SUU Ranked as “Best in the West” by The Princeton Review

Published: July 30, 2008 | Category: Academics

After reviewing scores of student surveys, conducting campus visits, collecting institutional data from across the nation and talking to high school-based college advisors about their top recommendations, The Princeton Review finalized its who’s-who list this Wednesday when it released its “2009 Best Colleges: Region by Region” listing.

Ranked amongst some of the nation’s most prestigious schools, including Stanford University and Pepperdine, Southern Utah University is proud to announce its naming as one of the best universities in the western United States.

Though accolades recognizing SUU’s quality and value have not been hard to come by over the past few years, The Princeton Review’s most recent recognition is of particular note to University officials, as its rankings are based upon student experience and word of mouth, rather than just a formal look at one institution versus another on paper.

SUU President Michael Benson’s response to SUU’s placement among the Best in the West aptly summarizes the reputation SUU is successfully working to build. “Recognition by a well-respected and widely-circulated publication like The Princeton Review is further evidence that SUU is heading in the right direction. Word about our ‘public-private’ niche is getting out and garnering not just attention, but accolades.”

According to a release from The Princeton Review, thee rankings process “asks students to rate their own schools on several issues -- from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food -- and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life.”

In fact, actual comments from surveyed students pepper each Princeton Review college profile on its website. Some student comments quoted in SUU’s profile include comments about SUU’s academic environment that focus on teachers who "know you and why you are here,” and on a student body that enhances that environment by “a passion for involvement and a contagious friendliness.”

According to SUU’s Vice President for University Relations Dean O’Driscoll, this student feedback and The Princeton Review’s ranking are both “very satisfying.” States O’Driscoll, “We are proud of the people that provide the great experience our students are bragging about.”

Benson echoes this sentiment, stating, “This is a tribute to our faculty and staff, and I thank them for their efforts in attracting this kind of positive publicity.”

With well-respected recognition, satisfied students and one of the state’s strongest enrollment records in the Utah System of Higher Education in recent years, Southern Utah University is on track to continue to exceed expectations.

According to SUU’s Associate Vice President for Enrollment Stephen Allen, the result of this and other national rankings is attracting more and more students to SUU year after year. But, states Allen, “more important than that, this acknowledgement is a testament to the quality education and satisfaction our students enjoy at SUU.”

The 120 colleges The Princeton Review chose for this year’s "Best in the West" designations are located in fifteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, The Princeton Review also designated 212 colleges in the Northeast, 139 in the Southeast, and 159 in the Midwest as best in their locales on the company’s 2009 Best Colleges: Region by Region ranking. The 630 colleges named "regional best(s)" represent only about 25% (one out of four) of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review does not formally rank the colleges within in its Best Colleges: Region by Region listing. Rather, this is intended to be a comprehensive looks at the best educational institutions in each region.

The Princeton Review ( is a New York-based company known for its test preparation courses, books, and college admission and other education services. It is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

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