Princeton Review highlights UMBC as a university that “wants every student to succeed”

Published: Sep 2, 2021

Students walking across a university, with large brick and glass building in the distance.
First day of classes at UMBC, fall 2021. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.

Princeton Review features UMBC in the 2022 issue of its popular college guide, The Best 387 Colleges. UMBC’s profile in the guide highlights the university’s academic strengths and supportive community spirit.

This university is a place “where teaching comes first” and where faculty “have a knack for inspiring the students,” share students quoted in the piece. Another notes, “UMBC wants to see every student succeed—they provide you with the tools, people, and resources to make sure you get where you want to go in life.”

A group of people talks around a table. A sign above them reads
Amanda Knapp (standing) and Katharine Cole (second from right) speak with students in the Academic Success Center, 2019.

Princeton Review highlights UMBC’s range of academic strengths, from the sciences to the performing arts. The publication also spotlights UMBC’s active campus life, student diversity, and very strong career services. It shares an overall sense that the “school is well run” and “students are happy.”

A young black man in glasses and a baseball cap reading
A tutor works with students at UMBC’s Math and Science Tutoring Center, 2019.

The feature notes that most undergrads agree that “the typical student at UMBC is interested in doing well academically.” At the same time, students are highly engaged in extracurriculars, and one emphasizes, “There are a lot of activities held by student organizations.”

Two UMBC students pose together with ice cream cones in front of a large crowd.
Students enjoy UMBC Involvement Fest 2017, including one wearing a shirt from the Shazam! Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team.

For its 30th edition, Princeton Review surveyed 154,000 students from across the U.S. They also reviewed previous material to assess the consistency of universities’ strengths over time.

A top college for student voting

Washington Monthly has also kicked off the school year by releasing a college guide: America’s Best Colleges for Voting. The list highlights UMBC as one of the nation’s top universities when it comes to the percentage of students registered to vote.

“This recognition is a testament to a UMBC culture that values active engagement in every setting, including on campus, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, and in local, state, and national politics,” say David Hoffman, Ph.D. ’13, language, literacy, and culture, and Romy Hübler ’09, modern languages and linguistics, M.A. ’11, intercultural communication, Ph.D. ’15, LLC. They serve as director and assistant director, respectively, of UMBC’s Center for Democracy and Civic Life, launched in 2018.

Hoffman and Hübler note, “At UMBC we ‘cast our whole vote.’ This means we vote, engage in conversations about the issues affecting us, and take responsibility for working collectively to build strong, inclusive, and just communities in which everyone can thrive.”

Several college students gather around a table, in conversation
Critical Social Justice 2017 workshop at UMBC.

The Washington Monthly list reflects 2016 and 2018 data, as student voter turnout from election 2020 won’t be available for a few months. However, UMBC’s early indicators for 2020 student voter turnout are strong.

In November 2020, UMBC placed ninth in the nationwide 2020 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The competition encourages college students to pledge to vote based on evidence that public pledges increase follow-through. Hearing the news that UMBC was in the top 10 nationwide, President Freeman Hrabowski reflected, “UMBC is a national model for community engagement.”

T-shirt, canvas bag, flyer and stickers with large text reading,
Promotional materials for the Cast Your Whole Vote project, 2020.

World University Rankings

Times Higher Education just announced its 2022 World University Rankings as well, again including UMBC in this year’s list. UMBC is among the top 800 universities on the global list and #122 of U.S. universities included. The university performed particularly well in the area of research. UMBC’s research enterprise continues to expand in funding (now surpassing $84 million in annual research expenditures) as well as national and global reputation.

The publication is announcing its subject-area rankings gradually throughout the fall. So far, UMBC appears on three subject-area lists: among the world’s top 400 universities in the life sciences, and among the top 500 in psychology and the physical sciences. Times Higher Education will announce additional STEM, arts, and humanities rankings in the coming weeks.

In the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education U.S. College Rankings 2022, UMBC ranks among the top 200 U.S. universities for educational outcomes, with strong graduation rates and graduate salaries and low levels of debt after graduation. UMBC ranks among the top 125 in educational environment, with particularly high marks for student and faculty diversity.

Two scientists in protective suits stand next to a piece of equipment with a large lens
Research team of Vanderlei Martins, professor of physics, with a model of the HARP satellite.

Featured image: First day of classes at UMBC, fall 2021. Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

This article was updated on Sept. 21, 2021, to include new Times Higher Education rankings.

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