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The Princeton Review Best Colleges sealKNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a “very affordable” and “dynamic” university with “excellent research facilities” and “ample undergraduate research opportunities,” according to The Princeton Review annual ratings released this week.

UT is among only 15 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges and universities to be included in the new 2011 edition of “The Best 373 Colleges” and also was listed as one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review, one of the nation’s top education service and evaluation companies.

For the third year in a row, The Princeton Review also recognized UT Knoxville for its environmental efforts. The campus’ rating for green initiatives moved up a couple spots from last year. The Princeton Review also highlighted UT’s “vol spirit” and that “practically every campus group lives up to the ‘Volunteer’ name by donating time and resources to our campus and community.” UT’s student body is “friendly” and “very school spirited.” Knoxville was described as “a great college town.”

“This recognition reflects our continued efforts to strengthen the quality and value of an education from UT Knoxville,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “Providing a world-class education is critical as we pursue our quest to make UT Knoxville a Top 25 public research university.”

Central to UT Knoxville’s environmental efforts is the Make Orange Green program, which has been recognized across the state and nation as one of the top campus environmental programs. The Switch Your Thinking campaign, launched in 2008, has helped reduce campus electricity costs by $1.18 million — or 10 percent. UT Knoxville was the first university in the state to institute a student-initiated fee for the purchase of green power.

The rankings are based on survey responses from more than 122,000 students at 373 schools about academics, admissions selectivity and quality of life, in addition to institutional data The Princeton Review collected during the 2009-10 academic year.

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president for publishing, said that schools are chosen primarily based upon their academics.

“We commend the University of Tennessee for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book,” he said. “Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools, and the opinions of our staff and our 28-member National College Counselor Advisory Board.”

For more on The Princeton Review’s 2011 rankings, including details on how to order the new edition of “The 373 Best Colleges,” visit

C O N T A C T :

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993,