Princeton Review features Willamette University among ‘Best 373 Colleges’

Willamette University is one of the country's best universities for undergraduate education, according to the 2011 edition of The Princeton Review's popular guidebook, "The Best 373 Colleges."

The guidebook calls Willamette "a friendly liberal arts school with a mellow Northwest attitude," noting that Willamette offers "serious academics without the snobbery," "is very focused on learning in a team environment" and "cultivates a strong feel of community" throughout its academic programs.

Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are included in the book, which features detailed profiles with school rating scores in eight categories. Selection for the guide is based primarily on outstanding academics, in addition to institutional data and feedback from current students, independent college counselors and Princeton Review staff members who visit the colleges.

Willamette has a long history of being included in Princeton Review's annual guide to the best colleges, and it also is named annually among the top tier of liberal arts universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review recognized Willamette earlier this year as one of its "Best Value Colleges" and named it one of the country's most environmentally responsible colleges.

"We are excited to receive continued national recognition for Willamette's strong academic programs," says Marlene Moore, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Our professors challenge students to think critically and creatively, while remaining dedicated to helping them develop their talents and succeed at Willamette and in the future."

According to current students, Willamette's "knowledgeable" professors are "dedicated to what they teach and genuinely interested in helping students learn," and they "expect you to come to class prepared to discuss, not just listen." The Princeton Review also notes that "Willamette promotes a well-rounded lifestyle," and that professors are "always checking to make sure that everything is going well both in the class and outside."

The profile of Willamette also notes that its location in Oregon's capital, Salem, means "co-curricular opportunities are abundant." Students say there are many "community service options, internship options and on-campus job options," and they praise the "ease of getting state government internships" at the Oregon State Capitol, located across the street.

The Princeton Review rated Willamette 90 for academics and 93 for admissions selectivity, on a scale of 60 to 99. The ratings are based largely on institutional data The Princeton Review collected during the 2009-10 academic year.

Learn more about schools listed in "The Best 373 Colleges" on The Princeton Review's website.