The Princeton Review has designated California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) a “Best in the West” college in its Web site feature, “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which was posted in August.
One of just 120 institutions receiving the “Best in the West” mention, CSULB was selected primarily for its excellent academic program, according to The Princeton Review officials. Collectively, there were 623 colleges named to its four “regional best” lists, a total that constitutes only about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.
“The Princeton Review ranking is significant because it takes into account the opinions of those we serve – the students,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Our students believe in the quality education provided at Cal State Long Beach, and they know this will serve them well in their future careers. Additionally, the dedicated work of our faculty and staff once again has been recognized as benefitting our students.”
Colleges chosen for the “Best in the West” list are located in fifteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 152 in the Midwest, and 133 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists.
“We’re pleased to recommend Cal State Long Beach to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing. “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.”
Franek also noted that only schools that permit The Princeton Review to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for its regional “best” lists.
With each recognized university, the Web site highlights comments made by students in the surveys in the areas of academics, campus life and student body. The following are comments by Cal State Long Beach students:
Academics – CSULB is “very large and diverse,” “affordable to virtually anyone” and “geared toward preparing students to enter the real world.” “The academic experience at this school is what you make of it,” says a political science major. Many CSULB faculty members are “wonderfully passionate” and “available outside of class,” “especially in the upper-level courses.” “Teachers are here because they want to teach, not do research,” says an aerospace engineering major.
Campus Life – “There’s plenty of campus life, culture, and activities – you just have to look,” says a senior. “When walking from class to class, it’s pleasant to see the juggling club on the lawn, a reggae band playing near the dining hall, and the Filipino American Club discussing justice for Filipino-American veterans.” This “beautiful” campus boasts “clean architecture” and “several tasty food joints.” The baseball and the women’s volleyball teams perennially “compete for national titles.” For a smattering of students, “Greek life is awesome.” “Dorm life on campus is great.”
Student Body – At CSULB, “everyone is very different.” “You can be yourself and no one will mind,” says one student. “Our school has one of the most diverse student bodies of any school in the nation,” notes a junior. “Think of any social/religious/ethnic archetype and we’ve got ‘em in droves – liberals, conservatives, religious zealots (Western and Eastern), adamant atheists, and a greater variety of skin color than a 1990s diversity promotion.” All students have a place where they can feel welcome and enjoy themselves."