SANTA PAULA, Calif.-According to The Princeton Review, Thomas Aquinas College is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education. It is also the only one of the now-numerous new Catholic colleges founded since its own establishment in 1971 to be included in The Princeton Review's 2009 college guide, "The 368 Best Colleges." (Random House / Princeton Review, July 29, 2008, $21.95). The New York-based education services company known for its test-prep courses has ranked Thomas Aquinas College for a second year in a row as the #5 "Best Value" among all private colleges and universities in the country. Thomas Aquinas College has also been ranked among the "Top 20" in 13 other categories, including "Professors Get High Marks," "Most Religious Students," and Students Happy with Financial Aid."
"The 368 Best Colleges" features two-page profiles of the schools as well as student survey-based ranking lists of top 20 colleges in more than 60 categories. Only about 15% of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are highlighted in the book. For complete ranking lists, visit www. PrincetonReview.com
Says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's V.P., Publishing, "We chose schools for this book 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."
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.