Calvin in Princeton Review's top 371July 28, 2009
Calvin is among the only 15 percent of colleges and universities nationwide that are profiled in the 2010 edition of The Best 371 Colleges, the annual guide from the Princeton Review.
"It’s really encouraging that Calvin can get this kind of national exposure,” said Dale Kuiper, the college’s director of admissions and financial aid, “and it’s another way for families to get to know Calvin.”
Rating all of college life
The guide is based on surveys the educational company Princeton Review conducted with 277, 000 students—approximately 325 per campus. While academics are primary criteria for landing among the best 371 colleges, the guide also rates colleges for their faculty, research facilities, financial aid, extracurriculars, food, residence life and other aspects of college life.
Calvin is lauded for its “phenomenal” resources and “sweet” off-campus programs and for the careful attention professors give to students. The guide quotes this summary from one student: “Lectures are well attended. Student-run talent showcases like Dance Guild, Airband, and Rangeela performances are extremely popular. The Improv and Calvin Theater (sic) Company are top-notch. Hockey games attract hundreds of students. And, the library is always full."
The guide also features information on a college’s majors, financial aid, selectivity, student body makeup, freshman profile and application information. Kuiper said that guides like The Best 371 Colleges can be helpful resources for the college search: “If a family or a student is trying to work through this process, it’s one of the tools they can use to investigate more deeply,” Kuiper said.
The other lists
Calvin also landed in six of the guide’s less-formal rankings: the college was ranked among “Stone-Cold Sober Schools” (10th), “Most Religious Students” (12th) and “Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch” (12th) "Alternative Lifestyles Not an Alternative” (13th), “Got Milk?” (18th) and "Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution” (19th).
Noting that three of these categories recognize Calvin as an alcohol-free campus, Kuiper observed: “It shows that, by and large, our students are making good choices and that Calvin works hard to let students know that choices like that are important to make when they’re in a college context.”
Earlier this month, Calvin was one of 330 schools from among the 2,200 around the nation—and one of only seven from Michigan—to land in the 2010 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.
While grateful that Calvin is considered distinctive enough to make the Princeton Review guide, Kuiper is cautious about the subjectivity of college rankings: “I think that it is important that people recognize that there is more depth to a school than what categories or a ranking would represent. Calvin has always been an excellent school.”
~by Myrna Anderson, communications and marketing