AU ranks in '331 Best'

AU ranked twelfth for "great food" and sixteenth for "great college town" in the Princeton Review's annual 331 Best Colleges last month.

Georgetown University, George Washington University and Howard University also pulled in top rankings in the book that purports the top 20 colleges in 62 categories, based on student input.

Both Georgetown and GW were noted for encouraging class discussions-ranked third and seventeenth respectively. The two were also among the "most politically active" at numbers16 and 20.

According to the Review, Howard's newspaper gets read (#11), dorms are like dungeons (#9), students are dissatisfied with financial aid (#5) and there are long lines and red tape (#4).

The College of the Atlantic, Wheaton College, Bowdoin College, Washington University-St. Louis, Emerson College, Dickinson College, Simon's Rock College of Bard, Bard College, Colby College and Albertson College beat out AU for the greatest grub.

"When TDR first opened, it was a kind of trend-setter," director of resident dining Michael Bauer said. "We changed the face of what college cafeterias were going to look like."

In recent years, the addition of exhibition cooking has boosted TDR's popularity. Made-to-order omelets and pizza and the capability to wok one's own food may have been factors in AU's top spot in the Review. With new manager Joe Ganci, TDR is shooting for number one, Bauer added.

Overall, top rankings went to Babson College (Mass.) for best professors, U.S. Naval Academy for best administration, Harvard for best library, Bryn Mwar (Penn.) for best dorms and DePauw University (Ind.) for biggest Greek scene.

Reed College (Ore.) smokes the most pot, New York City was voted best college town, Princeton touts the best overall undergraduate experience and Columbia University was named the most diverse.

Last year, AU wasn't listed among the best 331 colleges, Princeton Review spokeswoman Jeanne Krier said.

Northwest D.C. was ranked fourteenth for being a great college town in 1999 and was named eleventh in 1998.

In 1997, AU had the fifth greatest college town and students were dissatisfied with financial aid (#9.) The school was ranked the second most politically active campus in the nation in 1996 and was also home to the fourth greatest college town, she reported.

AU also ranked thirteenth in students' dissatisfaction with financial aid that year.

And, a half decade ago, AU was the seventh-most politically active campus and was located in the seventh greatest college town in 1995.

In the Review, AU was described as a school located in "nice, safe, residential area" with a strong pre-law and international relations programs. Georgetown students "enjoy studying" and GW professors know how to integrate the city into their curriculum, the Review reported. Howard's student body is deemed friendly and seriously ambitious.

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