In its 2009 edition of "Best 368 Colleges," the New York-based education services company’s annual guide described USD as the "perfect package" for students interested in "career-centered" studies such as pre-medicine, business, criminal justice, psychology or "anything to do with numbers" such as math or accounting. Based on survey results from 120,000 students, USD was described as having “a small-school feeling with great benefits that a big school can offer.” Students also praised Vermillion as a "very supportive" community that’s "great for doing things outdoors."

"This is affirmation that USD provides students with a proficient investment in their education," added Teddi A. Joyce, Ph.D., vice president of marketing, enrollment and student services at The U, "USD’s commitment to academic excellence in undergraduate education hasn’t been compromised by making it unaffordable."

The "Best 368 Colleges" 2009 edition lists only 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States along with two Canadian institutions. A two-page profile in the guide includes student responses to academics, student life as well as The Princeton Review’s breakdown of admissions, financial aid and the "Inside Word."

According to Robert Franek, vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review, colleges and universities featured in the "Best 368 Colleges" were selected primarily for outstanding academics. Each school was evaluated based on institutional data collected by the education services company, including feedback provided by students and independent college counselors. Additional considerations, Franek noted, were opinions from parents, institutional selectivity, region and character.

The rankings in "Best 368 Colleges" can be found on The Princeton Review Web site at where users can also read FAQs about the book, which was released July 29.

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