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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Princeton Review Names Local Colleges in its “Best of” Book

KSMU Archive
(Photo credit: Alex Crowder, KSMU)

As the school year begins, many high school seniors are already looking at colleges around the nation, and The Princeton Review’s book, The Best 379 Colleges, has turned some attention to the Ozarks. KSMU’s Anna Thomas reports on how local colleges made the ranks.

The book, The Best 379 Colleges, looks at roughly 15 percent of all four-year schools, and judges them based on academic rigor, and uniquely, surveys each student attending those schools.

David Soto is the co-author of the book.

“That student survey opinion information allows us to craft not only a narrative, but all of our 62 unique ranking lists based on different criteria including quality of life, academics, administration, any of those factors that help college bound students and their parents make a decision on where they want to spend those four years,” Soto said.

College of the Ozarks has a long standing with the book, currently on a number of rankings like town-gown relations and best run colleges. Elizabeth Hughes, public relations director at C of O, also adds that it’s also proud to be a part of the stone-cold sober ranking.

“Number one it shows the sobriety of the students on campus, it also takes into account the number of study hours required for the academic rigor,” Hughes said.

The Princeton Review has also recognized another roughly 650 schools in its “Region by Region” category, absent any hierarchical or category listing. In the Midwest region, that includes Drury and Missouri State University.

Drury received positive feedback from students about the small, intimate feel of the campus, and the organizations made available to them.

Mike Brothers, director of media relations at Drury, says in-depth surveys like The Princeton Review make a difference with college bound students.

“They do tend to bring some attention to the school, and it’s a very competitive landscape,” Brothers said.

Students put Missouri State on the best regional list for its professional business opportunities and Greek life.

David Soto, co-author of the Best 379 Colleges, says it’s all for the incoming students and their families.

“You can’t get that information from just looking at an admission’s view book that a school puts out. So we go directly to whom we consider to be college experts, and those are currently enrolled students, to come up with this information,” Soto said.

In addition to The Princeton Review, rankings from US News and World Report are expected to be released in September.