Students throughout the nation agree: The University of Arizona is an elite academic and research institution.
The Princeton Review's survey of American college students once again listed the University of Arizona among the nation's top colleges. The Massachusetts-based education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and various student resources released its annual college guide, "The 382 Best Colleges: 2018 Edition," on Monday.
"The University of Arizona's improving standing in the Princeton Review highlights our student experience among the best in the country," said President Robert C. Robbins. "I am proud of what UA students, faculty and staff accomplish, and we are all are especially honored to be recognized for outstanding overall academics, admissions and financial aid — all areas that have a positive direct impact on our students."
The Princeton Review does not issue overall rankings for the 382 schools. Instead, it assigns scores ranging from a low of 60 to a high of 99 in a variety of categories, based on the responses of more than 137,000 students.
The UA excelled in campus sustainability or "green" initiatives (94), fire safety (91) and quality of life (88).
The UA also received top marks in admissions (82), financial aid rating (78) and overall academics (74).
In select categories that were ranked, the UA placed second in Best Health Services and 14th in Students Pack the Stadiums.
The UA also received mentions in the unranked categories of Colleges That Pay You Back and Green Colleges, while earning recognition as one of the Best Regional Colleges (Western Region).
The Princeton Review also reports that 112 countries are represented among the UA's nearly 34,000 undergraduate students, and that 80 percent of freshmen return for their sophomore year.
The survey asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body and themselves. The ranking methodology uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons.
UA students said that their school is "a perfect blend of long-lasting traditions, strong spirit … and empowering devotion to the community" and that the University provides "very good research programs while still having the staff dedicated to teaching their classes." Students also cited the UA's "unique academic programs," such as the nation's first-of-its-kind undergraduate law degree.
The Princeton Review's announcement follows the UA's placement in four subjects in the Center for World University Rankings by Subject. The UA placed first in limnology, third in water resources and fifth in astronomy/astrophysics and information science and library science.