Princeton recognized as a top university in national and international rankings

Princeton University continues to be recognized in national and international college ranking lists for its academic quality, outstanding undergraduate student experience and generous no-loan financial aid that enables students to graduate debt free.

The University was ranked No. 1 in the Forbes ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions in America's Best Colleges, No. 1, tied with Harvard University in the Best National Universities category in the "U.S. News 2013 America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, and No. 1 in the most recent list of "100 Best Values in Private Colleges" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, which came out in fall 2011.

The Forbes ranking, which focuses on outcomes, such as career prospects, placed Princeton at the top of its list for the quality of undergraduate teaching, academic value and low student debt at graduation.

In international surveys, Princeton was ranked No. 7 in the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking, officially known as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU); the University was ranked No. 9 among 700 institutions across the globe by the QS World University Rankings; and it was ranked No. 5 in Times Higher Education's World Reputation Rankings 2012 announced in fall 2011. 

The Princeton Review education service's "Best 377 Colleges - 2013 Edition" ranked Princeton first in the "great financial aid" category and included the University among the top 10 in the "students study the most," "most beautiful campus" and "best college library" categories. The Princeton Review is a private firm not affiliated with the University and ranked schools based on student survey responses to various elements of campus life.

In 2001 Princeton became the first university in the United States to offer a comprehensive no-loan policy in which need-based aid is provided in the form of grants rather than loans. This makes it possible for students to graduate from Princeton without debt. About 60 percent of Princeton undergraduates receive grants. The average grant for a student receiving aid this academic year is expected to be $37,000.

Princeton has been ranked highly in surveys that seek to identify top schools in various categories, including graduate school programs; student diversity, favorable campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students; and as the best work environment for individuals pursuing careers in academia. 

"We are pleased with the continued recognition for our quality of education, which is made accessible to all admitted students through our pioneering no-loan financial aid program that enables Princeton students to graduate debt free, and the strength of the individual programs we offer," Princeton officials said. "Still, we feel that no formulaic rankings can fully capture the distinctiveness of any institution, or determine which university might be an appropriate match for an individual student."

Princeton also was recognized in areas of service and leadership in several ranking systems, including being listed in the top 20 among medium colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduating seniors to Teach For America.

Princeton's sustainability efforts earned the University a place in the April 2012 "Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges," which profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses.

The U.S. News' assessment also listed Princeton in other categories related to academics, including best undergraduate engineering programs, a strong commitment to teaching and best value. Princeton also was listed in the magazine's categories for service learning, the University's senior thesis requirement and an emphasis on writing across the curriculum.

"The Princeton experience is enriched by our pioneering Bridge Year Program that offers students a unique international experience living abroad tuition-free while performing service projects before they begin their Princeton careers," Princeton officials said.

"We always encourage students to collect as much information as they can about colleges and universities in which they have an interest, and to visit those institutions to find what academic and social environment is best for them. We strongly encourage students to use a wide range of valuable and readily available resources to find the best college match," Princeton officials said. "Additional resources at Princeton include the University's websites, social media, admission materials and campus tours."