The following comes from an August 5 email sent by Thomas Aquinas College.

Thomas Aquinas College is one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features the four-year, Catholic college in the 2014 edition of its annual guide, The Best 378 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.

While these 378 schools are not ranked in any order, they are rated in eight categories on a scale of 60 to 99. Among the ratings for Thomas Aquinas College are perfect scores of 99 for both academics and financial aid, and a score of 97 for quality of life. The guide lists the College as one of the “Best Western” colleges, one of only 75 on its Best Value Colleges list, and one of only 10 on its Financial Aid Honor Roll.

“Thomas Aquinas College offers outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP / Publisher and author of The Best 378 Colleges. “We base our selections primarily on data we obtain in our annual institutional data surveys. We also take into account input we get from our staff, our 35-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the wide range of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools.”

“We are delighted that The Princeton Review has once again featured Thomas Aquinas College in its annual guide,” says the College’s president, Dr. Michael F. McLean. “Of particular note are the perfect scores we received for our academic and financial aid programs. Our goal has always been to provide the best education at the most affordable price, and The Princeton Review profile offers some strong evidence of success in these regards.”

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,” where “professors … lead you to truth without forcing it on you.”

·       “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 126,000 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:

·       #6 for Best Classroom Experience

·       #2 for Most Religious Students

·       #11 for Happiest Students

·       #11 for Most Beautiful Campus

·       #11 for Great Financial Aid