BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College is one of the 142 best colleges in the Southeast according to The Princeton Review. The education services company lists the school in the Best in the Southeast section of its “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” feature.

The website features a total of 656 colleges that The Princeton Review recommends over five regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West, and International. The colleges that made the “Best in the Southeast” list are in 12 states. Bethany is one of only six West Virginia schools to make the list.

In its website profile on Bethany College, The Princeton Review describes the college as having “a rich history full of tradition” and commends it for “a close-knit community of students, administrators, and faculty.”

“We chose Bethany College and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their academics,” said Robert Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review.

He noted that the company considered data from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, information from staff visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of college counselors and advisers whose perspectives the company solicits.

“We also consider what students enrolled at the schools reported to us on our student survey about their campus experiences,” Franek added.

The Princeton Review school profiles include ratings in multiple categories. The ratings are scores from 60 to 99 that the company tallies primarily from institutional data: Some ratings factor in student survey data. Among Bethany’s Princeton Review ratings are scores of 93 for professors’ accessibility, 88 for interesting professors, and 86 for financial aid.

“With its small class size and strong student-faculty ratio, Bethany provides a personal education that brings out the very best in our students. Bethany’s graduates have formed relationships with their professors that extend far beyond graduation,” said Joe Lane, provost and dean of faculty.

The Princeton Review survey asks students to rate their colleges on dozens of issues and to answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life. Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review website.

Overall, students say professors are “good at what they do,” “passionate about teaching,” and “serious” about “challenging students” in a “well-rounded” curriculum.

“There are a lot of classes that I probably would not have taken if I did not have to, and now I am happy that I did,” one senior said.

Students gave high praise for Bethany’s programs in education, chemistry, psychology, and biology. Its equine opportunities are also mentioned.

The Princeton Review also notes the required senior project and comprehensive exams.

It’s not easy, but in the end, students say, “You feel confident that you know about your major and can get a real job.”

The Princeton Review does not rank the 656 “regional best” colleges overall or by region.

The 142 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the Southeast” 2020 list are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Princeton Review also designated 224 colleges in the Northeast, 159 in the Midwest, 127 in the West, and 4 in the International region as “best” in their locales on the company’s “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” lists. Collectively, the 656 colleges on The Princeton Review’s “regional best” lists for 2020 constitute about 22 percent of the nation’s 3,000 four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its tutoring, test-prep, books, and other student resources. Headquartered in New York, the company is not affiliated with Princeton University.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.