October 8, 2013

Five Maine colleges make Princeton Review top schools list

Students also give their own take – from ‘lots of beer’ at Bates to ‘best campus food’ at Bowdoin.

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The flagship campus of the University of Maine System and four private Maine colleges made Princeton Review’s “Best 378 Colleges” book, which profiles the top 15 percent of colleges nationwide, according to the private educational services company.

click image to enlarge

In this April 2013 file photo, freshmen Nina Hadzibabic of Long Island, CT, left, and Leah McDonough of Boston, Mass., on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Along with best food, Bowdoin College ranked 2nd for quality of life, best science facilities and best administration, in the Princeton Review’s most-recent college rankings. It also ranked 4th for best dorms and 10th for happiest students.

Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

University of Maine Orono, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, and the “Little Ivies” of Bowdoin College, Bates College and Colby College were all profiled in the book, which goes on sale Tuesday. There is no one school designated as the nation’s top school overall, but the book does rank schools in various categories.

Schools are selected for the book based on school-provided information on academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety and environmental sustainability.

The students get their say, too, weighing in on more light-hearted aspects of college life in an 80-question survey about life at their schools.

Maine colleges got mixed reviews in those student surveys. Bowdoin was rated 1st nationwide for “best campus food.” Meanwhile, the University of Maine ranked 15th for “Least Happy Students.”

Princeton Review also publishes a separate online list of an additional 226 colleges for a “Best in the Northeast” list. The University of Maine at Fort Kent and University of Southern Maine made that list.

Four Maine schools rank in the top 20 in various categories among the 378 colleges profiled in the guide, based on student surveys.

College of the Atlantic made nine top-20 lists, including 2nd for fewest people playing intramural sports and least interest in intercollegiate sports. It also ranks 7th for best campus food, 8th for most liberal students.

Along with best food, Bowdoin College ranked 2nd for quality of life, best science facilities and best administration. It ranked 4th for best dorms and 10th for happiest students.

Bates College had some mixed ratings, including 7th for strained relations with the college’s host community, 12th for best college radio and 14th for quantity of beer drinking.


Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:


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