Princeton Review surveys GW

Princeton Review editors picked GW students’ brains at the Marvin Center Wednesday, conducting research about the University for its latest guidebook, The 331 Best Colleges.

Three production editors from the company handed out surveys to students who volunteered to offer their opinions about GW.

Students completed about 200 surveys, said Juliana Lambert, a Princeton Review production editor. The survey will be used for the University’s section in The 331 Best Colleges.

The Princeton Review has published its guidebook for seven years, ranking the top 331 institutions of higher education by examining specific categories related to academics, campus life and financial aid.

The guidebook provides a detailed analysis of each of the schools in its top 331. The book is designed to give readers an overview of the universities by providing information about the school’s location, its quality of academics, admission processes and selectivity, financial aid and demographics of the student body.

Some GW students participating in the survey said the book plays an important role influencing opinions of prospective students.

I think that The Princeton Review is a valuable assistant in the college selection process, sophomore Andy Metzger said. The Best 331 Colleges helped me to begin the process of selecting and eventually applying to this University.

But students said the book was just one of many sources that helped them decide where to apply for college.

The guidebook is not the only source of information a student needs to consult when choosing a college, sophomore Eric Hochstuhl said. For me, it helped me outline my first list of schools that I was interested in. A correct choice cannot be made from the book alone, students should visit the school they are interested in to form their own opinions regarding a university.

The Princeton Review polled about 200 of GW’s 14,580 graduate and undergraduate students for the new edition.

We make sure that we are conducting these polls at specific times and at specific locations, said Robert Franek, director of Guidebook Production and editor of this year’s edition of The 331 Best Colleges. The Princeton Review attempts to get a broad perspective by having students fill out these surveys during a typical academic day at the university.

The book includes categories related to drug and alcohol use and the prevalence of gays and lesbians on campus – information not available through the admission office in most schools, Franek said.

We are a tool that students and parents can use to gain insight to certain areas of a university that are not often available, Franek said.

The most popular element of The 331 Best Colleges is the section titled Schools Ranked By Category, according to the organization’s Web site.

The section ranks colleges in 64 categories. Sixty-one of the catagories are based only on student feedback while the other three include statistics based both on the student survey and data provided by the colleges.

The Princeton Review will release its latest version of The 331 Best Colleges next August.

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