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UNC Asheville is featured in the 2014 edition of Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, and also is ranked at No. 13 on the “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list that is part of the annual guidebook released today.
The Princeton Review selected the 378 colleges and universities from more than 2,000 on which data are collected, primarily based on academic strength. The “best of” lists and descriptions of each college in the guidebook are based on a survey of 126,000 students who provide candid assessments of their institutions.
The Princeton Review praised UNC Asheville as offering a “top-notch academic experience,” citing the liberal arts curriculum, challenging course material, and professors who are devoted and passionate about their fields of study. “The professors’ enthusiasm for each course is contagious,” said a student quoted in the guide. An environmental studies major added, “the classes are small enough that the professors know you by name and seem to care if you do well.”
UNC Asheville improved its already high “quality of life” rating from 93 to 96 (scale maximum is 99) and students surveyed gave high marks to downtown Asheville as well as the university. According to the guide, many students are environmentally conscious and “love the fact that they are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Students surveyed also praised UNC Asheville’s outdoors program, including rock-climbing, caving, hiking and kayaking trips.
Earlier this year, The Princeton Review also ranked UNC Asheville as one of the nation’s 75 “Best Value” public colleges. The university’s affordability also gained notice from prominent financial magazines – in July, Forbes ranked UNC Asheville 20th nationally in its “Top Colleges 2013: Best Value Colleges.” The “Fiske Guide to Colleges” also named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy,” and included the university’s Environmental Studies Program in its list of pre-professional programs with unusual strength in preparing students for careers.