Just as the University of Houston kicks off another fall semester with expectations of record enrollment (more than 43,700 as of Friday), the Princeton Review is highlighting why more students are choosing Houston. The education services company ranks UH among the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education in the 2017 edition of its flagship college guide, "The Best 381 Colleges," based, in part, on surveys from students.
In its profile, The Princeton Review praises UH for being “a world-class research institution and a fixture in Texas education" and “attracting many more bright students to the university.” The book quotes extensively from UH students who were surveyed. Among their comments, the school “provides some of the greatest opportunities in the world.” Students attributed UH’s ideal location in Houston as a strength for both academics and student life—noting UH’s ties to business and industries, as well UH’s proximity to “fun places to eat, party, hang out and exercise.” “If you feel there’s nothing you could do here… you, my friend, are wrong,” said one UH student.
“Outstanding academics are the chief reason we chose UH for this book, and we strongly recommend it to applicants," says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president-publisher and author of "The Best 381 Colleges." "We make our selections primarily based on data we collect through our annual surveys of administrators at several hundred four-year colleges. Additionally, we give considerable weight to observations from our school visits, opinions of our staff and our 24-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, and an unparalleled amount of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools. We also keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character."
The Princeton Review surveyed 143,000 students (about 375 per campus on average) attending the colleges. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from their assessments of their professors as teachers to opinions about their school's library, career services and student body's political leanings. UH received high marks for the diversity and “dedicated spirit” of the student body, pointing out that students routinely wear red and cheer on the athletic programs.
The University has not only caught the attention of the Princeton Review as being a university “on the rise in recent years,” but also has potential students taking notice. Applications were up 3 percent over last year and based on preliminary figures, enrollment is expected to see a similar increase.
Overall, the University of Houston continues its evolution and growth on all fronts— from the physical landscape to its academic offerings. There are several new schools, degree programs and academic opportunities debuting this fall. Among the highlights is the new College of the Arts. The Schools of Art, Music and Theatre & Dance have been reorganized into a distinct College of the Arts, giving arts students the ability to acquire the skills necessary to master their craft. The Hobby School of Public Policy also opened its doors this fall, offering a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, as well as a joint MPP/MSW (Master of Social Work).
The Princeton Review’s recent recognition of UH complements previous acknowledgements in books “Colleges that Pay You Back: Schools that Give you the Biggest Bang for Your Tuition Buck.” (Feb. 2016) and “Colleges That Create Futures” (Sept. 2015). UH also earned the No. 2 spot in Princeton Review’s “2015 Top Entrepreneurial Programs” for the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship in the C.T. Bauer College of Business.
The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and other student resources. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University.