USF Featured in 2009 Princeton Review "Best 368 Colleges"

TAMPA, Fla. (July 30, 2008) – The University of South Florida is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The New York-based education services company known for its test-prep courses features the college in the just-published 2009 edition of its annual book, "The Best 368 Colleges" (Random House). Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are in the book. The Princeton Review also posts the book's ranking lists on its Web site at which users can read FAQs about the book.

According to Robert Franek, Princeton Review's vice president, 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."

In its profile on the University of South Florida, The Princeton Review quotes extensively from USF's students surveyed for the book. Among their candid comments on the college: "A huge range of majors” is available. The “amazing” honors college “is definitely something students should try to get into if possible.” There’s “a great nursing program.” Premed, business, education, engineering, and environmental science were noted by survey participants as well who also pointed to other pluses: “There is always something going on” at the student union. Busch Gardens — a theme park — is located just down the street from campus. Students are “diehard Bulls football fans” and they “have a lot of school pride and spirit.” “The thing about the University of South Florida is that there is no typical student.” “It is a beautiful thing to walk across campus and see so many different types of people,” said one sophomore.

USF President Judy Genshaft said, "We at USF are honored to be included on this list of the nation's top institutions of higher learning and especially gratified by the fact that our students took the time to talk about some of our most-valued points of pride, our high academic standards, our diverse student body and our school spirit."

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. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 368 in any category, nor do the rankings reflect The Princeton Review's opinion of the schools.

"The Best 368 Colleges" is one of nearly 200 Princeton Review books published by Random House. Over the years, various ranking lists in the book have been favorably referenced by President Bill Clinton, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (among others), and praised by USA Today as "a public service." The Princeton Review also designated 630 colleges and universities (including those in “The Best 368 Colleges”) for its Web site feature 2009 Best Colleges Region by Region (Northeast / Midwest / Southeast / West). The company’s book line also includes "The Best Northeastern Colleges" and "The Complete Book of Colleges," the 2009 editions of which will be published Aug. 5, 2008.

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

– USF –