COLUMBIA - At Stephens College, nobody plays intramural sports.
At least, that's what the students say. The Princeton Review's 2009 survey of 120,000 students from the top 368 colleges across the nation asked collegians to rank their universities based on more than 50 categories. Stephens College snagged six rankings on this year's list, which was released Monday.
Here's how the Princeton Review says Stephens College stacks up among 368 colleges:
No. 2 — Nobody Plays Intramural Sports
No. 7 — Best College Theater
No. 7 — Dodgeball Targets
No. 5 — Town-Gown Relations are Great
No. 13 — Class Discussions Encouraged
No. 19 — Dorms Like Palaces
Categories in "The Best 368 Colleges 2009 Edition" vary from ones a school might brag about - best cafeteria food, most gay-friendly and best radio station - to a few less desirable designations, such as "Dodgeball Targets." The Princeton Review‘s book lists the top 20 schools per category.
Beth Leonard, dean of the School of Performing Arts, said the Stephens theater department has been among the nation's top 10 for quite a while.
"I am delighted, but not surprised," Leonard said. "When you can compete with Yale, NYU, Juilliard, Emerson, etc. and entice students to Missouri to study theater, you can be sure that there is something amazingly special to offer."
According to a news release, Robert Franek, author "The Best 368 Colleges 2009 Edition," said that all colleges are "first-rate academically," but scholastics aside, they differ greatly in culture. The review is important to college applicants who can use these ratings to help find universities that fit their personalities.
The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences.
"The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book one to 368 in any category, nor do the rankings reflect The Princeton Review's opinion of the schools," said Sarah Berghorn, public relations manager at Stephens College.
Elsewhere in Missouri, Truman State pleased its students primarily through the pocketbook, taking second place for best value public colleges and 17th place for student financial aid satisfaction. Across the border, the University of Kansas won a 17th-place ranking for its college newspaper, while Kansas State claimed 20th place for top jock schools and 19th place in "Town-Gown Relations are Great."
Neither Columbia College nor MU managed to make this year's rankings.
But things could be worse. Missouri University of Science and Technology, formerly known at the University of Missouri - Rolla, took some slightly more dismal "honors": 14th place for "Dorms Like Dungeons," 9th place for "Is it Food?", and 14th place for "Class Discussions Rare."