PENNSYLVANIA —The Princeton Review has released its annual list of the country's best colleges. The 2021 list, which features 386 schools, includes 29 in Pennsylvania.
The colleges were selected based on "our high opinion of their academics," the Princeton Review said in announcing its newest list. The organization says it monitors colleges "continuously and annually" to collect data on more than 2,000 schools.
In determining the "best," The Princeton Review says it also visits schools, and communicates with hundreds of college administrators in compiling its assessment.
"We pay close attention to feedback we get about colleges from students, parents, educators, and our own staff at The Princeton Review locations across the country," the organization said.
Here are the Pennsylvania colleges named among the country's best by Princeton Review:
(The institution is followed by its location, and full-time enrollment.)
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, 2,251
Moravian College, Bethlehem, 2,073
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, 5,178
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, 1,384
Dickinson College, Carlisle 2,133
Ursinus College, Collegeville, 1,472
Lafayette College, Easton, 2,662
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, 2,371
Grove City College, Grove City, 2,272
Haverford College, Haverford, 1,314
Juniata College, Huntingdon, 1,423
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, 8,234
Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, 2,309
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, 3,627
Allegheny College, Meadville, 1,775
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 10,019
Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, 4,783
Drexel University, Philadelphia, 15,346
Temple University, Philadelphia, 28,726
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus, 19,200
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 7,022
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, 5,839
University of Scranton, Scranton, 3,792
Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, 2,312
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, 1,667
Penn State University, University Park, 40,639
Villanova University, Villanova, 6,865
Washington & Jefferson College, 1,262
Lycoming College, Williamsport, 1,140
The 2021 guide to the best colleges also includes 62 ranking lists that cover everything from academics, to administrative services, financial aid, campus amenities, the student body's political leanings, race/class interaction, LGBTQ community acceptance, and more. The ranking lists are based on surveys of 143,000 students at the colleges.
The Princeton Review also conducted a survey that polled administrators at schools featured in the Best 386 Colleges list. That survey indicated the top priority among college administrators for the upcoming school year is "social distancing: maintaining health and safety on campus." The issue administrators ranked as likely to be the greatest concern among students is financial aid.
The Princeton Review survey featured 11 questions related to the fall outlook in light of COVID-19 pandemic.
The findings, based on surveys from 179 college administrators, reveal:
Nearly 4 of 10 respondents (39 percent) reported their projected fall enrollment is down from 2019, while 19 percent reported an increase; 42 percent said it is about the same.
Just over 1 in 8 respondents (14 percent) reported the percentage of in-state students in their school's incoming first-year class is higher than it was in 2019, while 6 percent reported it is lower than it was in 2019.
More than 9 out of 10 (93 percent) reported their schools were making COVID-19–related modifications in classrooms, labs, residence halls, and dining halls.
Two-thirds (67 percent) anticipated the majority of their fall courses would be principally hybrid (part in-person, part online) classes: 21 percent said in-person and 12 percent said online.
"COVID-19 has presented sobering challenges for school administrators and educators, as well as daunting decisions for students and their parents," said Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief at The Princeton Review. "What impressed us in our administrator survey findings is the flexibility many colleges built into their reopening plans, especially those giving students options to study remotely or on campus with health and safety protocols in place. We will continue to report on new and changing developments as this unprecedented academic year progresses."