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Princeton Review Names OBU “Best of the West” for 14th Year

August 15, 2018

For the 14th consecutive year, The Princeton Review named Oklahoma Baptist University one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States. OBU was one of 129 institutions listed in the “Best in the West” section on the educational research firm’s website feature, “2019 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

Each year, the nationally renowned educational services organization names the best colleges and universities in five zones: Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, West andInternational. This year 661 institutions, including OBU, were recognized for being “academically outstanding” and worth consideration in the college search. The colleges named “regional best” represent about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

OBU is one of only seven Oklahoma schools to make the list and is among 129 colleges and universities honored in the 15-state Western region. The “Best in the West” colleges are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington andWyoming. Included in the other four regional lists are 225 institutions in the Northeast, 143 in the Southeast, 159 in the Midwest, and 4 on the International list.

Colleges selected each year meet criteria for academic excellence based on data provided by school administration and surveys. Included in The Princeton Review’s assessment, given through a secure online survey, are 84 questions about the school’s academics, administration, student body and themselves. Using a five-point Likert scale, the responses are then converted from qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in its lists hierarchically, and the rankings are based off of student opinion rather than the organization’s views.

According to Robert Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review, the firm highly recommends each of the list’s institutions based on their outstanding academics, but they realize that there are more factors to consider in the college application process. 

“We know applicants need far more than an academic rating or ranking to find the college that will be best for them. We created our ranking lists to help narrow that search,” Franek said.

“They are based entirely on data we gather beyond academics that gives insight into what the schools’ enrolled students say about their professors, administrators, school services, campus culture and student life. In the end, it's all about the fit.”

OBU students’ comments about the school are featured on the university’s profile page, highlighting topics from the school’s campus life to the excellence of professors and teaching. A natural science major declared, “A typical student at my school has a passion for God.” Undergrads advise in-coming students to “open up and share experiences with others” as the notion of “cliques” is emphatically dismissed. There is a sense that most OBU undergrads are “warm and friendly” in demeanor.

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. For more information and for a full list of the rankings, visit