Marlboro College scores big
in national rankings
August 18, 2004
Marlboro, VT—Marlboro College always earns a good spot in the rankings of the Princeton Review's annual Best Colleges guides, but never has it done so well in so many academic areas as this year. In the 2005 issue of The Best 357 Colleges, Marlboro ranked first for "Professors Bring Material to Life" and second for "Best Overall Academic Experience," "Class Discussions Encouraged" and "Professors Make Themselves Accessible" and 13th for "Students Never Stop Studying."
Student Meaghan Savery wasn't surprised that Marlboro ranked first for outstanding professors or second in best overall academic experience. As far as she is concerned, it's simply an outsider acknowledging what she's known all along. When Savery talks about her professors, she talks about the passion and excitement for their field that they bring to class, whether it's theater or mathematics. "It's hard not to be excited about something when the professor is that passionate."
But the junior from Portland, Oregon, knows that many prospective students--and parents of prospective students--need a seal of approval from an outside source to seriously consider a college so small and, to date, so obscure.
"My dad didn't want me to apply to Marlboro because he'd never heard of it," recalls Savery. "But then my mom and I visited and my mom said she wanted to go to school here. She talked my dad into supporting me applying. And so to get this recognition is important."
Such external validation can be helpful to people on campus as well as in the outside world, says Marlboro political theory professor Meg Mott. "Sometimes since we're small and isolated and work so much one-on-one with our students, we don't know how we compare to other colleges," Mott says. "This sort of ranking reminds us of what matters most in teaching. It's not about big quads and sports teams; it's about relationships we develop with students in tutorials and in the classroom."
Mott, who has served as a faculty representative to the college admissions committee, hopes any attention drawn by the Princeton Review rankings will result in more prospective students taking a look at Marlboro College. "This could help us attract more students who are interested in pursuing the life of the mind, in stepping outside the material culture to find other potentialities they may have within. This might make Marlboro even more attractive to them."
"We like being small," adds Marlboro President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell of her 330-student college. "And so while we're not looking to expand our enrollment, we hope that this will help us reach the kind of student who will thrive at Marlboro: The curious, creative student who wants to direct his or her own education. The Princeton Review results represent what we already think of ourselves, and what we strive to be. It's wonderful that more people will now know."
#13 Their Students Never Stop Studying
#17 Students Happy With Financial Aid
#3 Students Ignore God on a Regular Basis
#9 Intercollegiate Sports Unpopular Or Nonexistent
#5 Nobody Plays Intramural Sports
#19 Students most Nostalgic For Bill Clinton
#18 Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians
#4 Dodge Ball Targets