USM Named a ‘Best Midwestern College’ for 10th Straight Year

8/7/2014 12:00:00 AM

Designation Recognizes Academic Excellence, Strong Student Experience

(Leavenworth, Kan..)—The University of Saint Mary has again been named a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review—a distinction USM has now earned for 10 consecutive years. The designation primarily honors schools for their commitment to academic excellence.

USM was one of only 159 Midwestern higher learning institutions to earn the Princeton Review Best Regional College honor for 2015. Only about 25 percent of the country’s four-year colleges make one of the Review’s four regional lists. In the Kansas City area, USM is part of a short roll of only about a half-dozen “Best Midwestern College” winners.

The Princeton Review selects schools for its regional best-of honors based on independent student surveys and the respective institution’s record for strong academics. Besides academics, schools are rated for their selectivity, financial aid offerings, fire safety, quality of life, and eco-friendliness.

The complete list can be found online at Schools on the regional list are not ranked. USM’s Midwestern region includes colleges from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

“We developed our ‘Best Colleges: Region by Region’ lists to offer guidance for the growing number of students and parents now seeking colleges closer to home,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher. “We selected the University of Saint Mary—and the other terrific institutions on our 'regional best' lists—primarily for their excellent academic offerings.”

The Princeton Review asks students to rate their own schools in several key areas—from the accessibility of the faculty to the vibrancy of a given school’s student-life program. Students also answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and the general atmosphere and culture on campus.

Students responding to the survey about Saint Mary praised USM’s “personal” touch, adding that the faculty are “helpful and caring” and the “school’s greatest strength,” and that the university is full of “friendly people who are always willing to do what it takes to solve your problem.” According to a student, “The students at Saint Mary are more than just an ID number or paycheck. The staff and professors make an effort to learn who people are, to learn their names, and why they are attending the university.” The university was also described as “a close-knit community of students who are expected to think.”

Dr. Bryan Le Beau, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Saint Mary, noted that “we are gratified to be continually recognized by the Princeton Review as a ‘Best Midwestern College.’ We are especially proud of the recognition because it is based on a survey of our students on a wide variety of factors.

“Clearly, students are pleased with the University of Saint Mary, and that is what matters.”

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation and college admission services company. Every year it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation, tutoring, and admissions services, its online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House LLC. The Company delivers its services via a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors in the U.S.A. and Canada, and through its international franchises in 14 other countries. The Company also partners directly with school districts and non-governmental organizations to provide students with college readiness services including college selection, test preparation, financial aid advice, and admissions support. The Princeton Review is headquartered in Natick, MA.  For more information, visit and  Follow the Company's Twitter feed @ThePrincetonRev