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DePaul University Named No. 1 College Town by Princeton Review

CHICAGO - Students and alumni of DePaul University have long known that the university has one of the world’s most vibrant and vital cities as its setting. A new national ranking should help to spread that message even further.

DePaul was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the “Great College Town” category by the Princeton Review’s annual college rankings. The new ranking marks the sixth consecutive year the university has made the nation’s top 20 according to the survey, and DePaul was the only Midwest university among this year’s honorees in the category.

The Princeton Review rankings are based on surveys of 120,000 students at 368 top colleges, who rate their schools in dozens of categories and report on their campus experiences. Students in the “Great College Town” category rate the city, town or neighborhood in which their school is located. The rankings appear in the Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 368 Colleges,” released this week.     

“My first week at DePaul, I came home from a Sox game on the Red Line around 11 p.m. and saw our students just getting onto the L,’” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, DePaul president.  “It taught me two things.  First, I was obviously getting old if I was coming home when they were going out.  Second, our students obviously loved Chicago.” 

“It’s more than the nightlife,” continued Fr. Holtschneider.  “Chicago is on the rise, and we’ve taken advantage of it at DePaul.  We use the financial markets, courts, emergency rooms, recording studios and more to teach students their fields of study.  We connect students to great internship opportunities and jobs, and hire faculty from top businesses and law firms who can walk to their Loop classes.  We’ve made Chicago our classroom.” 

All freshmen at DePaul are required to take a course called “Discover Chicago,” in which they study a particular subject matter while also learning about Chicago. 

“Discover Chicago is an exciting and pioneering experiential program that turns this world-class city into a laboratory for real world learning,” said Mark Pohlad, associate professor and director of DePaul’s First Year Program. “As the Princeton Review survey reflects, many students choose DePaul for its setting and commitment to an urban mission, and Discover Chicago is the first meaningful, sustained way that they engage the city.”

Additionally, all students at DePaul are also required to contribute service back to the city, and the university has partnerships with hundreds of charities, social service organizations and civic groups throughout Chicago.

“This survey confirms what all of our market research shows: that Chicago is not just DePaul's location, it defines and distinguishes the entirety of the student experience and is at the heart of our competitive advantage,” said David Kalsbeek, DePaul’s senior vice president for Enrollment Management & Marketing.

The Review also honored DePaul yet again for its campus diversity, coming in at No. 10 in the country in the “Diverse Student Population” category. This is the sixth consecutive year that DePaul has been ranked in the nation’s top 20 in diversity by the survey, including a No. 1 ranking two years ago. Only one other Midwest institution fellow Big East conference member the University of Cincinnati was honored in the category.

DePaul is a perennial honoree in the Princeton Review rankings. In addition to the continuing honors in diversity and campus setting, the university topped the survey’s “Happiest Students” list in both 1999 and 2003.

This summer, DePaul was recognized in nine separate categories in yet another national survey for the volume of degrees it awarded to students of color. The honor came from Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine, which ranked the 100 top minority degree-producing institutions. DePaul has been a regular on this list since it began, a testament to its commitment to enrolling a diverse student body and ensuring that a high quality education is available to students from urban areas.

These recent rankings follow in the footsteps of other recent honors bestowed upon DePaul’s academic programs. U.S. News and World Report ranked the part-time MBA program No. 6, and ranks the College of Law in the top 100. DePaul’s innovative service learning curriculum has been ranked among the nation’s Top 25 for five years running by U.S. News. Separately, DePaul’s entrepreneurship program was ranked in the nation’s top ten by Entrepreneur Magazine and in the nation’s top 25 by Fortune Small Business Magazine last fall.

DePaul’s campuses are located in the Loop and Lincoln Park, with suburban campuses in Naperville, Oak Forest, O’Hare and Rolling Meadows.   Enrollment is 23,401, making DePaul the largest Catholic university in the country and the largest private, not-for-profit university in the Midwest. Approximately 75 percent of DePaul’s alumni reside in Chicago and its nearby suburbs.

- DePaul University release -