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Winthrop remains among Southeast's best

Winthrop University has retained its place among the best colleges in the Southeast by the Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review, an education services company known for its college guides and test preparation programs, began its "Best Colleges: Region by Region" publication in 2003. Winthrop has been selected for the list every year.

This year, Winthrop is one of 135 institutions recognized in the Southeast, a region encompassing 12 states including North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.

Recognition is determined by data collected by the Princeton Review. Students submit surveys, rating their schools on several factors, including accessibility to professors to the quality of campus food and campus life.

Officials with Princeton Review noted Winthrop is a "public university with a private university feel."

David Soto, director of college ratings at the Princeton Review, told The Herald on Wednesday that Winthrop's students noted several factors they say they enjoy, such as the campus.

"Students love the campus itself," he said. "They write about the beauty of the campus and the ease of getting around."

Other factors included the Greek system and the athletics.

"Although [the Greek system] might not be for everybody, I think some students attending a school do like that vibrant social scene that can be found on campus," he said. "The school really rallies primarily around the basketball team. That adds to the feel of the university as a whole."

Soto noted the "wide array" of degrees students can choose.

Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio said in a news release the university always prepares for the future through cross-campus global learning, new approaches to academic programs, work on options for quicker degree completion and interdisciplinary approaches.

"Consistent with our presence in one of the Carolinas' fastest-growing and most progressive metropolitan regions, Winthrop links its values and traditions to the ever-evolving demands of modern times," he said.

In total, 629 institutions were recognized with the "Best in the Region" distinction, representing a fourth of the United States' 2,500 4-year schools.

In a statement to The Herald, DiGiorgio said that while any such ranking is an honor to have, Winthrop's quality over the years has been affirmed by a range of organizations, all indicating excellence in one way or another.

"Such consensus is a source of pride to all of us at Winthrop," he said.