Southeast Among Princeton Review’s 2012 ‘Best in the Midwest’


by News Bureau on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 31, 2011 – For the fourth straight year, Southeast Missouri State University is one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company, widely known for its test prep programs and college and graduate school guides, included Southeast as one of 153 institutions it profiled in its “Best in the Midwest” section of its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” posted earlier this month on the company’s website at

The 153 colleges chosen for its “Best in the Midwest” list are located in 12 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Princeton Review also designated 220 colleges in the Northeast, 121 in the West, and 135 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists. The 629 colleges named “regional best(s)” constitute only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized as one of the “Best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Our University’s outstanding faculty, academic programs and accreditations make us ‘The University of First Choice,’ and we are proud to be recognized as one of the best by Princeton Review.”

Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher, said the Princeton Review chose the ‘regional best’ colleges “mainly for their excellent academic programs. From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite. We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us. Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional ‘best’ lists.”

For this project, The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools 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. Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review site. The profiles also have a “Survey Says” list that reveals topics about which students surveyed at the school were in highest agreement.

The schools in The Princeton Review’s “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website section are also rated in six categories by The Princeton Review. The ratings, which appear on the school profiles, are scores on a scale of 60 to 99. The Princeton Review tallied these scores based on institutional data it obtained from the colleges in 2010-2011 and/or student survey data. The rating score categories include: Academics, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, Quality of Life, and Green.

The Princeton Review does not rank the 629 colleges in its “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list hierarchically or by region or in various categories. Rather, the Princeton Review surveys students, asking them to rate their own schools on several issues – their school’s academics, administration, campus life, student body and themselves. Students commenting in Southeast’s profile say the Student Activities Council “works really hard to bring entertainment to campus.

Another says “intramurals are popular and the recreation center is impressive.” Yet another adds that “Southeast Missouri State University offers “small class sizes,” “personal attention” and “a wide range of majors.” “The education program is awesome,” says one student. Another student commented that the River Campus is “really, really nice” with “absolutely breathtaking views of the mighty Mississippi” and another called Southeast’s scholarships “quite generous.” Southeast’s business and nursing programs also receive high praise.

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

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for 30 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website,, the company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the United States to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education.