An exceptional education experience along with a great theatre program and an easily navigable campus earned Lawrence University inclusion in the just-released 2011 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual book “The Best 373 Colleges.”
The Princeton Review’s 19th edition profiles of 373 colleges — less than 15% of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges — it considers the nation’s top schools along with school rating scores in eight categories. The book also includes “Top 20” lists in 62 categories based on surveys of students attending the colleges.
Lawrence made two of the top 20 lists, ranking 11th in best college theatre program and easiest campus to get around. The lists are based on 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 that topic.
Using a scale of 60-99, with 99 the highest, Lawrence earned rating scores of 92 in campus life, which measures students’ satisfaction with their lives outside the classroom, 90 in academics, including a 99 rating in professor’s accessibility, a 91 in financial aid and an 81 “green” rating based on a schools’ environmental commitments. Earlier this year, Lawrence was among 286 colleges and universities included in The Princeton Review’s first-ever guide to green colleges.
“Each year, the Princeton Review offers an eclectic mix of college ratings,” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence’s director of admissions. “We’re happy to see our theatre program continue to be recognized year after year among the nation’s best. And this year’s addition of having an easily navigable campus likely reflects the great campus improvements we’ve made over the past year, such as the opening of the Warch Campus Center, Hurvis Crossing and the College Avenue median beautification project. We trust that our friends and neighbors in northeast Wisconsin — not to mention the students that come to us from around the country and around the world — will discover that when they arrive on this jewel of a campus.”
In its profile of the college, The Princeton Review defined the Lawrence experience as “a cooperative, rather than a competitive, learning environment” with “intense academics, extreme involvement in extracurricular activities, and a near-obsession with music.”
Students who were surveyed described Lawrence as a place that “doesn’t have just one strength, it has many unique and diverse strengths” with a student body that is “interested in learning for the sake of learning, not studying for the sake of receiving the highest grade.”
According to Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review and the book’s author, outstanding academics is the primary criteria for inclusion in the book.
“Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools and the opinions of our staff and our 28-member National College Counselor Advisory Board,” said Franek.