Princeton Review Tags Brenau ‘Best In The Southeast’

Aug 25, 2011
Rudi Kiefer
For the seventh year in a row, The Princeton Review, a national education services company based in Framingham, Mass., named Brenau University Women’s College as one of the best colleges in the Southeast in its 2011 ratings of more than 620 higher education institutions in the United States.

On a scale of 60 to 99, Brenau scored 87 for academics – one of the highest scores among the Georgia institutions in the ratings.

Princeton Review
“These are especially gratifying marks for Brenau,” said Ed Schrader, the university’s president. “Although there is always room for improvement, we are assured that the Brenau brand of education is highly regarded among those where it matters most – the students.”

Following students survey and other more complex evaluation criteria applied to more than 2,500 institutions overall, The Princeton Review recommended Brenau as one of the 133 institutions in the Southeast section of its “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region” feature at the website.

Unlike other rankings, which are sometimes based on more subjective criteria, The Princeton Review’s listings – which primarily are a service for prospective students making higher education choices – do not pit one college against another. However, of the other Georgia colleges among those rated in academics in the Southeast, Agnes Scott scored 88, Clark 73, Emory 92, Georgia College & State University 72, Georgia Tech 72, Mercer 85, Morehouse 76, Oglethorpe 89, Shorter 73, Spelman 78, Toccoa College 76, the University of Georgia 72, and the University of West Georgia 68.


“We’re pleased to recommend Brenau to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degrees,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing. “We chose it and the other terrific institutions mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

Franek said that his organization winnowed choices from several hundred schools in each region, based on institutional data collected directly from the schools, visits to schools over the years, opinions of our staff and invited recommendations of college counselors and advisers.

“We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey for this project,” he added. “Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional ‘best’ lists.”

Some of the student comments are published on the site. They generally regard Brenau as a “relaxed campus” that provides students with “more opportunities for leadership positions” than larger institutions. Praising arts programs like dance, theater and interior design and health science programs like nursing and occupational therapy, the students also stated that in academic Brenau, “thanks to its small size, a low student-teacher ratio and a dedicated faculty, is a school where professors genuinely care and can provide plenty of individual guidance.

“One student puts it this way: ‘The teachers really want to help you succeed and are available to help with any questions. They encourage class discussion, and most state that there is no stupid question.’ Likewise, ‘The administration is friendly and actually eats in the same dining room with the students and says hello to the students, and most of them know you by name.’ It’s the sort of place where ‘you never walk around without seeing more than a dozen familiar faces, and you truly feel confident to share ideas in class.'”

The 133 colleges The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the Southeast” designations are located in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 152 in the Midwest, and 120 in the West as best in their locales on the company’s “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists. Collectively, the 623 colleges named “regional best” constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

Originally published on 9/27/10