Northwestern named among Midwest's best

Northwestern College has again been named among the best colleges in the Midwest by the Princeton Review, a nationally known education services company. Northwestern is one of 155 institutions recommended in the Review’s 2014 “Best in the Midwest” section on its website, based on institutional data and the opinions of current students.  

Students quoted in the college’s profile at touted Northwestern’s tight-knit community and integration of faith and learning. One student wrote, “The professors really make us think outside the box and want us to relate what we are learning in the classroom with our faith.” Faculty members were also commended for their efforts to help students: “I was surprised to see how willing my professors were to work with me if I didn’t understand something or to go over something again in class when questions were asked.” 

Students cited in the profile say their peers “are looking for ways to incorporate their faith into everyday living” and are “very friendly.” One wrote, “If you walk into the cafeteria alone, you will not end up sitting alone.” The website also includes positive student comments about Northwestern’s commitment to diversity, small class sizes and the opportunity to be involved in many 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 two rated higher in quality of life than Northwestern’s score of 94. Princeton Review describes that rating as a measure of how happy students are with their lives outside the classroom.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher, says the regional-best colleges were selected primarily for their excellent academic programs. “We’re pleased to recommend Northwestern College to users of our site. From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on 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. We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us.” 

The 155 colleges that the Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the Midwest” list are located in 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Princeton Review also designated 226 colleges in the Northeast, 124 in the West and 138 in the Southeast as best in their locales. The 643 colleges listed represent only about 25 percent of the nation’s four-year institutions.