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Princeton Review Says Berea Is One of the Best

Berea College is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The New York-based education services company known for its test-prep courses features the college in the just-published 2009 edition of its annual book, "The Best 368 Colleges.” The guide has two-page profiles of the schools and student survey-based ranking lists of top 20 colleges in more than 60 categories.

Berea received high ratings for academics, sustainability and safety as well as other distinctions.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the Princeton Review in the areas of sustainability and “green living” along with a high rating for our academic program,” says Dr. Carolyn Newton, Berea’s Academic Vice President and Provost. “Service learning, study abroad and research with faculty, along with the opportunity to practice ecological sustainability on campus, all prepare Berea’s students to help address regional and global issues.”

Schools included in the book, says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Vice President for Publishing, were chosen primarily for their outstanding academics. “We evaluated them based on institutional data we collect about the schools, feedback from students attending them, and our visits to schools over the years. We also consider the opinions of independent college counselors, students, and parents we hear from year-long. Finally, we work to have a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character."

In its profile on Berea, The Princeton Review quotes extensively from Berea students The Princeton Review surveyed for the book.

“The Review quotes Berea students as saying they have ‘big dreams,’ a ‘hope for a bright future and a desire to learn,’ says Newton. “As Provost at Berea, I’ve had the privilege of working with many students who fit that description and I think Berea provides the perfect launching pad for achieving those dreams.”

The ranking lists in "The Best 368 Colleges" are based on The Princeton Review's survey of 120,000 students (about 325 per campus on average) attending the 368 colleges in the book. A college's appearance on these lists is attributable to a high consensus among its surveyed students about the subject. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Ranking lists report the top 20 schools in categories that range from best professors, administration, and campus food to lists based on student body political leanings, race/class relations, sports interests, and other aspects of campus life. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 368 in any category, nor do the rankings reflect The Princeton Review's opinion of the schools.

In a "Survey Says. . ." sidebar in the book's profile on Berea, The Princeton Review lists topics that Berea students surveyed for the book were in most agreement about. The list includes: “great computer facilities, “great library,” “diverse student types on campus,” and “low cost of living.”

For more about The Princeton Review’s 2009 “368 Best Colleges" guide visit

Berea, the South’s first interracial and coeducational college, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea charges no tuition, admitting only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. All students must work 10 hours weekly, earning money for books, room and board.

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