|Washington and Jefferson College|
Out of 379 colleges and universities the Princeton Review has labeled “best” for 2015, at least 60 are still accepting applications for this fall.
And many continue to offer scholarships, housing and other perks designed to attract academically excellent students to their campuses.
Since 1992, the Princeton Review has published a popular listing of “Best Colleges” culled from about 2,800 top colleges and universities reviewed for this purpose.
Over the years, the editors of the guide have added more than 150 colleges and deleted several along the way. This year’s guide contains descriptions of 379 very diverse and interesting institutions that made the cut.
Unlike organizations that attempt to “rank” colleges, the Princeton Review makes no claim that their list is scientific or based on “mathematical calculations or formulas.” Instead, the editors rely on a wide range of input both quantitative and qualitative.
“We visit dozens of colleges and meet with their admissions officers, deans, presidents, and college students,” explained Robert Franek in his introduction to the guide. “We talk with hundreds of high school counselors, parents, and students.”
And the Princeton Review also took the trouble to survey about 130,000 students attending the 379 colleges in the book on everything from food to health services to political climate.
In other words, the Princeton Review goes to great lengths to present a wide range of “academically terrific” institutions representing the “top 14 percent” of the schools reviewed each year. It’s a very competitive list of first-rate schools.
And from lists of colleges still admitting students for fall of 2015 provided by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the Common Application, and the Universal College Application, it appears that at least 60 of the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” are still looking for a few great students.
There are a number of local colleges: Goucher, Hampden-Sydney, Hollins, Loyola Maryland, Randolph, St. John’s and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. And there are some Colleges That Change Lives: Allegheny, Eckerd, The Evergreen State College, Guilford, Juniata, Ohio Wesleyan, and Southwestern.
There are completely test optional colleges: DePaul, Drew, Green Mountain, Lake Forest, Washington and Jefferson, Wheaton (MA), and Wittenberg. And there are test optional colleges with a few conditions: Hofstra, the University of Idaho, Wagner, and William Jewell.
There are colleges on the west coast, in the south, Midwest, middle Atlantic, and the great northeast. There are large public institutions and small liberal arts colleges.
In short, if you’re still looking for a best fit college for the coming academic year, you’re in luck. There are plenty of colleges from which to choose.
But you need to act quickly. Before completing an application, take a minute to contact the admissions office of any school in which you are interested to make sure there are still spaces. Then follow whatever instructions they give to complete the application process as soon as possible. Make sure you provide whatever transcripts, score reports, and recommendations are required.
And if everything aligns, you may find yourself attending one of the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” for 2015.
Disclosure: Nancy Griesemer is a member of the Princeton Review National College Counselor Advisory Board, 2014-15.