Saturday, August 25, 2007

Princeton Review Ranks Washington College among America's Best

Chestertown, MD, August 24, 2007 — Washington College is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review.

The New York-based company known for its test-prep courses, books and other education services has honored Washington College by selecting it for inclusion in the newly published edition of the popular annual Best Colleges guidebook.

The Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition (Random House/Princeton Review Books, $21.95) was released August 21 and is now available in bookstores.

"Only about 10 percent of the colleges in America are in this book," said Robert Franek, Vice President of Publishing at the Princeton Review and lead author of The Best 366 Colleges. "It is our flagship guide to the cream-of-the-crop institutions for undergraduates."

To be counted among the ranks of the very best, Washington College and the nation's other top schools were judged on a spectrum of factors, Franek explained. "We chose them as our best based on several criteria, including our regard for their academic programs and other offerings, institutional data we collect from the schools, and the opinions of students, parents and educators we talk to and survey."

The Best 366 Colleges includes public and private schools, traditional and non-traditional colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and science and technology-focused institutions.

What sets the Princeton Review's annual Best Colleges guide apart from all other higher-education guidebooks is that it is the only one offering two-page profiles on the schools along with college-ranking lists in more than 60 categories, based on surveys of 120,000 students.

Thus, the students themselves rate their own schools and report on their experiences at them.

When each edition is published, the Princeton Review posts the book's ranking lists and excerpts from the college profiles on its influential web site,

Washington College's Chestertown setting is described as "rural, small quaint and beautiful" by students quoted in the book. They also laud the College's "individualized attention" and point out that the small size of the liberal arts school "allows everyone, including professors and the administration, to get to know students both inside and outside of the classroom."

Washington College students interviewed for the book heap praise on their faculty: "The professors are amazing; there is plenty of opportunity to meet with them and to further discuss any issues in class. They are wonderful at helping students advance their careers in their chosen fields."

The school also fared well regarding its social scene. Its students, according to the book, are "driven to succeed but know how to relax and have fun." Another student adds, "Since WC is a liberal arts college, there is an easy mix of different types of students. All of the groups easily intermingle and are friendly across campus. It is a very genuine and pleasant mix of students."

Billing itself as "the most talked-about college guide," The Best 366 Colleges is widely considered to be at the head of its class; CNN hails it as "a great book," and Seventeenmagazine calls it "our favorite college guidebook."

"We present a wide range of colleges in the book," noted Franek. "They vary by region, size, selectivity and character, but each one is an outstanding institution."

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