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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, one of the nation’s top education service and evaluation companies.

UT is one of only 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges chosen for inclusion in the publication. The New York-based education services company, known for its test-prep courses, features UT in its just-published 2009 edition of its annual book “The Best 368 Colleges.”

The new 2009 publication, released this week, noted that UT offers “a great education at an affordable price” as well as “opportunities for student growth in and outside of the classroom, whether it be introduction classes for majors one is interested in, study-abroad opportunities, or on-campus support resources.”

The Princeton Review also noted that UT’s enrollment of around 20,000 undergraduate students allows “everyone to find his or her own niche in this population.”

The rankings are based on survey responses from more than 120,000 students at the 368 schools, in such areas as academics, admissions selectivity and quality of life.

Ranking various categories on a scale of 60 to 99, Princeton Review awarded UT a rating of 71 in academics, 87 in admissions selectivity and 74 in quality of life.

Students’ most frequent comments were about UT’s library and athletic facilities and the popularity of its student publications.

In a new category for 2009, the publication gave UT an 85 “green rating” -– an indicator of how environmentally friendly a school is. Make Orange Green, the campus environmental effort at UT Knoxville, has been recognized across the state and nation as one of the top campus environmental programs. UT Knoxville was the first university in the state to institute a student fee for the purchase of green power.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing, said that schools are chosen “primarily for their outstanding academics. 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.”

For more on The Princeton Review’s 2009 rankings, including details on how to order the new edition of “The 368 Best Colleges,” visit


Janet Tate, (865) 974-5142,