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Princeton Review

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Princeton Review

This article is about the consulting company. For the journal produced by Princeton Theological Seminary, see The Princeton Theological Review.
The Princeton Review
Industry Education
Founded 1981
Founder(s) John Katzman
Headquarters Framingham, Massachusetts
Owner(s) Charlesbank Capital Partners
Divisions College, Business School, Law School, Grad School, Med School

The Princeton Review (TPR) is an American-based standardized test preparation and admissions consulting company, based in Framingham, Massachusetts. It operates in 41 states and 22 countries worldwide. It offers test preparation for standardized aptitude and achievement tests and advice regarding college admissions, and publishes books with Random House. Approximately 70% of the company's revenue comes from test preparation.[1]


21st century

On May 18, 2012, the Princeton Review brand name and operations were bought for $33 million by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private-equity firm. The company is now private, and is no longer affiliated with its former parent, Education Holdings 1, Inc.[2]

Test preparation

The Princeton Review offers preparation courses for various tests at the Princeton Review website:[3]

The company offers courses world-wide through company-owned and third-party franchises. Countries with Princeton Review franchises include China, India, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.[4]

The Princeton Review offers both private tutoring and classroom courses. Most courses and tutoring guarantee an improvement in scores.[5]

College admissions

The Princeton Review Bookstore[6] publishes various guides to colleges, including The Best 377 Colleges (Aug 2012),[7] the Complete Book of Colleges (July 2012), Best Value Colleges (Feb 2012), ,[8] College Essays That Make a Difference (Dec 2012), Paying for College Without Going Broke (Oct 2012), and Guide to Colleges For Students With Learning Disabilities (Sept 2012). It also publishes test preparation books for college and grad school-bound students in various test types (SAT, ACT, AP, MCAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.).

The Princeton Review website provides free advice and tools for college admissions, testing and financial aid.[9] It also provides access to student opinion ranking lists from The Best 377 Colleges (Aug 2012), including "Top 20" ranking lists in categories such as "Professors Get High Marks," "Happiest Students," "Party Schools," and "Dorms Like Dungeons.".[10] The Princeton Review website offers a FAQ section which explains its student survey methodology, how and why it generates its rankings and ratings info, how it chooses colleges for inclusion in "The Best 377 Colleges", etc.[11]

The admissions division also offers services to high school guidance departments[12] and colleges.[13]


Test preparation providers have been criticized in the past on the grounds that their courses claim larger score increases than they deliver.[14]

College rankings, including those published by the Princeton Review, have been criticized by educators and commentators for failing to be accurate or comprehensive by assigning objective rankings formed from subjective opinions.[15] The Princeton Review officials counter that their rankings are unique in that they rely on student opinion and not just on statistical data.,[16][17]

In 2002 an American Medical Association affiliated program, A Matter of Degree,[18] funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation from 1996 to 2003 criticized the Princeton Review list of Best Party Schools and requested that the list be discontinued.[19] The AMA removed the claim from its website three weeks (Sept 2002) after its posting. In August 2002 also ran a poll on its site as their question of the day, “Should The Princeton Review continue its party school ranking?” to which over 60% of respondents said yes. USA TODAY published an editorial titled "Sobering Statistics" [20] on August 20, 2002 about the AMA's criticism of Princeton Review's party schools list. The editorial stated, "the doctor's group goes too far in suggesting that the rankings contribute to the problem" (of campus drinking). The editorial noted the fact that among the schools the AMA program was then funding as part of its campaign against campus drinking, six of 10 of those schools calling for The Princeton Review to "drop the annual ranking".... "had made (Princeton Review's) past top-party-school lists: many times for some. That's no coincidence." The editorial commended The Princeton Review for reporting the list, calling it "a public service" for "student applicants and their parents." The editorial further added that The Princeton Review had done "the schools (named on the list)—and their students—"a favor."

The rankings for LGBT-related lists have also been criticized as inaccurate due to outdated methodologies.[21] The Princeton Review bases its LGBT-Friendly and LGBT-Unfriendly [22] top twenty ranking lists on answers given by all undergraduate students at colleges completing its student opinion survey. The question asked of all students is as follows: "Do students, faculty, and administrators at your college treat all persons equally regardless of their sexual orientations and gender identify/expression?" The Princeton Review also publishes, The Gay & Lesbian Guide to College Life,[23][24]


External links

  • Official company website

Template:University ranking systems

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