Elon earns top national marks in study abroad, career services and more in 2019 Princeton Review college guide

“The Best 384 Colleges” guide ranks Elon University as the #2 “best-run” college in the country.  

Princeton Review ranks Elon University the #2 “best-run” college in the nation, with the #3 “most popular study abroad program” and a #8 ranked career services program. The rankings are included in the 2019 edition of “The Best 384 Colleges” that was released August 6.

The rankings are based on surveys of 138,000 students at 384 top colleges that include a wide representation by region, size, selectivity and character. Published annually since 1992, the book has detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores in eight categories as well as ranking lists of top 20 schools in 62 categories. “We picked the 384 ‘best’ colleges for our book primarily for their outstanding academics; we highly recommend each one,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief and the book’s lead author. 

The Princeton Review profile of Elon includes quotes from Elon students who responded to the survey:

“Although located in the small town of Elon, North Carolina, the school has an ‘emphasis on global awareness’ and ‘encourages awareness and action [on] global issues’ while producing ‘global leaders’ that will ‘make the world a better place.’ The global focus is displayed in the “phenomenal” study abroad program that is hugely popular with students. ‘Seventy[-four] percent of our student body has been abroad,’ one student explains. ‘I got the chance to study in Los Angeles, Turkey and Dubai. Those trips were the best part about going to Elon.’

The Princeton Review profile pays special attention to mentoring relationships between faculty members and students:

“The ‘small classes’ really ‘facilitate relationships with professors’ and there are ‘incredible opportunities for hands-on engagement and close mentorship.’ ‘The relationships between students and professors is so strong and personal, and has really shaped my college experience,’ one happy student says. Professors are described as ‘enthusiastic,’ ‘engaging,’ ‘kind’ and ‘very experienced.’ ‘Professors know their students names and are genuinely interested in their success throughout their time at Elon,’ one student explains. Classes are often ‘discussion based’ and this makes the classrooms ‘atmospheres for thoughtful discussions and learning.’ The school goes out of the way to connect students with the faculty.”

Princeton Review quotes students who observed that “Elon pays attention to the WHOLE student—not just grades, athletics, or involvement.” A human service studies student wrote: “I have been pushed by my professors, peers, and mentors to become my best student, leader, and person since stepping on this campus.” One biochemistry major puts it more simply: “You [could] never create a more perfect university if you tried.”

The Princeton Review list of the nation’s “best run” colleges includes the following:

  1. Washington University in St. Louis
  2. Elon University
  3. University of Richmond
  4. Stanford University
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  6. Vanderbilt University
  7. Rice University
  8. Tulane University
  9. Texas Christian University
  10. University of Dayton

Elon also earns a #4 ranking for “most beautiful campus” and a #17 ranking for “best college dorms.” Elon earns an 89 “academic rating,” a 90 “quality of life” score, a 94 “fire safety rating” and an 89 “green rating.”

This is the 16th year in a row that Elon has appeared in the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” guide. The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and other student resources. Headquartered in New York, the company is not affiliated with Princeton University.