2/8/2012 - UNC Asheville praised by Princeton Review for sixth year in a row
by Caitlyn Bird - Mountain Xpress
For the sixth year in a row, UNC Asheville was selected as one of the "Best Value" public colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. "Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition," profiling the top 75 public colleges and top 75 private colleges, was published today; the rankings were also reported in today's edition of USA Today.
"The liberal arts tradition is alive and well at UNC Asheville, where students are encouraged to question, to discuss," according to The Princeton Review. The guidebook also credits the university with preparing graduates for today's tough job market: "The myriad research opportunities help flesh out a résumé, and the stress on real world application gets students job-ready before they even set foot outside the mountains."
Students told The Princeton Review they appreciate the small class size at UNC Asheville and a feeling that "faculty are overwhelmingly supportive of the students ... they know our names." One student described UNC Asheville as "a school that promotes the growth of its students with an emphasis on a personal approach to undergraduate education." The Princeton Review concluded that "UNC Asheville is an inexpensive way to achieve an excellent education, at a school that may be less intimidating than a larger institution."
UNC Asheville students described the university as "a lot of fun to live at," in the "amazing and quirky city" of Asheville. The Princeton Review noted the university's mountain location with ready access to outdoor sports and activities, so in the words of one student, "you are never bored."
The Princeton Review selected the top 150 institutions from among a larger pool of 650 colleges selected for academic excellence. Its rankings are based on institutional data, surveys of university administrators and student opinion surveys collected in 2010-11. The selection criteria focused on undergraduate academics, costs and financial aid.
The Princeton Review's assessment of UNC Asheville echoes many other prominent college rankings. In September, UNC Asheville was ranked eighth in the nation among public liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, which also listed the university among those where students graduate with the least amount of debt. In July, the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" called UNC Asheville "one of the best education bargains in the country." UNC Asheville was also named one of America's "10 Best Colleges for the Money" by bankrate.com, and praised for quality and value by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.