- Wofford College is one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features Wofford in the new 2010 edition of its popular guidebook "The Best 371 Colleges," to be released July 28.
Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are profiled in the book, The Princeton Review's flagship annual college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with school rating scores in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 institutions in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students attending the colleges.
"Wofford has consistently been listed among the best colleges by The Princeton Review, so we are pleased with our inclusion this year," says Laura Corbin, director of news services at the college. "This and other commercial guides are used by prospective students and their parents to help them select a college that is appropriate for them."
In its profile on Wofford, The Princeton Review praises the college for "providing its students with an extremely supportive environment," and points out that Wofford is "gaining a reputation as one of the South's premier liberal arts colleges." The profile quotes extensively from Wofford students The Princeton Review surveyed for the book. Among their comments about their Wofford experiences:
* Wofford "is an extremely challenging institution with a strong local and increasing national reputation."
* "Students at Wofford are academically oriented and tend to put ‘their education first.'"
* "A junior assures us ‘everyone interacts together, and there are no exclusive groups on campus.'"
The college profiles in "The Best 371 Colleges" also have ratings that are based largely on institutional data The Princeton Review collected during the 2008-09 academic year. The ratings are scores on a scale of 60 to 99 that are tallied in eight categories. Among them are ratings for Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green, a rating The Princeton Review introduced in 2008 that is a measure of school's commitment to environmentally related policies, practices and education. Among the ratings in the profile on Wofford are scores of 89 for Campus Life, 93 for Academics (up from 88 last year) and 93 for Selectivity (up from 91 last year).
In the 62 rankings lists, Wofford ranked number one in the top 20 list for "Major Frat and Sorority Scene." Corbin points out that Wofford has a healthy balance of rigorous academics and social activities, fueled in part by the fraternities and sororities on campus. "Fraternity and sorority social activities are not limited to just their members, so they contribute to a more diverse and vibrant social life on campus," she says. "The Greek organizations are part of the whole of campus life for Wofford students, part of the entire college experience. It is important for students to have a balance, so fraternity and sorority activities contribute to that as do events sponsored by the Wofford Activities Council and the Fun Funds program, supported by Wofford alumnus, donor, trustee and parent Mike Brown."
Fraternities and sororities also contribute to the giving nature of Wofford students, Corbin says, noting that most of the organizations have philanthropic missions for which fundraising and awareness programs are conducted on campus. "Our students get a well-rounded education at Wofford, to which Greek and other service organizations contribute."
The Princeton Review's 62 ranking lists in "The Best 371 Colleges" are entirely based on its survey of 122,000 students (about 325 per campus, on average) attending the colleges in the book. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from student assessments of their professors, administrators, financial aid, and campus food. Other ranking lists are based on student reports about their student body's political leanings, race/class relations, gay community acceptance, and other aspects of campus life.
The Princeton Review posts the school profiles and ranking lists in "The Best 371 Colleges" on its site (www.princetonreview.com) at which users can read FAQs about the book, the survey, and the criteria for each of the ratings and rankings.