Princeton Review has again featured UMBC as one of the nation’s top universities in its popular undergraduate guide, The Best 382 Colleges, published this week. Put simply, Princeton Review Editor-in-Chief Robert Franek says, “We chose UMBC for this book because it offers outstanding academics.”
UMBC fit into the top 15% of 2,500 colleges Princeton Review considered. Their analysis included 137,000 student ratings of colleges and universities across dozens of categories, from financial aid to career services and the classroom experience. It also incorporated feedback from college administrators and from Princeton Review visits to participating campuses.
Princeton Review’s UMBC profile particularly highlights the quality of teaching found at the university, and faculty’s deep commitment to supporting student success. One student shared that UMBC is home to “extremely intelligent professors that have a knack for inspiring the students.” Others noted, “this is a university where teaching comes first” and “most of the professors are so helpful” when it comes to offering students additional support through office hours.
The guide recognizes UMBC’s solid reputation as a place where “students take education seriously,” referencing the common feeling across the university that “UMBC is a place where it is cool to be smart.” But this level of student engagement isn’t limited to academics, Princeton Review emphasizes. One UMBC undergraduate shared, “almost every student at UMBC is involved with at least a couple of extracurricular activities, which connect them to the campus.”
“Overall, it seems, ‘People fit in [at UMBC] by being intellectually creative and finding a community,'” The Best 382 Colleges guide notes.
Reflecting further on the college experience, one student shared, “UMBC wants to see every student succeed—they provide you with the tools, people, and resources to make sure you get where you want to go in life.” The guide also points out that UMBC “has a strong reputation for diversity and students feel ‘it enriches our school and everyone gets to know everyone despite culture or ethnicity.'”
Specific UMBC programs highlighted in the guide range from the sciences and mathematics to the performing arts, with special recognition going to UMBC’s “technologically advanced” Performing Arts and Humanities Building. The university’s convenient location just outside of Baltimore, near Washington D.C., also received high marks.
In January of this year, Princeton Review also featured UMBC in its 2017 Colleges That Pay You Back guide, which includes the nation’s top colleges that balance “a superb education with great career preparation and at an affordable price.” Most recently, Forbes and Money magazines recognized UMBC as a “great investment” for students, and The Chronicle of Higher Education named UMBC one of the nation’s top academic workplaces for the eighth year in a row. That ranking distinguished UMBC as an “honor roll” institution, as one of just ten large universities nationwide to excel in nearly every measured category.
Header image: UMBC’s Orientation Peer Advisors, summer 2017. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.