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Princeton Review Names OBU 'Best in the West'

August 23, 2012

For the eighth consecutive year, OBU has been named one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review. OBU was one of 122 institutions recommended in the "Best in the West" section on the educational research firm's website feature, "2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region," posted Aug. 20.

"We're pleased to recommend Oklahoma Baptist University to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher. "We chose it and the other terrific institutions we name as 'regional best' colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.

"From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite. We also take into account what students at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey for this project. Only schools that permit us to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional 'best' lists."

The Princeton Review survey asks students to rate their own school on several issues - from the accessibility of their professors to the quality of the campus food - and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life.

"Oklahoma Baptist University is honored to once again be recognized by The Princeton Review as a 'Best in the West' institution," said OBU President David W. Whitlock. "While OBU is recognized year after year in various university rankings, the fact that The Princeton Review ranking is based on feedback from OBU students and college advisors truly reflects the excellence in academics and campus life found on Bison Hill. The designation also reflects the faithful commitment of OBU's students, faculty and staff."

New students meet with upper class "Welcome Week Workers" in a small-group setting on Monday, Aug. 20, on the OBU campus. Satisfaction with campus experiences is one element considered for universities to be included in the "Best Colleges" list released by The Princeton Review.

Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review site. One Spanish major from OBU responded to the survey by stating that OBU "is a Christian university that focuses on the liberal arts so that students are exposed to many different areas of study [in order to succeed] in a diverse world."

The review also reports that students describe professors as engaging, encouraging and happy to help students: "Outstanding academics and a prevailing respect for 'amazing' professors are how most students define their educational experience at OBU."

According to, production of the regional designation feature "is fueled by a desire to raise awareness of academically excellent colleges for students looking to study within a specific geographic area. Many of these schools are nationally-renowned institutions of higher learning, but others may be less familiar to you.

OBU is one of six Oklahoma schools receiving the merit, among the 122 colleges honored in the 15-state region. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in its list hierarchically. Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma also made the list. The "Best in the West" colleges are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The Princeton Review also designated 222 colleges in the Northeast, 153 in the Midwest, and 136 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company's "2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region" lists. Collectively, the 633 colleges named "regional best(s)" constitute about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review's feature "Best Colleges: Region by Region" can be found here.

The Princeton Review is known for its tutoring and classroom test preparation courses, books, and college and graduate school admission services. Its corporate headquarters is in Framingham, Mass., and editorial offices are in New York City. It is not affiliated with Princeton University, and it is not a magazine.