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SUU Named "Best in the West" by the Princeton Review
For the second time in three months, Southern Utah University has been singled out by a national publication for being one of the best institutions of higher education in the country.
The Princeton Review, the NACAC-approved (National Association for College Admission Counseling) agency who assists students, parents, and educators in making informed decisions on the admissions and attendance processes of college and graduate school, has named Southern Utah University as one of the “Best in the West” universities to choose for one’s higher education.
The news of The Princeton Review ranking of SUU comes on the heels of another prestigious ranking from Consumers Digest magazine who recently named SUU one of the Top 10 universities in the nation for Quality and Value.
It’s SUU’s debut on the highly-regarded Princeton Review’s Best Colleges: Region by Region. This year, The Princeton Review divided the country into five regions and identified 706 colleges if felt stood out as academically-excellent institutions of higher learning. One of the 134 colleges named Best in the West, SUU is on the list because of notable ratings in Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Quality of Life and Academics.
The Princeton Review makes its determination of who’s on its lists primarily by interviewing current students at a given college or university. Each college had to meet two criteria to be considered: certain standards for academic excellence, and students who were accessible to survey, albeit anonymously. The survey itself is extensive, divided into four fundamental sections--"About Yourself," "Your School's Academics/Administration," "Students," and "Life at Your School"--that collectively include more than 70 questions.
The Princeton Review survey is thorough and refreshingly subjective, asking students everything from "How many out-of-class hours do you spend studying each day?" to "How widely used is alcohol?" Most questions are multiple-response, but several offer students the opportunity to expand on their answers with narrative, candid remarks, which are also the source of the student quotes that appear in the “Students Say” section of the Review.
Once the surveys are completed, The Princeton Review then gives each college a grade point average (GPA) for its students' answers to each multiple-response question. It is these GPAs that enable a comparison of student opinions from college to college, and a gauging of which aspects of the complete experience at each college rate highest and lowest, again, according to the institution's own students.
The GPAs serve also, as the basis for the ratings of Financial Aid, Quality of Life and Academics.
This Financial Aid Rating measures how much financial aid a school awards and how satisfied students are
The Admissions Selectivity Rating measures how competitive admissions are at the school. It is determined by several institutionally-reported factors, including: the class rank, average standardized test scores, and average high school GPA of entering freshmen; the percentage of students who hail from out-of-state; and the percentage of applicants accepted. On a scale of 60-99, SUU received an Admissions Selectivity Rating of 84.
The Quality of Life Rating--in other words, how happy students are with their lives outside the classroom--weighs several factors, including students' assessments of: their overall happiness; the beauty, safety, and location of the campus; the comfort of dorms; the quality of food; the ease of getting around campus and dealing with administrators; the friendliness of fellow students; the interaction of different student types; and the quality of the relationship with the local community. On a scale of 60-99, SUU received a Quality of Life Rating of 93.
“There are numerous reasons why SUU is the best place to obtain your higher education, and the Quality of Student Life is certainly at the top of the list,” Mindy Benson, SUU’s Director of Student Activities, states. “However, I think it’s also one of the most amazing parts of our campus and certainly one of the best kept secrets about SUU. So, to have a national, respected publication acknowledge this aspect so highly is wonderful. This is one secret we want the world to know!”
In calculating a university’s Academic Rating, The Princeton Review considered how hard students work and how much they get back for their efforts. Student survey results coupled with statistical information reported by administrators contributed to the equation. Factors weighed include how many hours students study outside of the classroom and the quality of students the school attracts. Students' assessments of their professors, class size, student-teacher ratio, use of teaching assistants, amount of class discussion, registration, and resources also played a large role in the category of the Review’s evaluation. On a scale of 60-99, SUU received an Academic Rating of 84.
“Needless to say, we are thrilled with these national recognitions of the great value and experience SUU is,” Dean O’Driscoll, SUU’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says. “This is something we’ve known for years; we’re just glad some agencies whose opinions are highly-regarded are telling the world for us.
“It is the longstanding tradition,” O’Driscoll continues, “of SUU’s exceptionally-prepared faculty who interact on a personal level with high-achieving students, coupled with a remarkably affordable tuition, which contributed to this distinct honor.”
To view the whole profile on SUU’s Best of the West ranking, go to www.Review.com or specifically,
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