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Niagara University's academics, sustainability again praised by The Princeton Review

by jmaloni

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Thu, Aug 6th 2015 12:25 pm

Niagara University is again among the best institutions in the Northeast in terms of both academics and sustainability, according to results released Monday by The Princeton Review.

NU is one of 225 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best in the Northeast" section of its website feature, "2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region," which was posted Tuesday at www.PrincetonReview.com.

Niagara and SUNY Buffalo are the only local colleges to appear on the "Best in the Northeast" list. The institutions also are the only Buffalo-Niagara representatives included on The Princeton Review's list of "Green Colleges," which profiles 353 colleges and universities in the U.S. and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

"We are very pleased to once again be recognized in these key categories by The Princeton Review, designations that reflect the commitment of our faculty, staff and administrators to the long-term success of Niagara University, our students and alumni, and the entire region," said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., NU president. "Continuing to be included on these types of lists is another step toward our vision of becoming one of the best comprehensive universities in the world."

The Princeton Review rankings are based on surveys of 136,000 students at the colleges in the 2014-15 book and/or the previous two school years. The survey asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body and themselves. The ranking methodology uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons.

"We chose Niagara University and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their excellent academics," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher.

The Princeton Review editors made their selections based on data the company collected from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, as well as its staff visits to schools over the years, and the perspectives of college counselors and advisers whose opinions the company solicits.

"We also gave careful consideration to what students enrolled at the schools reported to us about their campus experiences on our student survey for this project," Franek added. "We designed our 80-question survey to include questions that prospective applicants might ask on a campus visit. Only schools that permit us independently to survey their students are eligible to be considered for our regional 'best' lists, and only schools at which we see a strong level of satisfaction among their enrolled students - whom we consider their customers - make it to our final slate of regional 'best' college selections."

The 225 colleges The Princeton Review chose for its "Best in the Northeast" 2016 list are located in 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the District of Columbia. The Princeton Review also designated 159 colleges in the Midwest, 125 in the West and 140 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company's "2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region" lists.

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books and college admission services. Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, the company publishes more than 150 print and digital books and delivers courses through a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors. For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com.

This is the most recent of several accolades Niagara University has received for the high quality of its academic offerings and commitment to educational access and affordability. U.S. News & World Report placed the Catholic and Vincentian institution in its top tier of northern colleges and universities and also tabbed NU as "Up-and-Coming," a "Best Value" and "Best College for Veterans." In July, Niagara was Money magazine's highest-ranked private institution in the area in terms of delivering the most value for a student's educational dollar.

Niagara, which offers a major in environmental studies, has also been lauded numerous times for its dedication to sustainability. It is annually featured in The Princeton Review's "Guide to Green Colleges," and its B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification - Gold Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In 2012, NU signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which formalizes the university's plan to eliminate the campus' net emissions of greenhouse gases. Since one component of the effort is education, NU has incorporated a sustainability unit into its freshman seminar, "Niagara University Beginnings." This unit is integrated with the "active reading" unit of the seminar during which students are assigned to read and evaluate selections from Pope Francis's recent "climate encyclical," Laudato Si'.

To learn more about Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.

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