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Princeton Review Rates BU

City life, FitRec score high among students

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The Best 368 Colleges, the Princeton Review’s ratings of the best colleges in the country, favorably rates BU.

BU has first-rate athletic facilities, tempting neighborhood restaurants, a campus that feels safe, and popular student publications. That’s just some of the praise BU students gave the University in the latest edition of the Princeton Review’s The Best 368 Colleges.

The book, published annually by the educational preparation company, rates colleges and universities in a variety of areas based on surveys of 120,000 students and information provided by the schools. The 2009 edition came out in July. The publication is one of the reference books many high school students turn to when deciding where to apply to college.

Using numerical scores from 60 through 99, the book rates each college in several areas. BU scored 82 in quality of life, 84 in academics, 94 in selectivity of admissions, and 82 in financial aid.

Schools also are ranked in more than 60 categories, such as best classroom experience (that honor goes to Stanford University), best career/job placement services (Northeastern University), and gay community accepted (Emerson College). Each category lists the top 20 schools. BU ranks 20th on the list of great college towns.

Students around campus say they believe BU was accurately represented in the book.

“It makes sense that BU ranked so well in location, says Lindsey Olander (CAS’10). “There are lots of choices on the BU campus, not to mention there’s so much happening in Boston, and it’s all just a T ride away. I remember looking at the book when I was choosing schools and paying more attention to students’ opinions and their quotes, but not really the statistics.”

The Princeton Review creates the annual list by first compiling what it considers the best colleges and universities in the country — BU is among the 368 in the 2009 edition. Students at those colleges were then given an 80-question survey, asking them to rate their own school on various topics and to report on their campus experiences. More than 120,000 students responded. Ratings are also based on information provided by the college, such as the percentage of applicants the school accepts.

“I remember using the Princeton Review to help me narrow down what schools I wanted to look at,” says Zach Pepper-Cunningham (CGS’09), “but it didn’t play into my final decision.”

Alexa Fernandez-De-Castro (CAS’08, COM’10) agrees. She, too, referred to the book during her college search, “but it wasn’t the most important factor.”

“The most important rating to me was how academics were ranked when I was looking for a school,” says Emily Schneider (SED’09). “I knew I wanted to study education, and BU has a top-rated education program.”

Other students have suggestions for new categories. “I’d mention how great it is that we have BU Central,” says Freddy Robles (CAS’11). “They always have stuff to do.”

To vote in next year’s Best Colleges guide, click here.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.


One Comment on Princeton Review Rates BU

  • Anonymous on 09.17.2008 at 3:27 am

    Promoting Mediocrity

    Hey its not 8th
    Niether 18th
    Not even 28th
    BU Today/BU is celebrating 80th ranking
    Gosh! BU has the guts
    I always thought ratings could be misleading and school might turn out to be better than what ratings say
    But in case of BU ratings hold true
    Its mediocre

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