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New Princeton Review Guide Gives College Highest Academic Rating


SANTA PAULA, CA — August 2, 2011— The Princeton Review has released its annual guide, The Best 376 Colleges, in which it once again awards Thomas Aquinas College a 99 for academics, its highest possible rating. The college was also one of only 10 institutions in the country — and the only Catholic school — to receive the guide's highest possible rating for financial aid. The Princeton Review, which includes only the top 15 percent of colleges and universities in the United States, lists the College as one of  the 121 “Best of the West.”

“We’re pleased to recommend Thomas Aquinas College to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree. We chose it and the other terrific institutions … mainly for their excellent academic programs,” explains Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Senior VP / Publisher. “We winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite. 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.”

Responses from student survey include:

  • “Catholic/small-college setting creates an atmosphere of trust and faith that makes it easier to study, to live, and to grow at school.”
  • The college “takes learning seriously for its own sake, not just as preparation for a job”
  • “strong Catholic identity”
  • “rigorous curriculum”
  • a “holistic education” that is “demanding on every level”
  • students learn to “read and think critically.”

In addition, The Princeton Review gives Thomas Aquinas College a “Quality of Life Rating” of 96, and placed in the “Top 20” of several categories, including:

  • Class Discussions Encouraged
  • No One Cheats
  • Students Are Very Religious
  • Low Cost of Living
  • Very Little Drug Use

“We are pleased, as always, with The Princeton Review’s rankings and those of the various college guides. We consider these a sign of the strength of our unique program of Catholic liberal education, which strives for both academic rigor and fidelity to the magisterium of the Church,” says President Michael F. McLean. “Our students and faculty continue to demonstrate that a classical education, taught in the light of faith, can yield outstanding results by any reasonable measure.”

About Thomas Aquinas College

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Thomas Aquinas College is a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college with a fully integrated curriculum composed of the Great Books, the seminal works in the major disciplines by the great thinkers who have helped shape Western civilization. There are no textbooks, no lectures and no electives. Instead, under the guidance of faculty members and using only the Discussion Method in classes of no more than 20, students read and discuss the original works of authors such as Euclid, Dante, Galileo, Descartes, the American Founding Fathers, Adam Smith, Shakespeare, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, and of course, St. Thomas Aquinas. Graduates consistently excel in the many world-class institutions at which they pursue graduate degrees in fields such as law, medicine, business, theology and education.They have distinguished themselves serving as lawyers, doctors, business owners, priests, military service men and women, educators, journalists and college presidents. 

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for more than 28 years through college and graduate school test preparation and tutoring.  With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website, the Company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review also partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the U.S. to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education.  The Company also owns and operates Penn Foster Education Group, a global leader in online education. Penn Foster provides career-focused degree and vocational programs in the fields of allied health, business, technology, education, and select trades through the Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School, which are headquartered in Scranton, PA.