Best Colleges

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Lawrence University Cited by The Princeton Review in its Latest “Best Colleges” Book

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University provides one of the nation’s best undergraduate educational experiences according to the 2010 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual book “The Best 371 Colleges” released today (7/28).

The book profiles 371 colleges — less than 15% of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges — along with rating scores in eight categories. The book also includes ranking lists of top 20 schools in more than 60 categories ranging from most politically active to best athletic facilities. Those rankings are based on more than 122,000 surveys, in which students were asked to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences.Princeton-Rev.-Book-Cover_w.jpg

Lawrence ranked in the top 10 nationally in two of the student-survey categories: sixth in most accessible professors and 10th in best college theatre program, up from 12th in the same category last year. A college’s appearance on a ranking list is the result of a high consensus among its surveyed students about a topic compared with that of students at other schools answering the same survey question(s) on the ranking topic.

Using a scale of 60-99, with 99 the best, Lawrence earned rating scores of 96 in academics, up from 90 a year ago, a 95 in financial aid, 94 in admissions, 92 in campus life, which measures students’ satisfaction with their lives outside the classroom, including the location of the campus, the comfort of residence halls and the quality of food, among other factors. Lawrence also received an 83 in the “green” category, a rating based on a schools’ environmental commitments. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 371 in any single category.

“Our faculty do an extraordinary job of making themselves accessible to our students and in providing opportunities for individualized learning experiences. It’s great to have The Princeton Review affirm that level of faculty engagement,” said Steve Syverson, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission. “While the outstanding ratings for our academics and financial aid were not surprising, we are delighted at the improved rating of the ‘greenness’ of our campus community and expect it to rise even more next year. Many faculty and students have made significant commitments to enhancing our institutional commitment to environmental stewardship.”

In its profile of the college, The Princeton Review defined the Lawrence experience as “intense academics extreme, involvement in extracurricular activities, and a near-obsession with music.” Quoting students who were surveyed, the book describes Lawrence as a place where “professors are really willing to work one-on-one with students.” The student body is seen as having a wide variety of interests, producing “an intellectually stimulating– not academically cutthroat–environment” that fosters both academic and personal growth.

“Each of our ‘best’ colleges offers great academics,” says book author Robert Franek, vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review. “However, we don’t rank schools academically because our goal is to help students find and get into the best school for them. We tally ranking lists based how students at these schools rated their campus experiences, plus ratings based on institutional data we collect on issues important to applicants. It’s all about the fit.”

The book’s entire ranking lists can be found at

The Princeton Review Cites Lawrence University As One of Nation’s Best Colleges

Lawrence University has been recognized for its outstanding undergraduate education by the Princeton Review in its 2007 edition of the annual book “The Best 361 Colleges,” which was released today (8/22).

Only about 15% of the four-year colleges and universities in America, as well as two Canadian universities, are included in the book, which features student survey-based ranking lists of top 20 colleges in more than 60 categories, ranging from best professors, administration and campus food to student body political leanings, interest in sports and other aspects of campus life. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 361 in any single category.

Lawrence was cited among the top 20 institutions in the nation in three of the book’s student-survey categories: 12th in how accessible professor’s make themselves to students outside the classroom; 12th in how accepting the campus is to the gay community; and 20th in how popular college theatre productions are on campus.

The various ranking lists in the 2007 edition of “The Best 361 Colleges” are based on The Princeton Review’s survey of 115,000 students — approximately 300 per campus on average — who attend the 361 colleges profiled in the book. A college’s appearance on one of the 60 lists is a result of a high consensus among the surveyed students about that subject. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them.

Lawrence University Cited for Academic Excellence, Distinctive First-Year Program in U.S. News’ Annual Best College’s Guide

For the eighth straight year, Lawrence University’s academic excellence, including one of the country’s most distinctive first-year programs, placed it among the top quarter of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 20th annual “America’s Best Colleges” report released Friday (8/18).

Lawrence was ranked 53rd among 215 leading national colleges and universities in U.S. News’ “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” category. Lawrence was the top-ranked institution in the national category from Wisconsin and Illinois.

In addition, Lawrence was again cited in U.S. News’ distinctive “First-Year Experiences” category for its signature curricular program, Freshman Studies. Lawrence has been included in the first-year experiences list every year since 2001 when U.S. News first introduced its “Programs to Look For” feature. The first-year experiences list is one of eight specialized categories the magazine uses to highlight what it calls “outstanding examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success.”

The specialized categories are not distinguished by institutional size or type, but include those cited as “stellar examples” most frequently in a survey of college presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admission. Institutions featured in the special categories are identified alphabetically rather than by a numerical ranking. Lawrence joined Duke, Princeton and Stanford universities, among other institutions, that were cited for distinctive first-year programs.

For the fourth year in a row, Williams College of Massachusetts earned the magazine’s top ranking among national liberal arts colleges, while Amherst College and Swarthmore College were ranked second and third, respectively.

In compiling its annual “America’s Best Colleges”guide, U.S. News & World Report evaluates nearly 1,400 of the nation’s public and private four-year schools, using data from 15 separate indicators of academic excellence such as selectivity, graduation rates, student retention, faculty resources and alumni satisfaction. Each factor is assigned a “weight” that reflects the magazine editor’s judgment as to how much that measure matters. Each school’s composite weighted score is then compared to peer institutions to determine final rankings.

Institutions are divided into several distinct categories. In addition to the best liberal arts college category that measures national institutions like Lawrence, other rankings are based on universities that grant master and doctorate degrees and colleges that are considered “regional” institutions such as St. Norbert College or UW-Oshkosh.