individuals learn to be responsible for themselves and for each other and for the very earth itself and all in a beautiful physical environment near one of the best college towns in the country. We have every intention that graduates will leave here as different persons from when they arrived, and they do."

In its profile on Saint Michael’s, The Princeton Review praises the personalized approach that the College takes toward every student: “Applicants to St. Mike’s are more than just a number,” the Review states in a section called “Inside Word,” continuing, “admissions officers do their utmost to consider candidates in their entirety … everything from essays to extracurricular activities, though most weight is given to academic record.”

The profile also quotes extensively from Saint Michael’s students surveyed for the guide. Among their comments: “’Small classes’ help to ensure that ‘you are not just another number in a lecture hall”; and, the College “really wants to help its student realize their full potential.” Many students, notes the guide, tout the “strong academics” [and] “discussion-based classes that require a conscientious student who will actively participate …”

Other student quotes about Saint Michael’s from the new Princeton Review guide: “…. Undergrads here speak effusively about their professors… [who make student success] a #1 priority.”; “Whether you like it or not, your professor will know your name”; and, “Professors aren’t just professors -- They’re lifelong teachers.”  

The guide’s authors note that “Kindness and friendliness are the main theme in terms of the typical student here at St. Mike’s.” A student is quoted as saying that “Most students are concerned about the environment and social justice,” while another states that students are “very relaxed for the most part and enjoy the outdoors that this great state provides for us.” The guide also touts the vibrancy of the Burlington area, from the lively pedestrian mall of Church Street to many outdoor opportunities, notably skiing.

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges from 1 to 380 in any category. Instead it uses students' ratings of their schools to compile 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories. The lists in this edition are entirely based on The Princeton Review's survey of 136,000 students (about 358 per campus on average) attending the colleges. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from their assessments of their professors as teachers to opinions about their school's library, career services, and student body's political leanings.

"The Best 380 Colleges" is the 24th edition of The Princeton Review's annual "Best Colleges" book. It is one of 150 Princeton Review books published by Penguin Random House in a line that also includes guides for dozens of standardized tests, and other college guides. Headquartered in Natick, MA, the company is not affiliated with Princeton University.

In another recently released college rankings by a national publisher this week, Forbes.com ranked Saint Michael’s College Number 190 on its list of “America’s Best Colleges.” Other Catholic colleges ranking close by Saint Michael’s on that recent Forbes list included Fairfield University, Gonzaga University and Manhattan College.

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