Only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in America and two Canadian colleges were chosen for the book. It has two-page profiles of the schools and student survey-based ranking lists of top 20 colleges in more than 60 categories.
“We chose schools for this book primarily for their outstanding academics," says Robert Franek, Princeton Review's vice president of publishing. "We evaluated them based on institutional data we collect about the schools, feedback from students attending them, and our visits to schools over the years. We also consider the opinions of independent college counselors, students, and parents we hear from year-long. Finally, we work to have a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”
The ranking lists in the 2008 edition of “Best 366 Colleges” are based on The Princeton Review’s survey of 120,000 students (about 325 per campus on average) attending the 366 colleges in the book. A college's appearance on these lists is attributable to a high consensus among its surveyed students about the subject. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Ranking lists report the top 20 schools in categories that range from best professors, administration, and campus food to lists based on student body political leanings, race/class relations, sports interests, and other aspects of campus life. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book 1 to 366 in any single category, nor do the rankings reflect The Princeton Review’s opinion of the schools.