Middle Tennessee State University returned to The Princeton Review’s annual list of the nation’s best colleges for a third consecutive year.
MTSU remains the only locally governed institution in Tennessee recognized by the publication, first achieving its spot in 2019. Only five higher education entities in the state — two public and three private — were included in the recently released 30th edition of “The Best 387 Colleges.”
The honor by the highly regarded educational services company is extended to roughly 13% of the nation’s roughly 3,000 four-year institutions, said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of the book.
“We are pleased that The Princeton Review continues to acknowledge the sustained excellence of our university, as well as the exceptional work by our faculty and staff in serving our students,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.
Provost Mark Byrnes, the university’s chief academic officer, concurred, saying it “was particularly gratifying to receive the honor in light of the tremendous effort by our entire university community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Franek said the list is based on data gathered from more than a thousand school administrators about their academic programs and offerings, as well as insights from about 140,000 students surveyed who attend the selected colleges.
Among the insights about MTSU cited in the guide:
• Students who need extra assistance with coursework or concepts can rest easy: “There are a lot of programs in place to help you, such as free tutoring,” and students also have “plenty of opportunities to gain a mentor” for more focused guidance during their college careers.
• MTSU takes the time to “foster an environment of care for each and every student.”
• “At a school as large as MTSU, you see all types (of students) from different ends of the spectrum,” and everyone “is very open to whoever comes into the school.”
• “No matter who they are,” people at Middle Tennessee are “extremely friendly and inclusive,” “pretty laid back” and “nice, courteous and really helpful.”
• “The campus is big” but feels like a “comfortable and home-like school” environment where people “sit on the quad by the library and talk with their friends, play music and skateboard.” They take advantage of the other outdoor areas of campus too, and students like to “hang hammocks on trees to sit and read and study.”
• One student comments, “There are also many different parks and greenways that we enjoy visiting.” For on-campus events, the school is always offering opportunities “like art classes, study groups, or simply a movie showing.”
You can read an online summary of MTSU’s entry on “The Best 387 Colleges” here: https://tinyurl.com/MTSUBest.
MTSU was also included in the Princeton Review’s list of top schools in the Southeast. The university remains on the regional list by virtue of its inclusion on the review’s top national list.
Along with MTSU, other Tennessee institutions included in the review’s list were the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Vanderbilt University, Rhodes College and the University of the South.
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)