In the profile at www.PrincetonReview.com, Northwestern students describe the college as “exactly like they say it is during college visits, maybe even better.” Students praise faculty, saying they care not only about students’ learning but also how each one is doing personally and what the school community is doing to reach out to those in need around the world.
The student quotes also commend Northwestern’s efforts to integrate faith with learning. They describe their peers as “hardworking and easy to get along with,” “very friendly and caring,” and “highly involved socially, academically and religiously.” They also give high marks to financial aid, campus activities, accessibility of administrators, and the acceptance of minority students.
Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president of publishing, says the regional-best colleges were chosen primarily for their excellent academic programs. “We selected them based on institutional data we collected from several hundred schools in each region, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisers. We also take into account what each school’s students report to us about their campus experiences on our 80-question student survey.”
The Princeton Review also designated 212 colleges in the Northeast, 120 in the West, and 139 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s 2009 Best Colleges: Region by Region website. The 630 colleges named represent only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.
The profiles of all schools featured in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges: Region by Region website include college ratings. The ratings are numerical scores on a scale of 60 to 99 that the Princeton Review tallies in several categories based on data provided by the colleges and/or student survey data. Only two Iowa colleges rated higher than Northwestern’s score of 88 in financial aid, and only three were higher than Northwestern’s 87 in quality of life.