Northwestern College is among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest, according to the Princeton Review. The education services company selected Northwestern as one of 152 institutions it recommends in the 2011 “Best in the Midwest” section on its website, based on institutional data and the opinions of current students.
A Northwestern student quoted in the college’s profile at www.princetonreview.com described the college as “exactly like they say it is during college visits—maybe even better.” Other student comments praised faculty, saying they care not only about students’ learning but also how each one is doing personally and about the school’s efforts to reach out to those in need around the world.
Students cited in the profile describe their peers as “highly involved socially, academically and religiously,” “very friendly and caring,” “hardworking and easy to get along with,” and having “big plans for their future.” The website also includes student commendation of Northwestern’s efforts to integrate faith with learning, financial aid, accessibility of administrators, the acceptance of minority students, and campus activities.
The profiles of all schools featured on the Princeton Review’s Best Regional Colleges website include college ratings. The ratings are 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 surveys. Among the 15 Iowa colleges in the “Best in the Midwest” section, only one rated higher than Northwestern’s scores of 95 in quality of life and 89 in financial aid.
Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing, says the regional-best colleges were selected primarily for their excellent academic programs. “From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisers whose recommendations we invite. We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences on our 80-question student survey.”
The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 120 in the West, and 133 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s Best Regional Colleges website. The 623 colleges named represent only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year institutions.