17 Virginia, DC Colleges Make Princeton Review’s 2021 ‘Best’ List

VIRGINIA — The Princeton Review this week released its annual list of the country’s best

VIRGINIA — The Princeton Review this week released its annual list of the country’s best colleges. This year’s list, which features 386 schools, includes 13 in Virginia and four in Washington, D.C.

The 2021 Best 386 Colleges were selected based on “our high opinion of their academics,” the Princeton Review said in announcing its newest list. The organization said it monitors colleges “continuously and annually” to collect data on more than 2,000 schools.

In determining the “best,” The Princeton Review said it also visits schools and communicates with hundreds of college administrators in compiling its assessment.

“We pay close attention to the feedback we get about colleges from students, parents, educators, and our own staff at The Princeton Review locations across the country,” the organization said.

Here are the Virginia colleges named among the country’s best by Princeton Review:

  • Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, 1,543 full-time enrollment

  • Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, 27,811 full-time students

  • University of Virginia in Charlottesville, 17,011 full-time students

  • University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, 4,182 full-time students

  • Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, 1,072 full-time enrollment

  • Hampton University in Hampton, 3,672 students

  • James Madison University in Harrisonburg, 19,975 students

  • Randolph College in Lynchburg, 565 students

  • University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, 2,086 students

  • Hollins University in Roanoke, 668 students

  • Roanoke College in Salem, 2,005 students

  • Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach, 1,387 students

  • William & Mary in Williamsburg, 6,256 students

And these Washington, D.C., colleges were also on the Princeton Review list:

  • Howard University, 6,526 full-time enrollment

  • Catholic University of America, 3,279 full-time enrollment

  • Georgetown University, 7,459 full-time students

  • American University, 8,527 students

This year’s administrator survey polled 179 college leaders by asking a series of questions on their outlook for this year amid COVID-19-related challenges. In their responses, college officials said social distancing and maintaining health and safety on campus remain their biggest priorities. The issue administrators ranked financial aid as likely to be the greatest concern among students.

Here are the key findings from this year’s administrator survey:

  • 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.

  • 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.

Finally, Princeton Review determined 2021 college rankings based on surveys taken by students attending this year’s “Best” colleges. Surveys are available year-round on Princeton Review’s website.

In the survey, students are asked to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences. The top 20 schools are then compiled and ranked in 62 different categories.

Rankings cover everything from academics, to administrative services, financial aid, campus amenities, alcohol use, 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.

See the full list of each highest-ranked college, according to category. Other rankings are available online.

Patch Regional Managing Editor Kara Seymour contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the McLean Patch

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