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The Students Have Spoken: Seattle U Earns a Spot in The Princeton Review’s The Best 387 Colleges

September 1, 2021

Princeton Review cover

For the 19th year running, The Princeton Review recognized Seattle University as one of the best colleges in the nation for undergraduate education, according to its new The Best 387 Colleges 2022 guide. Inclusion in the annual guide is based on what students say about their schools when surveyed by the organization. The Princeton Review features only about 14 percent of America’s four-year colleges.

Among the things that stood out for Seattle U students are its Jesuit education and Core curriculum, dynamic faculty who encourage critical thinking, finding community in a large city, a progressive atmosphere that emphasizes inclusion and a location that offers easy access to the best of the region from the arts to the outdoors.

While the schools in The Best 387 Colleges are unranked, The Princeton Review includes some break out categories:

  • Seattle U was ranked #16 in the guide’s list of the “Top 50 Green Colleges.”
  • The university was chosen among the top schools in the unranked listing of “Best Western” colleges.

The Princeton Review list of schools is entirely based on surveys of college students, who rate their colleges on dozens of topics and report on their overall campus experiences. In all, 143,000 students were surveyed. The Princeton Review’s survey asks students about their professors, administrators, school services, campus culture and other facets of college life.

What the students say (excerpts from student surveys):

Academics: “It is the Jesuit philosophy of holistic education that underscores the mission of the university. The university requires its 4,800 undergraduates to take a collection of Core classes that are more than ‘just a random collection of math, writing and social science classes. There’s a lot more philosophy, theology, psychology, ethics and actual service learning’ involved and students say that ‘often times the Core classes that [they are] required to take ended up being the most memorable classes.’” 

The dynamic professors “ensure the students have a chance not only to digest and memorize the information but also a chance to critically think about it and discuss different viewpoints.” The university’s commitment to social justice is “more than just rhetoric—there are classes structured around specific kinds of service learning.” Overall, students feel that Seattle U “is about finding community in a large city and being able to discuss and have deep meaningful conversations about the issues we encounter in our everyday lives.”

Life: It’s “very much a city lifestyle” at Seattle U. “However, the mountains are not too far away.” Here “you have the best of both worlds. You can go to happy hours, brunch, clubs, bars and restaurants, hiking, skiing, canoeing and swimming in the summer. There is a lot to do in the area.” In fact, “as soon as you step off campus, you are in the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill, a booming, youthful neighborhood that is LGBTQ-friendly. There are coffee shops, concert venues and parks within a two-block radius.” It’s “a quick bus ride to downtown and Pike Place Market or a nice half-hour walk. Living in the heart of Seattle means that you can never run out of fun things to do on weekends.”

The campus is “super green,” providing students with “composting and recycling options in every location possible.” The food is not only “delicious,” but is largely “locally grown, organic and well-prepared.”

Student Body: As “one of the most progressive Catholic schools,” Seattle University is a place where “all faiths are not only accepted, but they are welcomed and encouraged.” The “majority of students are progressive” and “everyone is aware of social issues.” Here, “students are creative, insightful and dedicated to making their educational experience unique and personal. Community is strongly felt [among] students and staff.”

Seattle U’s detailed profile for prospective students is available in the online version of the guide.