Southeast Among Princeton Review’s 2010 ‘Best in the Midwest’

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 4, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University is one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review.  The education services company selected the school as one of 158 institutions it profiles in its “Best in the Midwest” section of its Web site feature “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region” posted this week.  

“We chose Southeast and the other terrific schools we recommend as our ‘regional best’ colleges primarily for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president of Publishing. “We also work to have our roster of ‘regional best’ colleges feature a range of institutions by size, selectivity, character and locale.  We choose the schools based on institutional data we collect from several hundred schools in each region, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisors whose recommendations we invite.  We also take into account what each school’s customers – their students – report to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey.” 

The 158 colleges The Princeton Review chose for this year’s “Best in the Midwest” designations are located in 12 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 123 in the West, and 141 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section on its site.  The 640 colleges named “regional best(s)” represent only about 25 percent (one out of four) of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“The University’s recently approved new strategic plan calls for Southeast to be the university of first choice for students, for faculty and staff, and for employers in the region who hire our graduates,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Being recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the ‘Best in the Midwest’ underscores what we already know about this institution – that Southeast is doing an outstanding job of educating our students to serve the agriculture, arts, business, education, health, human service, science, and technology needs of this region.”

“Southeast has earned the reputation as Missouri’s most academically competitive regional university,” added Dr. Debbie Below, assistant vice president of enrollment management and director of admissions. “The average ACT, class rank standings, and first-year retention rates of Southeast’s beginning freshmen are higher than any other moderately selective university in Missouri. Designation as one of the ‘Best in the Midwest’ by Princeton Review is an outstanding recognition of what is happening at Southeast.”

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in its “2010 Best Colleges Region by Region” Web site section.  The Princeton Review survey for this project asks students to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life.  Actual comments from surveyed students pepper each Princeton Review college profile on its site.   Some student comments quoted in the profile on Southeast are that Southeast offers “small class sizes,” “personal attention” and “a wide range of majors.”  Another student commented that “the education program is awesome.” Business and nursing programs also received high praise.

Another student called Southeast’s River Campus “really, really nice” with “absolutely breathtaking” views of the mighty Mississippi.” And yet another said Southeast faculty members are “amazing professors” who are “very enthusiastic” and “encourage you to come see them in their offices.”

“What I really like about my professors is that they actually know who I am,” says an education major. “They go out of their way to commend students who work hard and produce quality work.”

A student surveyed said Southeast administrators are approachable. “They try to make everybody feel welcome,” asserted a history major, “from the 18-year-old freshman to the 45-year-old nontraditional student.”

The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) is known for its tutoring and classroom test preparation courses, books, and college and graduate school admission services.  Its corporate headquarters is in Framingham, Mass., and editorial offices are in New York City.  It is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.