UH absent from survey of colleges
There are no more "dorms like dungeons," "long lines and red tape" or "professors get low marks" rankings for the University of Hawaii at Manoa this year.
That is because UH-Manoa dropped out of the Princeton Review's annual guidebook to the best colleges in the United States.
It is the first time since 1999 that UH-Manoa was not ranked by the Princeton Review, which uses student surveys and information from colleges to come up with its ratings and rankings, said review spokeswoman Jeanne Krier.
Even though UH-Manoa was listed as among the best schools and the law school has been listed as having "the best environment for minority students" and the "most diverse faculty," the student surveys have not been kind to the campus.
Over the last several years, the university has placed near the bottom in other dubious categories, including "least happy students," "professors make themselves scarce," "students almost never study" and "election? what election?" -- a measure of student political apathy.
"We did not receive the school's support and cooperation for our student survey, despite several requests we made (and despite having our received their cooperation in the past). That is why we had to drop them from the book this year," Krier said in an e-mail. "We hope to be able to include them in next year's edition."
The review's rankings are based on surveys of 120,000 students nationwide, an average of 325 students per campus. Students can fill out surveys online, Krier said, noting there are safeguards to prevent students from filling out multiple surveys.
HPU rates high in western U.S.
Hawaii Pacific University is the only Hawaii college ranked as one of the best in the West, according to the Princeton Review.
The review selected HPU as one of 120 best regional colleges in the western United States.
"We commend all of the schools we named this year as our 'regional best' colleges primarily for their excellent academic programs," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's vice president of Publishing, in a news release from HPU. "We selected them based on institutional data we collected 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."
The review conducts a more thorough survey of each school about every three years, Kreir said.
Senior UH-Manoa administrators, including Kathy Cutshaw, vice chancellor for administration, and Alan Yang, associate vice chancellor for students, said they did not know why the school was not in this year's Princeton Review book and said that they would look into it.
In the past, UH officials have been critical of the student surveys, calling them unscientific.
This year, for the first time, the review gave colleges a "Green Rating," based on the schools' environment-related practices, policies and course offerings. UH-Manoa was one of 534 schools that provided information to the review, and received a score of 82 out of 100. The rating put UH-Manoa slightly above the median for the colleges that participated.
UH-Manoa has also been listed by the review as among the Best Western Colleges and America's Best Value Colleges.
The school is no longer on the Best Western Colleges on the review's Web site. Krier said she is not sure whether the review will put out a best value guide this year or whether UH-Manoa will have a chance to be on the list.
The Princeton Review is a New York-based company known for its test preparation courses, education services and books. It is not affiliated with Princeton University.