By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
According to The Princeton Review Oklahoma City University is one of the best colleges in the West. The well-known education services company lists OCU among its “Best in the West” recommended schools in its 2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region website feature that posted earlier this month.
“We are pleased to be recognized again by The Princeton Review,” said OCU President Robert Henry. “Inclusion on this list reflects Oklahoma City University’s commitment to providing high quality education and academic rigor.”
The feature can be viewed here.
Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its tutoring, test-prep courses, books, and other student resources. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University
Only 125 colleges in 15 Western states made the “Best in the West” list for 2016.
Collectively, the 649 colleges on The Princeton Review’s “regional best” lists constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.
In its website profile on OCU, The Princeton Review stated that students describe the college as a “close-knit community” and provides them with the resources to “accomplish as much as possible.”
“Undergrads love OCU’s size which translates to, ‘big enough to have exciting things happen all the time but small enough so you see people you know and don’t feel overwhelmed,’” the review added.
“We chose OCU and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their excellent academics,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing.
“We also gave careful consideration to what students enrolled at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences on our student survey for this project,” Franek added.
“We designed our 80-question survey to include questions that prospective applicants might ask on a campus visit. Only schools that permit us independently to survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional ‘best’ lists, and only schools at which we see a strong level of satisfaction among their enrolled students — whom we consider their customers — make it to our final slate of regional ‘best’ college selections.”
The Princeton Review editors made their selections based on data the company collected from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, as well as its staff visits to schools over the years, and the perspectives of college counselors and advisors whose opinions the company solicits.
The Princeton survey asks students to rate their colleges on several issues: accessibility of their professors and the quality of their science lab facilities. Students are also asked to answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life.
Comments quoted by student in the OCU profile included “enthusiastic,” “ridiculously intelligent” and “incredibly personable” professors.
“They are motivating and expect the best out of their students. After we graduate I know we will be supported and helped in any way to find a career, “stated one senior.
The Princeton Review also scores the schools on its “Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists in six categories.
The scores, rated on a scale of 60 to 99, appear on the school profiles. They result primarily from institutional data the company obtained from the colleges. Some also factor in student survey data.
OCU had strong ratings for having accessible professors  and interesting professors .
The 125 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the West” 2016 list are located in fifteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The Review also designated 225 colleges in the Northeast, 159 in the Midwest, and 140 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company’s “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists.
For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com or www.okcu.edu.