Manoa makes list of top colleges
But Princeton Review ranks the university in unenviable categories for poor resources
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is listed as among the "Best 361 Colleges," in the Princeton Review's annual ranking of colleges.
But the ranking, based on student surveys, includes the university in the dubious categories of "Dorms Like Dungeons," "Long Lines and Red Tape," "Professors Make Themselves Scarce," "Least Happy Students," "Professors Get Low Marks" and "Election? What Election?"
UH PLACES IN THE ROTTEN RANKINGS
A look at how the University of Hawaii at Manoa ranks, according to the 2007 edition of the Princeton Review's "Best 361 Colleges":
Third: Dorms Like Dungeons
Fourth: Long Lines and Red Tape
Sixth: Least Happy Students
Sixth: Professors Make Themselves Scarce
10th: Professors Get Low Marks
11th: Election? What Election?
UH-Manoa and Hawaii Pacific University are also listed as among the "Best Western Colleges" and "America's Best Value Colleges."
UH-Manoa spokesman Jim Manke said the university's student surveys show "a high level of student satisfaction at UH-Manoa."
He said the university has taken steps to reduce lines and red tape on campus by allowing students to pay tuition, get financial aid and even buy books online.
Manke said the university's surveys show students in the dorms like their on-campus living experience, except for the physical facilities.
"But to say that dorms are like dungeons is an exaggeration," Manke said.
Only the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy rank lower than UH-Manoa's dorms.
"We know we need to make some improvements, and that's one reason our room rates haven't increased recently. But as you will see with new construction beginning soon, we will be in a student housing 'renewal' mode over the next two years."
Some students on campus yesterday said some of the rankings may be true, but they didn't agree with all of them.
"Most students I see are pretty happy," said Neal Muraoka.
"Some of the professors don't really make themselves available," he said. But Muraoka said just because a few professors are like that, doesn't mean all of them make themselves scarce.
There is some red tape, Anisah Yu said. But she said it's really not that bad.
Ben Ahakuelo said it also may be true that students are politically apathetic.
"I'm not that political, so I can't say," Ahakuelo said.
It's the first time that UH-Manoa has been on the "Elections? What Elections?" list, indicating political apathy.
But the university has been on the "long lines and red tape," "least happy students," and "dorms like dungeons," list for several years.
There is some good news: Unlike 2005, the university did not make the "students almost never study" list.
UH-Manoa and Hawaii Pacific University are also listed among the 123 "Best Western Colleges" and were among 150 schools that are "America's Best Value Colleges."
In other rankings based on the survey, HPU received a rating of 84 on a scale of 60-99 for its campus life. UH-Manoa was rated 63.
UH-Manoa received a 68 rating for academics, while HPU was at 64. And for financial aid, HPU got a 72 rating, while UH-Manoa got a 70.
The Princeton Review rankings are based on a 70-question survey distributed online and on campus. Schools are surveyed at least once every three years, but the majority of the responses are done online.
Robert Franek, the author of the annual survey, said the review considers colleges selected to be "the best in the nation academically."
The rankings and profiles in the "Best 361 Colleges" book give parents and prospective students reports from "the colleges' customers -- the students themselves," Franek said in a news release.
The book went on sale Monday.
The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test preparation courses, education services and books. It is not affiliated with Princeton University.