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RC Makes Princeton Review


Cara Cooper

Editor and Chief

There were many questions being asked after students received a mysterious email over spring break inviting the entire Roanoke College community to a special announcement by President Mike Maxey on Tuesday.  The invitation was very coy as to what the message was, but it turned out to be very prestigious as President Maxey proclaimed that, despite speculation that he was retiring, this was actually much better news. For the first time in school history, Roanoke College has been named as one of the 376 best undergraduate colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review.

  The Princeton Review, the prestigious education services company for high school students looking at colleges, considers Roanoke College one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and will include the school in the forthcoming edition of its popular guidebook, “The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition”.  The book will be available to buy in bookstores in early August.

“Only about 15 percent of the colleges in the nation are in this book, and they vary considerably by region, size, selectivity and character,” Robert Franek, senior VP/Publishing said. “Each one is an outstanding institution we highly recommend to college applicants and their parents. In our opinion, these are ‘the crème of the crop’ institutions for undergraduates in America.”

Franek said Roanoke College was chosen as one of The Princeton Review’s best undergraduate colleges based on several criteria: First, Princeton Review must have high regard for the college’s academic programs and other offerings. Second, selections take into account institutional data collected from the schools and the opinions of their students.  Students were given the opportunity to review Roanoke last year, which helped the company in its decision to include the school.

  “We also greatly value feedback we get about the schools from college-savvy staff across the country as well as from students, educators and parents who use our services and books,” Franek said.

   “Roanoke College is clearly on the rise,” President Maxey said. “Princeton Review is a wonderful resource for students and parents engaged in the college search. We are pleased to be recognized by them and hope more students will learn about Roanoke’s innovative curriculum and award winning student programs through this book.”

Another one of the selling points for Roanoke’s inclusion is the newly launched general education curriculum, INQ classes, which eliminates the ordinary introductory courses that most colleges use as their core in favor of new topic-based courses that put the classic liberal arts skills into real-world context. This innovative approach to general education has been attracting attention of colleges and publications across the country.

The Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” guide will feature a two-page profile on Roanoke. The guidebook also contains ranking lists of “top 20 schools” in 62 categories. The ranking lists are entirely based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of more than 122,000 students at the 376 schools in the book who rate their own schools and report on their experiences at them.