The Princeton Review: Who Cares?

Larry Price
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Wednesday - August 17, 2011
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I was shocked to hear that the University of Hawaii system was worried that UH-Manoa was not on The Princeton Review’s list of top party schools or among the review’s best 376 colleges, best Western schools or best values.

The review says UHManoa students haven’t completed enough surveys to provide a representative campus sample since 2008.

That’s when campus administrators stopped helping distribute the surveys.

The Princeton Review is a company that surveys students in order to compile list of rankings that cover student college life, academics and general demographic information.

It is a sorry little company that is not in any way affiliated with Princeton University or the Educational Testing Service. It is in mediocre financial condition. As of March 2011, its stock was worth 39 cents a share.

Simply put, UH administrators were absolutely correct in not distributing the mediocre surveys to the students. The company doesn’t rank best anything accurately about colleges.

Being rated as a “top party school” is nothing to brag about.

The truth be known, UH-Manoa has a long history of fighting the image of a being a “party” university.

There was an era when the university had the largest summer session in the nation. Popular courses were surfing, hula and basket weaving, to name a few.

Dr. Shunzo Sakamaki was dean of the summer school, and it used to close all the dorms to local students and fill them with tourist students looking for some summer fun.

To his credit, Sakamaki realized the idea to turn the UH-Manoa into a party summer school to generate revenue worked, but it got out of hand and he toned it down dramatically.

UH-Manoa changed direction and began pursuing an academic image fit for a research university they called it “Selective Excellence” especially in tropical agriculture and astronomy, and topped it off with the building of world class medical and law schools.

The fact is, UH-Manoa is nationally ranked and has a lot to be proud of, and does not need the likes of The Princeton Review to tell it where it ranks among other universities and colleges in the world.

Hopefully, the day is not too far away when the University of Hawaii system will see the merit of telling everyone what it is and what it stands for, and not the other way around.

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