UNC Asheville Featured in The Princeton Review’s “The Best 382 Colleges” with City of Asheville Earning High Marks in Top 20 list


UNC Asheville is featured in the 2018 edition of The Princeton Review’s “The Best 382 Colleges,” earning a spot on two of the top 20 lists, coming in at No. 18 for “Town-Gown Relations are Great” and No. 20 for “College City Gets High Marks.”

“The Princeton Review’s ranking of UNC Asheville is a testament to our close community partnerships and our mission as the state’s public liberal arts university,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant. “Our university has grown and thrived with community support since our founding in 1927. As we celebrate our 90th Anniversary this year, we are proud to be known as Asheville’s university.”

The Princeton Review selected the 382 colleges and universities primarily based on academic strength, from more than 2,500 on which data are collected. The descriptions of each college in the guidebook are based on a survey of 137,000 students who provide candid assessments of their institutions. The students’ ratings of their schools are used to compile 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories.  The “College City Gets High Marks” list stems from students rating of the city where the school is located, and the “Town-Gown Relations Are Great” accolade comes from their answer to how students get along with the local community.

Students quoted in the publication cite “incredible downtown Asheville choices” and an “amazing local food scene,” as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains and time spent outdoors. They also cite the impact of the faculty, with The Princeton Review quoting at length:

 “Most people’s favorite part of the university is the faculty, who are ‘engaged, helpful, thoughtful scholars and educators.’ These professors are ‘incredible at bringing new knowledge and facts and explaining both, while also leaving us enough room to formulate and even question our own opinions.’ Many ‘strive to be creative and flexible with their delivery,’ and the small class sizes allow students to build one-on-one relationships with professors and ‘feel more like a peer than a number in the classroom.’”

In addition to the two rankings, UNC Asheville achieved a quality of life rating of 92 and a fire safety rating of 97 (both on a scale of 99).

The Princeton Review, which released the 2018 rankings on July 31, 2017, also named UNC Asheville to previous editions of the best colleges, and in 2016 UNC Asheville topped the list for “making an impact,” coming in No. 1 in the nation for schools with the best community service opportunities, student governments, sustainability, and on-campus student engagement, as well as graduates with high job meaning. UNC Asheville also is ranked as one of the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges, listed eighth nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance calls UNC Asheville a “Best College Value,” and Fiske Guide to Colleges names the university a “Best Buy.”

For more information, visit unca.edu/facts-and-figures.