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Princeton Review Designates CSULB A ‘Best in the West’ School

Published: August 15, 2013

CSULB has been designated one of the best colleges in the West by the Princeton Review, the nationally known education services company.

The university is one of 124 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the West” section of its guide the 2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region. The book was released Aug. 7, and the list appears on the Princeton Review website.

In the profile on CSULB, students have described the positive attributes of the campus as including “very large and diverse,” “affordable to virtually anyone,” and “geared toward preparing students to enter the real world.”

In all, there were 643 colleges named “regional bests,” representing about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“What is so significant to me about the Princeton Review designation is that it takes into account the opinions of those we serve—the students,” said CSULB Interim President Donald Para. “This statement confirms that our students understand they are getting a quality education at Cal State Long Beach, and they know this will serve them well in their future careers.”

Para also noted that the Princeton Review named CSULB one of the nation’s “Best Value” public colleges and universities earlier this year. Only 75 public institutions across the country were selected to this list.

Colleges chosen for the “Best in the West” list are located in 15 states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The Princeton Review also designated 226 colleges in the Northeast, 155 in the Midwest and 138 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the 2014 “Region by Region” lists.

“We’re pleased to recommend these colleges to users of our site as the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher. “We chose these as our ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

The Princeton Review

Franek explained that the company winnows its list based on institutional data collected directly from the schools, visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of its staff as well as college counselors and advisors whose recommendations are invited.

“We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us,” he added. “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 colleges to rate their own schools on several issues—from the accessibility of their professors to the 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.

Some of the comments that can be found on CSULB’s online Princeton Review profile include: “The academic experience at this school is what you make of it,” said a political science major. “Our school has one of the most diverse student bodies of any school in the nation,” noted a junior. “Many CSULB faculty members are ‘wonderfully passionate’ and ‘available outside of class;’” and “Teachers are here because they want to teach, not do research,” said an aerospace engineering major.

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources. Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., with editorial offices in New York and locations across the country and abroad, the Princeton Review, which is a privately held company, is not affiliated with Princeton University.

–Rick Gloady