The 2013 edition of the Princeton Review's The Best 377 Colleges ranks Claremont McKenna College No. 1 in a brand new category: "Their Students Love These Colleges." The ranking represents responses from more than 122,000 surveyed students who were asked whether they were satisfied with their choice of college.
"The number-one ranking seems to confirm what our students tell us about Claremont McKenna College: they really love it here," says CMC Vice President for Student Affairs Jefferson Huang. "If we've developed a campus culture that students love, it must be attributed to a lot of people across the College who have spent the better part of their careers delivering a world-class education and caring for the needs of young adults."
The 2013 edition of The Best 377 Colleges, based on institutional data and student opinion surveys, is available beginning Tuesday, Aug. 21, and includes more than 60 ranking lists. According to The Princeton Review, a college's appearance on a ranking list in the book is entirely the result of what its own students surveyed by The Princeton Review reported about their campus experiences, as well as how they rated various aspects of their college life, from the dining hall food to the athletic/recreational facilities on campus. No ranking list reflects The Princeton Review's opinion of (or rating of) the colleges.
"If Claremont McKenna College has become the number-one college that students love, we naturally thank the faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and other supporters of the College who have given so much of themselves," Huang says. "I would also include the students themselves, who are a great motivator for us to do the things we do. I feel lucky to work with such an awesome group of students."
Asked what he most values about his education at Claremont McKenna College, student Ethan Gilbert says, "I love being here because no matter where I go, I run into other CMCers who love being here and are always looking to make sure everyone is included and having a good time. Even if you are feeling stressed from the rigorous work that CMC requires of its students, there are always people you can turn to for support.
"And even more than that," adds Gilbert, a member of the Class of 2013, "people actively look out to make sure that their fellow CMCers are doing well. The community and closeness that exists in perpetuity amongst CMCers is probably the greatest thing that this school does."
CMC landed on a total of nine ranking lists in this year's issue, with high marks also noted in "Best Career Services" and "Best-Run Colleges," both ranked third. For "Most Accessible Professors," CMC placed No. 4, and was No. 5 for "Best Quality of Life" as well as "Professors Get High Marks."
Student respondents gushed about CMC's professors, calling them "geniuses in their field," "incredibly accessible," "willing to Skype on weekends to answer questions," andnoted one "this is a place where professors become like family." Among the other comments from CMCers was praise for the "amazing career services center" and the student body. "It's a tight-knit community of driven, competitive, and intelligent people who know how to be successful and have a great time," one student observed.
Rising senior Caroline Nyce, agrees. "The best thing about my college is this: Somehow CMC manages to keep its students simultaneously happy and hungry at the same time," Nyce says. "It's pretty unique that we have a community of such motivated and driven individuals nestled in lazy Southern California.
"CMCers are looking forward, trying to find ways they can help make their mark on the world," Nyce says. "Looking back on my college decision, I could not imagine myself anywhere else."
"I think Donald McKenna, George Benson, and the other pioneers and supporters of the College who are no longer with us would be proud to hear that Claremont McKenna College has received this accolade from Princeton Review," Huang says. "However, I think they would be even more proud to hear that the recognition came from our students."
Ranking lists Claremont McKenna College is on in
THE PRINCETON REVIEW GUIDEBOOK:
THE BEST 377 COLLEGES - 2013 Edition
Random House / Princeton Review, Aug. 21, 2012
Rank Category 1 Their Students Love These Colleges
3 Best Career Services
3 Best-Run Colleges (administration gets high marks)
4 Most Accessible Professors
5 Best Quality of Life
5 Professors Get High Marks
6 Happiest Students
7 Great Financial Aid
7 Easiest Campuses to Get Around