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The Princeton Review Gives Thomas Aquinas College High Rankings for Academics, Financial Aid, and Quality of Life

August 29, 2016
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The Princeton Review Gives  Thomas Aquinas College High Rankings for  Academics, Financial Aid, and Quality of Life

#1 in Nation for Most Religious Students

SANTA PAULA, CA—August 29—Thomas Aquinas College provides one of the best undergraduate educations in the country, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features the College in the 2017 edition of its annual guide, The Best 381 Colleges. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the publication, The Princeton Review’s flagship college guide. Thomas Aquinas College is one of only three Catholic schools recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society to make The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” list. 

Among the ratings for Thomas Aquinas College are scores of 96 for academics, 95 for quality of life, and 99 for financial aid. In this scoring system, 99 is the best possible score. 

“Thomas Aquinas College’s outstanding academics are the chief reason we chose it for this book and we strongly recommend it to applicants,” says Robert Franek, the Princeton Review's Senior VP-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 are pleased that, once again, The Princeton Review has featured Thomas Aquinas College in its annual guide,” says the College’s president, Dr. Michael F. McLean. “Of particular note are the high scores we received for our academic and financial aid programs, and for our students’ ‘quality of life.’ Our goal has always been to provide the best education at the most affordable price, and The Princeton Review profile offers some strong evidence that we are succeeding.”

In its profile of Thomas Aquinas College, The Princeton Review quotes extensively from students at the College who were surveyed for the book. Among their comments:

  • Thomas Aquinas College is a school that “takes learning seriously for its own sake, not just as preparation for a job.”
  • The College has “a strong Catholic identity” and “a rigorous curriculum.”
  • The College offers a “holistic education” that is “demanding on every level,” in “an atmosphere of trust and faith that makes it easier to study, to live, and to grow.”
  • “You get all kinds of people here — but one thing they have in common is a desire to search for the truth.”

The guide also reports 62 ranking lists of “Top 20” colleges in various categories. The lists are based entirely on The Princeton Review’s survey of 143,000 students attending the colleges in the book and not on The Princeton Review’s opinion of the schools. The survey asks students to rate their own schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from assessments of their professors to opinions about their financial aid and campus food. Among the “Top 20” ranking lists on which Thomas Aquinas College appears are No. 1 for “Most Religious Students” and No. 10 for “Best Classroom Experience.

Finally, in a “Survey Says” sidebar in the guide’s profile of the College, The Princeton Review lists some sentiments that were frequently expressed by the Thomas Aquinas College students surveyed for the book. The list includes:

  • “Students are happy.”
  • “Classroom facilities are great.”
  • “Class discussions encouraged.”
  • “School is well run.”
  • “Great financial aid”
  • “No one cheats.”
  • “Students are friendly.”
  • “Diverse types interact on campus.”
  • “Dorms are like palaces.”

About Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas Aquinas College has developed a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad. At Thomas Aquinas College, there are no majors, no minors, or electives because all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one 4-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. Rather than listening to lectures, they engage in rigorous Socratic discussions about these works in classes of 15-18 students. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. Genuinely committed to upholding civic virtue and leading lives dedicated to the good of others, Thomas Aquinas College graduates enter a wide array of fields where they are a powerful force for good in the Church and in the culture. Well-versed in rational discourse, they become leaders in education, law, medicine, journalism, public policy, military service, and business. In addition, a steady 10% of alumni go on to the priesthood or religious life.