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Catawba College Named One of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review

August 4, 2011

Category: Academics

Princeton Review - 2012 Edition

Of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States, Catawba has been ranked among "The Best 376 Colleges" by the prestigious Princeton Review in its 2012 annual college guide. This places Catawba among the top 15 percent of American colleges.

The Princeton Review's "The Best 376 Colleges" annual college guide was available on newsstands August 2. Only about 15% of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and three colleges outside the U.S.A. are profiled in the book, which is The Princeton Review's flagship college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 schools in the book in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students attending the colleges.

Says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP / Publisher and author of "The Best 376 Colleges," "We commend Catawba College for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book. Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools, and the opinions of our staff and our 28-member National College Counselor Advisory Board. We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character." 

Princeton Review Best 376 Colleges

In its profile on Catawba College, The Princeton Review praises the school for its willingness "to take a chance on some applicants who may not make the cut at Davidson, Duke, or Chapel Hill." The Princeton Review also notes, "Students who may not have been the highest achievers in high school, but are ready to excel at the college level should put Catawba on their list. For students of all stripes with an interest in theater or music, Catawba demands consideration."

In Catawba's profile, Catawba students whom the Company surveyed for the book were largely complimentary about their campus experiences. The college has "a small, close-knit community where you can really get to know your professors and your fellow classmates," one student said. Another student cautioned not to let Catawba's small size fool you as "big things come in small packages."  Another student described Catawba as "a melting pot with many opportunities if you reach out for them," while yet another said Catawba is "a place where you can truly discover who you are through exposure to a variety of thoughts and perspectives."

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book academically or from 1 to 376 in any category. Instead, it reports in the book 62 ranking lists of "top 20" colleges in various categories. The lists are entirely based on The Princeton Review's survey of 122,000 students (about 325 per campus on average) attending the colleges in the book and not on The Princeton Review's opinion of the schools. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their own schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from assessments of their professors to opinions about their financial aid and campus food. Other ranking lists are based on student reports about their student body's political leanings, race/class relations, and LGBT community acceptance. The Princeton Review explains the basis for each ranking list in the book and at

Princeton Review Certificate

Catawba earned a place on the following ranking list in "The Best 376 Colleges": Town-Gown Relations Are Great."  Catawba ranked 15th out of the 20 colleges that made this list.

The schools in "The Best 376 Colleges" also have rating scores in eight categories that The Princeton Review tallies based on institutional data collected from the schools during the 2010-11 academic year and/or its student survey for the book. The ratings are scores on a scale of 60 to 99 and they appear in each school profile. Rating categories include Academics, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green, a measure of school's commitment to the environment in its policies, practices and education programs. Among the ratings in the Catawba profile are scores of 87 for Green and 81 for Quality of Life. The Princeton Review explains the basis for each rating score in the book and at

"The Best 376 Colleges" is the 20th edition of The Princeton Review's annual "best colleges" book. It is one of about 150 Princeton Review books published by Random House in a line that also includes test-prep guides for the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams, plus "The Complete Book of Colleges," and "Paying for College without Going Broke." The Princeton Review is headquartered in Framingham, MA and has editorial offices in New York City and test preparation locations across the country and abroad. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.


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