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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Named as One of the Nation’s Best 377 Colleges by Princeton Review in 2013 Annual College Guide

August 24, 2012

Rensselaer Named as One of the Nation’s Best 377 Colleges by Princeton Review in 2013 Annual College Guide

Only 15 Percent of Four-Year Colleges Included in New List

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features the school in the new 2013 edition of its annual college guide, "The Best 377 Colleges" (Random House / Princeton Review), available in a print edition and a new enhanced eBook edition.

Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and three colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book, which is The Princeton Review's flagship college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranking lists of the top 20 schools in the book in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students attending the colleges.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher-author of The Best 377 Colleges, said, “We commend Rensselaer for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book.  Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools, and the opinions of our staff and our 30-member National College Counselor Advisory Board. We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity, and character."

“We appreciate the recognition from The Princeton Review, which represents another acknowledgement of progress and achievements we’ve made under The Rensselaer Plan,” said Rensselaer Provost Prabhat Hajela. “From our integrated approach to living and learning – through our Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) program within residential life – to education that prepares young men and women to meet the challenges of the 21st century, to research that results in breakthroughs that make a difference in peoples’ lives, we are continuing to advance all aspects of the Rensselaer educational and research portfolios.”

In its profile on Rensselaer, The Princeton Review praises the school for its academics, student life, and student body. The new report quotes extensively from Rensselaer students the company surveyed for the book. Among their comments about their campus experiences at Rensselaer: professors at Rensselaer are “passionate about teaching,” “my professors in my direct major are extremely hands on and discussion based,” “you can be anyone you want – the kid sword fighting with his friends in the Quad or an avid musician who has a 4.0 GPA,” “even the humanities at RPI are laced with the sweet smell of science,” and “extracurricular activities are balanced alongside the classes, labs, homework, and studying.”

In a “Survey Says” sidebar in the book's profile on Rensselaer, The Princeton Review lists topics that Rensselaer students surveyed for the book were in most agreement about in their answers to survey questions.   The list includes: “lab facilities are great,” “great computer facilities,” “students are happy,” “frats and sororities dominate social scene,” and “student publications are popular.”

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book academically or from 1 to 377 in any category.  Instead it reports in the book 62 ranking lists of "top 20" colleges in various categories. The lists are entirely based on The Princeton Review's survey of 122,000 students (about 324 per campus on average) attending the colleges in the book and not on The Princeton Review's opinion of the schools.  The 80-question survey asks students to rate their own schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them.  Topics range from assessments of their professors to opinions about their financial aid and campus food.  Other ranking lists are based on student reports about their student body's political leanings, race/class relations, and LGBT community acceptance. The Princeton Review explains the basis for each ranking list in the book and at

The Princeton Review ( is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources. Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., the company is not affiliated with Princeton University.

About The Princeton ReviewFounded in 1981, The Princeton Review ( is a privately held education services company headquartered in Framingham, Mass. The company has long been a leader in helping college and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation services, tutoring and admissions resources, online courses, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House Inc. The Princeton Review delivers its programs via a network of more than 5,000 teachers and tutors in the U.S.A., Canada, and international franchises. The company also partners with schools and guidance counselors worldwide to provide students with college readiness, test preparation and career planning services. 

Media Contact for Rensselaer: Mark Marchand, 518-276-6098,

Media Contacts for The Princeton Review: Jeanne Krier, Princeton Review Books, 212-539-1350 or Kristen O'Toole, Princeton Review, 888-347-7737, ext. 1405 (