Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State again makes Princeton Review, Forbes top colleges lists

August 14, 2013

Many students chose Indiana State University because it is affordable but find plenty of other reasons to like the school once they arrive on campus.

That's what the Princeton Review said in recognizing Indiana State among the best colleges in the Midwest for the 10th straight year. For the third year in a row, Forbes magazine included ISU in its annual listing emphasizing quality and value of the top 650 colleges in the nation.

Students surveyed by Princeton Review touted Indiana State's relatively small size and caring professors, who provide them with hands-on opportunities and personalized instruction. They also praised the school for suiting "the needs of every type of learner" and said faculty and staff do everything they can to help students succeed.

Indiana State is among 155 institutions from throughout a 12-state region stretching from Ohio to the Dakotas in Princeton Review's online feature "2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region," which includes another 478 campuses in the Northeast, West and Southeast.

"In concert with (its) unpretentious Midwestern setting, ISU graduates are ‘down to earth and accepting of everyone' and are ‘motivated and eager to learn,'" according to the Princeton Review article about Indiana State. "They respect the school's diversity ... and extol the university's ‘giant melting pot' as well as how ‘very culturally aware' it is."

Students said it is easy to make friends at Indiana State and those who get involved in clubs or sports enjoy the university more.

"Everyone is welcome here" so "you never feel like you don't fit anywhere," students informed Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review's best regional colleges were selected mainly for their excellent academic programs, according to Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher.

"We are pleased to recommend these colleges to users of our site as the best schools to earn their undergrad degrees," Franek said. "From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite."

Only schools that permit independent surveys of students are eligible to be considered for the Princeton Review's regional best lists, he said.

Forbes develops its annual list in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

"The Forbes list distinguishes itself from competitors by our belief in ‘output' over ‘input,'" the national business publication said in releasing its rankings. "We're not all that interested in what gets a student into college ... Our sights are set directly on ROI (return on investment): What are students getting out of college?"

Forbes places the greatest emphasis (37.5 percent) on post-graduate success while student satisfaction comprises 22.5 percent of a school's ranking, student debt accounts for 17.5 percent of a campus' score and graduation rates and the number of students receiving nationally-competitive awards each account for 11.25 percent of institutional scores.

"College has become one of the biggest financial decisions students and their families make. They deserve all the information incoming students can get on the questions that directly concern them," Forbes said. "Will my classes be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job and find success in my career? We pointedly ignore any metrics that would encourage schools to engage in wasteful spending."

Data provided with the Forbes rankings indicate Indiana State has the lowest total cost of attendance among 18 Indiana institutions on the list and that more than nine out of 10 Indiana State students receive some form of financial aid.

"It is wonderful to continue to be recognized by both of these organizations, especially for value and affordability," said Dan Bradley, Indiana State's president. "Our faculty and staff deserve recognition for their hard work in providing a quality student experience at an affordable cost."

Earlier this year, the Princeton Review selected Indiana State as one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada. The company has also recognized the Master of Business Administration Program in the Scott College Business as among the best in the country for the past seven years.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or