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August 18, 2004

Calvin Again One of 357 Best

Calvin College is again considered one of the best colleges in the country by the Princeton Review and will be included in its 2005 edition of the "The Best 357 Colleges."

Calvin vice president Tom McWhertor notes that just getting into "The Best 357 Colleges" is a coup.

"Those 357 schools," he says, "represent only about 10% of the nation's colleges and universities. We're in some good company in the guide."

Other schools in Michigan included in "The Best 357 Colleges" are Albion, Kalamazoo, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan.

"The Best 357 Colleges" has two-page profiles on each college with information on academics, student body, campus life, admission and financial aid.

Calvin's profile leads off by saying that "Christian values are certainly front-and-center at Calvin College."

It continues: "Rigid dogma, however, is not on the agenda. Calvin gives students the opportunities to explore their faith at an academic and spiritual level."

The Princeton Review also praises Calvin's faculty in its 2005 guide and notes that raft of things to do on campus -everything from great concerts to movies every weekend to massive broom ball tournaments.

And the guide comments this year on the broadening of Calvin's student body, noting that in the past few years Calvin has taken great strides to promote a more diverse campus and it shows.

Each year the Princeton Review guide also has a series of 64 quirky rankings lists that annually garner national attention: everything from quality of life to town-gown relations to party schools and non-party schools.

Calvin annually appears in several such categories and this year is no exception. Calvin appears in eight lists for 2005.

  • #7 - Scotch & soda, hold the scotch (low hard liquor usage)
  • #7 - Stone-cold sober schools
  • #8 - Got milk? (low beer usage)
  • #8 - Students pray on a regular basis (most religious)
  • #10 - Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution
  • #12 - Students most nostalgic for Ronald Reagan
  • #13 - Town-gown relations are good
  • #15 - Don't inhale (low marijuana use)

Albion College was the only state school to earn a number-one ranking in any of the 64 lists. It topped the "More to do on campus" list - a measure of how much there is to do in the college's town or city. Albion also was fifth on the "Town-gown relations are strained" list.

Michigan Tech earned a number-four spot on the "Election? What election?" list - a measure of the least politically active students. Both Michigan (#9) and Michigan State (#15) were in the top 20 for teacher assistants teaching too many upper-level courses, while Kalamazoo College earned 14th position on both the "Students never stop studying" list and the "This is a library?" list.

Calvin's McWhertor notes that those rankings are not a comparison vs every school in the country, but rather denote where the schools fit in when compared only to the 357 schools in the 2005 guide.

So for 2005 the top party school among the 357 schools in the guide is the State University of New York at Albany, while Brigham Young University was the top stone-cold sober school among the 357 profiled.

The Princeton Review surveys students, asking 70 questions about their own school's academics, campus life and student body, as well as their study hours, politics and opinions. The surveys are conducted on campuses on paper with the permission of college administrators, and electronically.

The Princeton Review, a New York City-based company known for its test preparation courses, admission and education services, and books, has conducted the survey since 1992, when it first published its annual "Best Colleges" guide.

Later this week the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings will be issued. Calvin has been a top-ranked school in that guide in 16 of the last 18 years.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-526-6475 (v)
616-526-7069 (f)