Tag Archives: princeton review

PR: Wes No Longer Weird

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here.  The new 2012 Princeton Review College Rankings are out!  So wipe away those tears of joy, and actually take a look at the ratings.  You’re probably wondering what we ranked as this year.  Maybe #15 Reefer Madness and #11 Least Religious Students like we did in 2009? How about #13 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians and #16 Least Religious Students like in 2010?  At least #10 Best College Library and #19 Best College Theater like in 2011, right?

Wrong.  We’re not reefer-mad, politically active liberal vegetarians with awesome acting skills in a luxurious library anymore.  We’re not any one of those things.   Wesleyan did not rank in the top 20 in any of these categories we performed so well in previously, but we do have a new honor.  We can thank Middletown for this one, because Wesleyan is now…

Princeton Review Rankings 2011

Because they are the standards by which everyone should choose their college, here is how we ranked in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review Best Colleges:

Wesleyan 2011 Princeton Review Rankings
Now, here are our rankings from last year:

2010 Princeton Review WesleyanWe essentially did worse in every category we were ranked in last year.  The only improvement comes in “Best College Theater,” where we squeezed in this year after not being ranked at all among the top 20 last year.

To be honest, the Princeton Review is insulting us.  They’re calling us mainstream.  

Princeton Review Ranks Wesleyan


A helpful commenter on our last post alerted us to the new Princeton Review rankings! Oh boy!

Here’s how we measure up:

Rank List
#10 Best College Library
#13 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians
#9 Most Politically Active Students
#18 Reefer Madness
#16 Least Religious Students
#14 Most Liberal Students

Unhappy with those rankings? Draw up your transfer application to the New College of Florida, which seems to outrank us in all the “important” metrics.

We also rank as one of the 271 “Best Northeastern Colleges”

Best Northeastern Colleges

This school is named a Best Northeastern College by The Princeton Review. Our goal is simple: to identify some of the colleges and universities that we feel stand out within each region.

Unfortunately, there was no list for “Best Anonymous Confession Board Memes” or “Student Body Most Likely To Reject Socially Constructed Hierarchies.”

I also did a little poking around to see what the Princeton review says about us to prospective students. The student body page describes us as such:

Passionate is a word that pops up frequently when Wesleyan undergrads describe their peers, as does “intelligent.” In fact, Wesleyan is a magnet for kids who value intellect, not only as a means to good grades and a career, but also as an instrument of self-development. “Everyone is excited about something,” undergrads report. Students here are engaged in campus life, meaning “a lot of things on campus are student-run and a lot of learning takes place outside the classroom due to casual interaction between peers.” Demographically speaking, there are “two main molds of a Wesleyan student: the preppy New England kid and the kid…who [is] some kind of mix between a hipster and a hippie. Outside of that it’s an extremely diverse group of kids who come from all over and have a wide range of interests.” Most students here “are liberal and ‘alternative.’

Sounds…surprisingly accurate, actually. Go fuck yourself College Prowler.

Avoid plagiarism with The Princeton Review

It looks like everyone’s favorite* college ranking service has let some sensitive data slip from their computers. According to The New York Times:

The Princeton Review, the test-preparatory firm, accidentally published the personal data and standardized test scores of tens of thousands of Florida students on its Web site, where they were available for seven weeks.

It looks like Wes students are unaffected, but it’s interesting to note that reporters for the Times found other goodies on the rogue web page, including directions for its test prep writers on how to avoid plagiarism when they’re creating their test prep materials:

One folder on the Web site gave unusual insight into how test preparation companies use older exams to prepare their practice tests. The folder contained digital scans of eight official SATs and six PSAT exams from 2005 through 2007. The tests are created by the Educational Testing Service, a nonprofit organization in Princeton, N.J.

An accompanying guide for Princeton Review exam writers, dated January 2008, said that the company’s “current SAT course diagnostic tests are not as reflective of the real E.T.S. tests as they should be.” It then described “spiraling,” or writing a new practice question based on an old question from the official test. The document instructs authors to avoid copyright infringement by obeying the “three word rule” — ensuring that no three consecutive words remain the same.

So, there you have it: swap every third word, and the Honor Board won’t be seeing you any time soon. Heh… riiight.

*Aww, we still love you, U.S. News.

More Princeton Review rankings

EON’s blog notes that the Princeton Review has released its 2009 “Green Ratings,” and that Wes scored a 92 out of 99. The criteria included in the rating include:

  • What is the percentage of food expenditures that go toward local, organic, or otherwise environmentally preferable food?
  • Does the school offer programs…to encourage alternatives to single-passenger automobile use for students?
  • Are new buildings required to be LEED Silver certified?
  • Has the school produced a publicly available greenhouse gas emissions inventory?
  • Does the school have an “environmental literacy” requirement?

It’s worth noting that Wes is required, in accordance with the Presidents Climate Commitment, to compile an inventory of all of its greenhouse gas emissions within a year of signing the Commitment (i.e. by November). The full criteria are here.

A total of 11 schools achieved a Green Rating of 99 and made the Green Rating Honor Roll, including one of our NESCAC peers–not Middlebury, but Bates. Nine of the 11 schools on the list have signed the Presidents Climate Commitment; Harvard and Yale are the outliers.