The Princeton Review, a New York-based company known for its test preparation courses, education services and books, cited UT Austin as one of America’s Best Value Colleges in a list of colleges designated as one of the best overall bargains—based on cost and financial aid—among the most academically outstanding colleges in the nation.
The findings, released in the 2006 edition of The Best 361 Colleges, is part of a nationwide survey of about 110,000 college students asked to rate their schools on many topics, such as academics, administration and college life.
The Princeton Review survey also listed UT Austin 10th among 361 colleges and universities for the number of students packing the stadiums for sporting events. In other categories, UT Austin was 12th among the best college libraries, 13th among great college towns, 14th for the low number of hours students study each day, 15th for the best college newspaper, 15th for the best party school, 19th for the popularity of intramural and intercollegiate sports and 19th for beer consumption.
Washington Monthly, a District-based political magazine, ranks UT Austin 23rd among national universities on community and national service.
Their list uses the percentage of students in Army or Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, the percentage of graduates in the Peace Corps, the percentage of federal work-study grants used for community service projects, the total amount of research spending, the number of doctorates granted in the hard sciences and, as a measure of social mobility, the percentage of students on Pell Grants, with a bonus for schools whose graduation rates are higher than expected for having so many low-income students.
“Other guides ask what colleges can do for you,” the magazine says in its issue coming out Aug. 29. “We ask what are colleges doing for the country.”
In the U.S. News list of the top national public universities, UT Austin ranked 17th among 162 institutions surveyed. The university was ranked 14th in this category in 2005. In the magazine’s survey of 248 American universities—public and private—The University of Texas at Austin ranked 52nd. The university tied for 46th in this category a year ago.
In the peer assessment category, a qualitative measure of academic excellence and national reputation based on the opinions of presidents, provosts and deans of admissions, the university ranked 25th among all national public and private universities.
Quantitative and qualitative measures are used to determine a university’s overall ranking. Among the magazine’s quantitative measures are graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, the percentage of classes under 20 students, the student-faculty ratio, an institution’s selectivity, its financial resources and alumni giving. Rankings of undergraduate programs such as business and engineering and specialty areas within those schools and colleges are determined by surveys of deans and senior faculty.
The university is highly ranked in the U.S. News survey of the best business and engineering undergraduate programs.
The McCombs School of Business ranked fifth, tied with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and New York University. McCombs was ranked sixth in last year’s survey. The McCombs’ accounting program ranked second in qualitative rankings of specialty areas, while its management information systems and marketing programs ranked third, and the finance program ranked fifth.
The College of Engineering undergraduate program ranked 11th in the nation. It was 10th a year ago. The civil engineering and environmental/environmental health specialty areas ranked fourth.
In the magazine’s list of “Programs to Look For,” the university is recognized for its excellence in learning communities, in which students “typically take two or more linked courses as a group to get to know one another and their professors well.”
Updated August 23, 2005