When asked about its ranking as the top school in the “Reefer Madness” category of the latest Princeton Review, Skidmore College issued the following statement:
“Alcohol and drug use is a serious issue on most of the nation’s campuses and we take it seriously at Skidmore. There’s nothing scientific about the way the Princeton Review conducts its surveys, and so we have much greater confidence in the surveys of students we’ve done ourselves through our Office of Health Promotion since 2005. These show that, for many Skidmore students, the use of alcohol or drugs begins in high school and comes to be regarded as a normal part of the student experience. Following best practices established through the collective experience of campuses nation-wide, we’re making a serious effort to change that perception through a wide range of education and intervention efforts.
“For example, even before first-year students arrive on campus, we require all to participate in an online alcohol and drug education class and an interactive assessment that aims at raising their awareness of issues related to alcohol and drug use. We also require all students who violate our policies to take an individualized three-hour online course that specifically addresses marijuana use and includes a 30-day follow-up that enables our staff to measure changes in student attitudes and behavior.”
The Princeton Review’s annual college ranking offers 62 categories and lists the top-20 colleges in categories from "Great Financial Aid" and "Best Career Services" to "Best Science Facilities." The Princeton Review survey asked 130,000 students at 379 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences.
Other lists in "The Best 379 Colleges" and #1 colleges on them:
Most Beautiful Campus – Colgate University (NY)
Best-Run College – Elon University (NC)
Best College Library – University of Chicago (IL)
Best Campus Food – Virginia Tech (VA)
Best College Dorms – Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
Best Health Services – Pennsylvania State University (PA)
Happiest Students – Vanderbilt University (TN)
Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University (TX)
Most Liberal Students – Sarah Lawrence College (NY)
LGBT-Friendly – Stanford University (CA)
Best Athletic Facilities – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL)
Students Pack the Stadiums – University of Kansas (KS)
Top Party Schools – Syracuse University (NY)
Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
Their Students Love These Colleges – Claremont McKenna College (CA)
The rankings are based on surveys of 130,000 students (average 343 per campus) at the colleges in the book in 2013-14 and/or the previous two school years. The survey (at http://survey.review.com) asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The ranking methodology (www.princetonreview.com/how-we-do-it.aspx) uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons.
The Princeton Review also rates all schools in the book in eight categories. The ratings (scores from 60 to 99) are based primarily on data from Princeton Review's 2013-14 surveys of administrators at the colleges. Rating categories include: Financial Aid, Green, and Fire Safety (schools scoring 99 in these categories make the book's Honor Rolls for those topics), plus Admissions Selectivity, and Academics.
Annually published since 1992, "The Best 379 Colleges" is one of 150 Random House / Princeton Review books. In addition to its college profiles, rankings, and ratings, the book includes two lists: "Great Schools for 20 Popular College Majors" and "150 Best Value Colleges." No school has ever paid a fee to be profiled in the book.
The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources. Headquartered in Natick, MA, with editorial offices in New York and locations across the U.S. and abroad, the Company is not affiliated with Princeton University.