Princeton Review Gives Willamette High Marks

"Academically rigorous, intimate and seriously gorgeous." No, this is not a date profile for eligible undergraduates. It's how The Princeton Review describes Willamette University in its just released Best 366 Colleges 2008 Edition.

The Princeton Review asked 120,000 students at 366 top colleges to rate their schools in dozens of categories and report on their campus experiences. The 80-question survey is inclusive and covers academics, campus life, the student body, best professors, campus food, athletics and more.

"I am pleased that the Princeton Review recognizes academic rigor and strong faculty-student engagement at Willamette," said Willamette University President M. Lee Pelton. "Not only do these factors heavily influence students' satisfaction with their undergraduate experience, when it comes to garnering national fellowships and awards and getting into top graduate programs, these strengths are critical to success."

Here are some of the things students wrote about Willamette:

  • "Outstanding" academic programs include the sciences, a "great focus" on the arts, a popular Japanese Studies Program, and "a highly acclaimed political science program."
  • "Small class sizes allow lots of discussion and personal attention" and undergraduate research opportunities allow students to work with faculty members on the kinds of projects reserved for grad students at most other schools. Willamette is also "very accommodating for double majors." Professors are, "for the most part, super interesting and exciting."
  • Intercollegiate and intramural sports are hugely popular here, and the "incredibly strong" track and cross country programs are especially noteworthy.
  • Willamette is "2 hours from the coast" and "2 hours from the mountains." Also, "it's only a 45-minute drive over to Portland" and "a ton of cultural stuff."
  • Students at Willamette rate their "interesting, intelligent, genuine, [and] community oriented" peers as "pretty hard workers" and say "There's a social group for almost everyone -- jocks, preps, partiers, nerds; you name it." There are also "outdoorsy" types and "a lot of musicians" here. Conflict between groups is very minimal. "Everyone is accepting . . . so it's not intimidating to meet random people." Politically, Willamette is "extremely liberal." There are plenty of "politically left-wing people who love granola and Howard Dean," though, interestingly, few "real hippies."

[download the full review pdf]