Time survey names Florida A&M 'College of the Year'
Flurry of college guides offer students advice
August 24, 1997
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT)
(CNN) -- Time magazine and the Princeton Review College Guide
began a new tradition this year by naming a single school
College of the Year. The Time/Princeton college guide, which
hits newsstands Sunday, tapped Florida A&M as its first
The designation spotlights a school that has achieved
excellence, while nurturing its student body. Jillian Kasky,
senior editor of the guide, said the
award does not necessarily mean Florida A&M is the best
college in the nation.
"A lot of places say who they think is best, but we wanted to
choose a college that was addressing one specific issue that
our panel of 10 experts thought was the most critical issue
this year," Kasky said.
After surveying the panel, they pinpointed access as the
issue. "When other schools and other state systems are
turning away minority students, Florida A&M is looking to
create a better environment for those same students," she
Flood of college guides
The Time/Princeton Review guide includes information about
hundreds of colleges, as well as a questionnaire to help
students figure out where they might fit in.
It comes out amid a flood of publications aimed at anxious
high school students and their parents. The publications
cover just about every aspect of campus life, from finances
to frat parties:
- Looking for the most bang for your college buck? Money
Magazine put the California Institute of Technology and Rice
University at the top of its 1998 Best Buys list.
- If parties are a priority, the Princeton Review guide -- a
separate publication from the Time/Princeton publication --
lists The Best 311 Colleges, in which students rated West
Virginia University as the top party school. The same guide
lists overall quality of life for students, with categories
like "Dorms like Palaces" and " Great Food" vs. "Is it Food?"
- U.S. News & World Report takes a more serious look at
colleges, with its top-to-bottom ranking of more than 1,400
schools. Harvard and Princeton tied for first this year.
Florida A&M improves academics, students
Although the traditionally African-American Florida A&M might
not be the best school for every student, the school has been
recognized for making important gains since Frederick
Humphries was seated in 1985 as its president.
The school has tripled its graduating class since then. At
the same time it has gained recognition for its improved
programs and higher-quality student body. Humphries says the
school's purpose is to nurture African-American excellence
one student at a time.
"Our theme for the university is excellence with caring,"
"We demand a high standard, but we also are very sensitive to
a student's needs and we try to fold them in, help them with
values, teach them the promise of hard work and good academic
performance in the classroom and then create a vision for
themselves so they can go out and be first," he said.
He has been known to personally recruit top black high school
achievers. And students at the university say entering
freshmen get a message that the school offers more than an
"No matter where you come from, no matter what you were part
of before, right now, from here on out, you're part of the
family," one student said. "Here, it's love."