MARYLAND —The Princeton Review has released its annual list of the country’s best colleges. The 2021 list, which features 386 schools, includes 11 in Maryland.
The colleges were selected based on “our high opinion of their academics,” according to the Princeton Review. The organization says it monitors colleges “continuously and annually” to collect data on more than 2,000 schools.
To determine the “best,” Princeton Review staff visits schools and communicates with hundreds of college administrators.
“We pay close attention to feedback we get about colleges from students, parents, educators, and our own staff at the Princeton Review locations across the country,” the organization said in a statement.
Here are the Maryland colleges named among the country’s best by the Princeton Review; they are not put in any order but are listed alphabetically by location:
St. John’s College, AnnapolisU.S. Naval Academy, AnnapolisJohns Hopkins University, BaltimoreLoyola University Maryland, BaltimoreUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyWashington College, ChestertownUniversity of Maryland, College ParkSalisbury University, SalisburySt. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s CityGoucher College, TowsonMcDaniel College, Westminster
The 2021 guide to the best colleges also includes 62 ranking lists that cover everything from academics, to administrative services, financial aid, campus amenities, the student body’s political leanings, race/class interaction, LGBTQ community acceptance and more. The ranking lists are based on surveys of 143,000 students at the colleges.
The Princeton Review also conducted a survey that polled administrators at schools featured in the Best 386 Colleges list. That survey indicated the top priority among college administrators for the upcoming school year is “social distancing: maintaining health and safety on campus.” The issue administrators ranked as likely to be the greatest concern among students is financial aid.
The Princeton Review survey featured 11 questions related to the fall outlook in light of COVID-19 pandemic.
The findings, based on surveys from 179 college administrators, reveal:
Nearly 4 of 10 respondents (39 percent) reported their projected fall enrollment is down from 2019, while 19 percent reported an increase; 42 percent said it is about the same.Just over 1 in 8 respondents (14 percent) reported the percentage of in-state students in their school’s incoming first-year class is higher than it was in 2019, while 6 percent reported it is lower than it was in 2019.More than 9 out of 10 (93 percent) reported their schools were making COVID-19–related modifications in classrooms, labs, residence halls, and dining halls.Two-thirds (67 percent) anticipated the majority of their fall courses would be principally hybrid (part in-person, part online) classes: 21 percent said in-person and 12 percent said online.
“COVID-19 has presented sobering challenges for school administrators and educators, as well as daunting decisions for students and their parents,” Editor-in-Chief at the Princeton Review Robert Franek said in a statement. “What impressed us in our administrator survey findings is the flexibility many colleges built into their reopening plans, especially those giving students options to study remotely or on campus with health and safety protocols in place. We will continue to report on new and changing developments as this unprecedented academic year progresses.”
You can learn more about the new best colleges list here.
— By Kara Seymour and Elizabeth Janney