California State University, Long Beach
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Campus Receives ‘Best in the West’ Ranking in Princeton Review’s 2010 Best Colleges

Published: August 3, 2009

CSULB has been ranked among the “Best in the West” by The Princeton Review in its Web site feature “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” posted on July 27.

CSULB is one of 123 institutions receiving The Princeton Review’s “Best in the West” designation. The West includes 15 states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Earlier this year, CSULB was ranked among the top 50 best value public colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review, which teamed up with USA Today to present a list of the 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2009.” The Princeton Review selected the 100 institutions – 50 public and 50 private – as its “best value” choices based on surveys of administrators and students throughout the nation.

“The Princeton Review ranking is significant because it is based on the opinions of those we serve – the students at Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Students’ opinions are important to consider because if we’re not doing a good job of serving them, they are going to go somewhere else. Our students, however, feel very positive about The Beach, and that is a direct result of the outstanding efforts by the faculty and staff on this campus.”

The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 141 in the Southeast, and 158 in the Midwest as best in their locales on the company’s “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section on its site. The 640 colleges named “regional best(s)” represent only about 25 percent, or one in four, of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

“We chose Cal State Long Beach and the other terrific schools we recommend as our ‘regional best’ colleges primarily for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing. “We also work to have our roster of ‘regional best’ colleges feature a range of institutions by size, selectivity, character and locale.

“We choose the schools based on institutional data we collect from several hundred schools in each region, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisors whose recommendations we invite,” Franek added. “We also take into account what each school’s customers – their students – report to us about their campus experiences at them on our 80-question student survey.”

With each recognized university, the Web site highlights comments made by students in the surveys in the areas of academics, campus life and student body. The following are comments by Cal State Long Beach students:

Princeton Review


Academics — CSULB is “very large and diverse,” “affordable to virtually anyone” and “geared toward preparing students to enter the real world.” “The academic experience at this school is what you make of it,” says a political science major. Many CSULB faculty members are “wonderfully passionate” and “available outside of class,” “especially in the upper-level courses.” “Teachers are here because they want to teach, not do research,” says an aerospace engineering major.

Campus Life — “There’s plenty of campus life, culture, and activities—you just have to look,” says a senior. “When walking from class to class, it’s pleasant to see the juggling club on the lawn, a reggae band playing near the dining hall, and the Filipino American Club discussing justice for Filipino-American veterans.” This “beautiful” campus boasts “clean architecture” and “several tasty food joints.” The baseball and the women’s volleyball teams perennially “compete for national titles.” For a smattering of students, “Greek life is awesome.” “Dorm life on campus is great.”

Student Body — At CSULB, “everyone is very different.” “You can be yourself and no one will mind,” says one student. “Our school has one of the most diverse student bodies of any school in the nation,” notes a junior. “Think of any social/religious/ethnic archetype and we’ve got ‘em in droves—liberals, conservatives, religious zealots (Western and Eastern), adamant atheists, and a greater variety of skin color than a 1990s diversity promotion.” All students have a place where they can feel welcome and enjoy themselves.