When high school students grab guides to help them find the right college, they’re going to hear a lot of great things about Drew.

Recently, a number of national college guides highlighting Drew have landed on bookstore shelves: Princeton Review: The Best 379 Colleges, 2015 Edition; Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck list; and Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015.

What people love most about Drew, according to these guides, are its theatre arts and political science programs, committed professors, easy access to New York City and the New York semesters, and its excellent record on environmental sustainability.

Students at Drew were among those who weighed in for the Princeton Review, which recognized Drew in two additional listings, the 225 Best Northeastern Schools and the Guide to 332 Green Colleges.

According to Princeton Review, the popularity of Drew’s theatre arts program ranks seventh highest in the nation.

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National college guides say students love Drew’s professors and the university’s proximity to New York City.

“We’ve known all along what a treasure we have here in the backyard of New York City,” says Drew President MaryAnn Baenninger. “It’s about time the rest of the country knew it too.”

Some of the nicest words came from those who are enrolled at Drew.

“The (professors) are quite engaging, … have PhDs in the field that they teach and … seem genuinely interested in helping us improve,” says one student. “They’re always there when students want extra help and are
very understanding.”

“My professors have really encouraged me to pursue the most out of my education here,” says an English major. “One provided me with the opportunity to read my original poetry in NYC with distinguished poets. Another has influenced my decision to write a senior thesis. Within my major, I feel like part of a family.”

The Princeton Review rankings were based on institutional data about Drew, its academic programs and information from students themselves. The publication reviewed more than 2,000 colleges and universities and got feedback from 130,000 students before picking its top 379 colleges.

In the nation’s capital, Washington Monthly rates Drew as one of the top 100 colleges with the best “Bang for the Buck” among liberal arts colleges nationwide. Colleges on the list, according to the publication, enroll not just wealthy students, but low to moderate income students, and make sure they graduate and get jobs after graduation. It measured by graduation rates, student loan default rates and the number of students who received federal Pell grant student aid. Of the 1,572 schools surveyed nationally, only 349 made the cut for “Best Bang for the Buck.” Drew was one of them.

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 also complimented Drew’s theatre arts program, noting that students write, direct, design and produce their own plays. They said something based on student surveys that Drewids already know: Drew students are friendly, funny and down to earth, and they go to a university where creativity and intellectual curiosity are valued.—Elizabeth Moore