Of 16 schools listed for all of Tennessee, TTU remains one of only five public universities to earn the designation.
"We've reached a level of recognition that we want to continue to build on in the future," said TTU President Bob Bell. "The rankings provide important feedback to us as we continually strive to serve students and create the best college experience at an affordable cost."
To qualify for inclusion, each school had to meet standards for academic excellence and allow its students to participate in anonymous surveys to provide opinion-driven profiles. According to The Princeton Review, the regional rankings provide a way to "raise awareness of academically excellent but lesser-known colleges with students looking to study within a specific geographic area."
"We selected them [schools] based on institutional data we collected from several hundred schools in each region, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisers whose recommendations we invite," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's vice president of publishing, "We also take into account what each school's customers - their students - report to us about their campus experiences at their schools on our 80-question student survey."
A summary of student comments provided on the survey appears on the web site. Students give frank, first-hand accounts of what life and academics are like on the college campuses.
The 139 colleges The Princeton Review chose for its "Best in the Southeast" designations are located in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The 630 colleges named regional bests represent only about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.
The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for its test prep courses, education services, and books. It has conducted the survey since 1992, when it first published its annual "Best Colleges" -- college rankings based on student ratings of their schools and reports of their experiences at them.
The listings are available on the company's web site located at www.princetonreview.com/college/research/regional/region_southeast.asp.