Princeton Review list: Students "just love" St. Mike's

By: Mark Tarnacki
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Saint Michael's College ranks in the "Top 20" list for campuses on which students "just love their school," in Princeton Review's new 2015 edition of its annual college guide, The Best 379 Colleges.

Ranking #18 in the category "Their Students Love These Colleges," Saint Michael's was #3 in "Town-Gown Relations Are Great" and #10 for "Easiest Campus to Get Around." Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the just-released The Best 379 Colleges, which is The Princeton Review's flagship college guide. 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 130,000 students attending the colleges.

In April, Saint Michael's also was listed in The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges, profiles of 330 institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

Says Rob Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publisher and author of The Best 379 Colleges, "Saint Michael's offers outstanding academics, which is the chief reason we selected it for the book. We base our choices primarily on data we obtain in our annual surveys of administrators at these schools and at hundreds of other colleges. We take into account input we get from our staff, our 27-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the sizable amount of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools. We also work to maintain a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character."

"We are pleased to be included in the Princeton Review's Best Colleges," said Saint Michael's President John J. Neuhauser. "The close connection between faculty and students, centered about the academic interests of faculty members, is at the heart of a liberal arts education. When combined with an ethic that demands knowledge and respect for others and the wider environment, all centered in the beauty and excitement of northern Vermont, it is no surprise that students love it at Saint Michael's. It's a wonderful environment to learn and grow as an educated person."

Added Sarah Kelly, vice president for enrollment & marketing: "I am delighted that Saint Michael's College has again been recognized by The Princeton Review. The fact that we ranked so highly in the category 'Their Students Love These Colleges' is a testament to what we pride ourselves on as a community here at Saint Mike's. We take care of our students while helping them find their path and we challenge them to create meaningful and purposeful lives. Our students are very active in the local community, whether through research projects with faculty members, internships or service. So, while not surprising, it is gratifying to see that activity reflected in our #3 ranking in the 'Town-Gown Relations and Great' category."

In its profile on Saint Michael's College the Princeton Review praises the school, saying "Though undergrads at St. Mike's take their academics seriously, they also love to take advantage of life beyond the library." The book quotes extensively from St. Mike's students surveyed for the book. Among the student comments are these: "Tucked away in 'the heart of Vermont ski country, Saint Michael's College offers a 'close-knit and familial atmosphere' where everyone 'will always value and support you' [and] 'Small classes' help to ensure that 'you are not just another number in a lecture hall.' Indeed, the college 'really wants to help its students realize their full potential.'"

St. Mike's students said further, "Classes are often 'discussion-based' and 'require a conscientious student who will actively participate in discussion.' And the book says, "Moreover, undergrads here speak effusively about their professors. As one English and theater double-major shares, 'the professors strongly encourage you to visit them during office hours and are always working hard to engage students and keep them interested in learning. It is clear that the majority of the professors at St. Mike's care about what they are teaching and seem genuinely interested in the subject matter.' A history major succinctly adds, 'Whether you like it or not, your professor will know your name.'"

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges academically or from one to 379 in any category. Instead it reports in the book 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in various categories. The lists are entirely based on the Review's survey of 130,000 students (about 343 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 assessments of their professors as teachers to opinions about their school's library, career services, and student body's political leanings. The Princeton Review also is known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources. "The Best 379 Colleges" is the 23rd edition of The Princeton Review's annual "Best Colleges" book.

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