“The University of Akron has received a national ranking. Again. The Princeton Review ranked UA as one of the best colleges in the Midwest among 161 other institutions of higher learning, in its 2008 Best Colleges: Region by Region edition. In 2005, the Review judged the university one of the best midwestern colleges; its Best Business Schools recognized the College of Business Administration graduate program in 2005, ’06 and ’07.””
The University of Akron has received a national ranking. Again.
The Princeton Review ranked UA as one of the best colleges in the Midwest among 161 other institutions of higher learning, in its 2008 Best Colleges: Region by Region edition.
In 2005, the Review judged the university one of the best midwestern colleges; its Best Business Schools recognized the College of Business Administration graduate program in 2005, ’06 and ’07.
Careers & Colleges magazine identified the university as one of 14 Schools That Rule in the United States, calling it an example of under-recognized schools that deserve a closer look, in 2004.
For this year’s rankings, the Review selected 654 of the best colleges from the regions of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West.
Selected institutions had to conform to standards for academic excellence within their region, according to the Review’s web site.
The second requirement was that students respond to anonymous surveys either online or on paper, which were conducted during campus visits.
In many instances, we are able to contact students on our own and collect enough student surveys to produce a representative, opinion-driven profile for a particular college.
But oftentimes we rely on a college’s administrators to help us get in contact with its students. Therefore, if some excellent colleges seem conspicuously absent from our list, it may be the result of unwillingness on the part of administrators to assist us, A statement from the Review’s Web site said.
University president Luis Proenza said students are responsible for the positive review.
These designations reflect the efforts and professionalism of our faculty and staff and further elevate the university’s regional and national stature for its academic, research, technical and athletic excellence, Proenza said. Given that their input formed a significant portion of the survey, our students obviously agree that the University of Akron is one of the best in the Midwest.
More students are choosing the university, as shown by enrollment figures, which were released last week. Enrollment has increased to 24,704, 4.9 percent above last year’s enrollment of 23,539 students for the fall semester.
The Princeton Review avoids using any sort of mathematical calculations or formulas to determine which colleges and universities to include in this feature, according to information on its Web site.
This distinguishes The Princeton Review from the controversial U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
Although U.S. News’ complex formula takes into account objective data like student to faculty ratios and graduation rates, the magazine makes no secret of the fact that the highest percentage, top 25 percent of a school’s ranking, is determined by peer-assessment, which is clearly a subjective indicator.
The Education Conservancy, a non-profit organization established in 2004, advocates the improvement of college admission practices.
This May, the organization sent a letter, signed by 12 university presidents, to request that other presidents refuse to submit peer-evaluation information to U.S. News and discontinue use of U.S. News rankings in promotional materials.
According to the organization’s Web site, 65 university presidents have signed the letter.
The Princeton Review focuses upon academic standards and student opinions, and U.S. News makes use of an elaborate formula. The Campus Squirrel Listings, evaluate institutions of higher learning by entirely different criteria.
They judge the behavior of, and availability of food resources for squirrels on campus.
The highest-ranked schools in Ohio were Ohio University and Hiram College, achieving four out of five squirrels.
Three squirrels were awarded to Oberlin College, The College of Wooster, Bowling Green State University and Kent State University.
The site awarded five squirrels to Ursinus College in Philadelphia, Pa.; Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.; Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.; United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va.; Kansas State University; Rice University in Houston, Tex. and University of California-Berkeley.
The listings do not include UA. However, the New Landscape for Learning initiative, which has expanded green space on campus, has probably increased the campus’ appeal to squirrels as well as students over the past five years.