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UM rated one of the nation’s best colleges in The Princeton Review

The University of Miami 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 2011 edition of its popular guidebook, The Best 373 Colleges. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges 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 top 20 schools in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of students.

“We commend the University of Miami for its outstanding academics, the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book,” says Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing and author of The Best 373 Colleges. “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 28-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.”

In its profile of the University of Miami, The Princeton Review praises the school for being No. 1 in “Race/Class Interaction,” quoting extensively from UM students. “The University of Miami is the ideal place to gain experience in almost any field of work or research while living in a beautiful place with a culture mix that is truly unique,” one student said.

The Princeton Review’s ranking lists are entirely based on its survey of 122,000 students (about 325 per campus on average) attending the colleges in the book. The lists are not based on The Princeton Review’s opinion of the schools. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences. Topics range from assessments of their professors to opinions about 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. To see the Princeton Review’s explanation for the basis of its ranking lists, click here.

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book academically or from 1 to 373. Instead, it reports in the book 62 ranking lists of “Top 20” colleges in various categories.

In a “Survey Says. . .” sidebar in the book’s profile on the University of Miami, The Princeton Review lists topics on which UM students were in overwhelming agreement. The list includes “Diverse student types on campus,” “low cost of living,” and “great athletic facilities.”

The schools in The Best 373 Colleges also have ratings that The Princeton Review based on institutional data collected from the schools during the 2009-2010 academic year and/or its student survey for the book. The ratings are based on a scale of 60 to 99, and they appear in each school’s profile in eight categories, such as academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety, and green, which is a measure of a school’s commitment to environmentally related policies, practices, and education. Among the ratings in the University of Miami profile are scores of 96 for ‘Quality of Life’ and 95 for ‘Admissions.’

The Princeton Review has posted the school profiles and ranking lists in The Best 373 Colleges at The website also includes further information about the book, the student survey, the rankings, the ratings, and other features in the guide, including its “Best Value Colleges for 2010” list and its “Honor Roll” lists saluting schools with ratings of 99 in various categories.

The Best 373 Colleges is the 19th edition of The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” book. It is one of about 165 Princeton Review books published by Random House in a line that also includes the annual guides The Complete Book of Colleges and The Best Northeastern Colleges.

The schools in The Best 373 Colleges are also part of a group of 623 colleges that The Princeton Review commends (but does not rank) in its website feature, “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region – Northeast/Midwest/Southeast/West.”

The Princeton Review, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, with editorial offices in New York City and test preparation locations across the country and abroad, is not affiliated with Princeton University and is not a magazine.

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