The Princeton Review has recognized Indiana State University as one of the best colleges in the Midwest, a distinction based on academic excellence and responses to student surveys.
"Our decision to produce this feature is fueled by a desire to raise awareness of academically excellent but lesser-known colleges with students looking to study within a specific geographic area," the publication said Monday in releasing its annual surveys of the best higher education institutions in each of five regions of the country.
Indiana State's first appearance in the survey shows the university is making progress toward its goal of becoming the best institution of its kind in the Midwest, said ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III.
"We find it particularly gratifying that Indiana State achieved this recognition in large part due to input from students," Benjamin said. "Students who attend Indiana State recognize the dedication of our faculty and the university's efforts to promote tolerance, diversity and cultural understanding."
Indiana State students who responded to The Princeton Review's survey indicated they take pride in having a campus that is "diverse in race, religion, and student upbringing."
Across the board, the student motto seems to be, "No one gets left out at State," the publication said.
Students describe themselves as "very tolerant of difference and are curious to learn about different cultures."
They are also industrious; the typical ISU student "works hard academically while maintaining a healthy social life."
With an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, Indiana State is "large enough to offer many different areas of study, but small enough to have a private school feel" where professors know students by name and remember them afterward, students said.
Professors earn high marks, with students describing them as "energetic and excited to be in class. They are also excellent teachers who always have time for their students outside the classroom."
Citing the campus' proximity to Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago, students surveyed by The Princeton Review said Indiana State is "a great school to go to if you love weekend road trips, but don't like living in a big city."
But students also said they don't have to go out of town to have a good time, citing intramural sporting events and the availability of low cost movie theaters near campus along with restaurants, bowling alleys, parks, museums and "a good local band scene."
While fraternities and sororities are popular, students said Indiana State is "not the type of school where you have to be Greek to be involved. There are plenty of ways for everyone to get involved."
The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test prep courses, education services, and books. It has conducted the survey since 1992. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.