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Roanoke College Debuts in Princeton Review for Beauty and Scholarship

Students gather at the gazebo on the Roanoke College Campus.

Roanoke College has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, according to students surveyed by The Princeton Review. The annual guidebook also lists Roanoke among the nation’s great schools for majors in business and finance, computer science and computer engineering and psychology.

The College’s scenic setting, marked by its classic Collegiate Gothic architecture and mountain views, was No. 18 in a ranking of the top 20 beautiful colleges and universities that is published in the 2012 edition of The Princeton Review’s Best 376 Colleges. The book, in its 20th edition, was released on Aug. 2.

Roanoke debuts in this well-known guidebook that lists enrollment and admission statistics, rankings of the top 20 schools in 62 categories and survey results from 122,000 students attending undergraduate institutions named to the publication’s prestigious honor roll.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized for the beauty of our campus,” Michael Maxey, president of Roanoke College said. “However, the real attraction for students is what happens in the classroom. Roanoke’s fine faculty members create a learning environment for our students that is second to none.”

Roanoke’s offerings for students who major in business and finance, computer science and computer engineering and psychology helped the College to be named among The Princeton Review’s best schools in these academic subjects. The Princeton Review uses institutional data and input from the National College Counselor Advisory Panel and its own admissions experts to determine the best colleges and universities for 15 of the most popular undergraduate majors.

Accessible professors and an exhilarating entertainment life also earned high marks from Roanoke students surveyed by The Princeton Review.

In Roanoke College’s two-page profile, students described the college’s professors as approachable and personal, largely a result of the school’s small class size. These stimulating relationships shape students’ views of the College, according to The Princeton Review.

“The professors are very lively and passionate about the subjects they teach,” said one student who was surveyed by The Princeton Review.

Some students surveyed said professors push them to think at challenging levels.

 “I was able to do graduate level research synthesizing carbon nanotubes the very first week of school,” one student, a health sciences major, said in the survey.

Also, opportunities throughout the region to experience the outdoors, explore downtown Roanoke and drive to nearby Blacksburg and Natural Bridge enhance life at Roanoke College, students said. On campus, Roanoke’s Greek scene and a wealth of weekend events are highlights.

 “Life at Roanoke is, to put it simply, pretty sweet,” The Princeton Review concluded.

Students surveyed said they typically find a niche in the College’s clubs and organizations. Greek life at Roanoke, which has four fraternities and five sororities, is “healthy,” The Princeton Review reported.

Students also said they like Roanoke’s Fintel Library and the career services office, and they feel safe on campus. Roanoke students said they also like the array of options for dining off-campus.

Enrollment at Roanoke is 2,039; 44 percent of students are male and 56 percent are female.  The College’s English, economics and science departments, in particular, received high praise from students surveyed. Still, the most popular majors are business/commerce, English language and literature and psychology, reported The Princeton Review. Roanoke’s popularity as a first choice for students is reflected in record-breaking enrollment for the past seven years.

Six buildings on Roanoke’s campus are listed on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places, including the Administration Building and the former Roanoke County courthouse.

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