Oxy Gets Top Marks from College Guides, Counselors
Occidental College once again has been named a “Best Value” school by U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger's Personal Finance for its combination of academic quality and affordability.
This is the sixth consecutive year Occidental has been designated a best value by U.S. News, and the second year on Kiplinger's list. New this year is a U.S. News survey of high school counselors, in which Occidental was ranked among the nation's top 25 liberal arts colleges.
Occidental also was recognized by The Yale Daily News' Insider's Guide to the Colleges as one of a handful of colleges and universities with the “strongest undergraduate focus” -- an Editor's Choice Top 10 group that includes Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Swarthmore, Amherst, and Williams.
According to U.S. News, which ranked Occidental No. 37 overall among liberal arts colleges, Oxy is one of the country's most diverse colleges -- third among top-tier institutions, after Wellesley and Swarthmore. The magazine's economic diversity rankings (based on percentage of Pell Grant recipients) include only the top 25 schools in the overall rankings. Were they not limited to the top 25, Occidental would rank second, after Smith College.
Occidental also fared well in the newest editions of other college guides, including Fiske, which gives the college a four-star academic and quality-of-life ratings; Princeton Review; Peterson's 440 Colleges for Top Students; Barron's Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges; and ISI's Guide to the Right Colleges, which rely heavily on interviews with current students and recent graduates.
“One of the strongest impressions Occidental College makes on a visitor is the deep love and loyalty of Oxy students for their school,” the ISI guide reports. “Occidental students are generally effusive in their praise. 'I really love it here.' 'This is such an awesome place -- the campus, the classes, the people.' … The chief reasons students cite for their love of Occidental are the beauty of the campus, the extremely close camaraderie between students, and the genuine concern professors show for their charges. 'The campus is really gorgeous, the way the light plays,' says one. Another pointed to many family-like friendships with professors who 'are accessible and willing to help.'”
“My freshman year I lived in a dorm at the top of campus, and in the morning a bunch of us would head down the hill together to our Core seminar, an art history course called 'Reading and Writing About Visual Experience,'” one student was quoted in the Barron's guide. “That stroll, and lunch afterward in the Quad, was as much a part of the seminar as was our time in the classroom … as our intellectual and personal lives intertwined, conversation bridging the two realms began to feel natural and fluid.