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Kansas State University

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A new guide rates K-State as among the best undergraduate schools in the nation.

K-State is in the 2011 edition of "The Best 373 Colleges," just released by The Princeton Review and Random House. Only about 15 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are profiled in the book.

The primary criteria for selecting schools in the book is outstanding academics, according to Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president/publishing and guide author. Schools also are selected based on evaluations of institutional data, campus visits, surveys of students, and the opinions of The Princeton Review staff and the company's National College Counselor Advisory Board.

"K-State's more than 250 academic programs and majors, guided by our award-winning and caring faculty, provide students with the educational opportunities they need to succeed," said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students at K-State. "This national recognition of our university and our academic program show K-State is well on its way to becoming one of the top 50 universities in the nation in the next 15 years."

It's the second book this year by The Princeton Review to rank K-State as among the best schools in the nation. The university also was selected for "Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges." The free comprehensive guidebook profiles the nation's most environmentally responsible campuses, with K-State the only school in Kansas to be included in the green guide.

K-State has a two-page profile in the "The Best 373 Colleges" that includes information on academics, student life and the student body, admissions, student financial assistance and more.

Students surveyed for the guide called K-State tremendously affordable and a big school with a small-school feel. Students also noted that the administration gives them a large say in everything the university does, and that President Kirk Schulz, Bosco and other key administrators are "ultra-accessible" for such a large school.

The book also ranks the top 20 schools in 62 categories, which are based on the student surveys.

Among the categories where K-State rates highly is town-gown relations. Students said Manhattan is a great college town that has everything needed for college life.