The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University George Mason University

Mason Named Most Diverse by Princeton Review

By Fran Rensbarger

In a survey of more than 110,000 students at 357 top colleges, George Mason ranks number one in the nation in diversity. The survey, conducted by The Princeton Review on campuses and the review's web site, contains questions about academics, campus life and the student body, study hours, politics, and opinions. The results appear in the 2005 edition of The Princeton Review's annual college guide, The Best 357 Colleges. George Mason also received honors as one of the 115 Best Colleges in the Mid-Atlantic.

An abbreviated version of the lists of the top five colleges in each of 60 categories is posted at The lists are organized into nine broader categories: academics, administration, demographics (diverse student population), politics, schools by type, parties, quality of life, extracurricular, and social.

The Princeton Review found “George Mason University is a great bargain for Virginia residents,” providing what one student described as “an easy-going and helpful atmosphere and a spirit of innovation.” The review also found that “the most highly praised academic offerings include those of the School of Management ('getting in takes a lot of hard work') and the government studies department, which benefit from the proximity of Washington, D.C.” One student commented, “It's very cool to have a professor tell you about an encounter that he had with the secretary of defense or to hear another tell you that he will be on NPR later that evening discussing the Middle East peace process.”

The Princeton Review evaluation is, on the whole, quite encouraging,” says George Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “It does tend to reuse student comments, which may not always do a rapidly changing institution full justice or provide the best assurances about overall accuracy. But it certainly captures some of the qualities we value at Mason.”

Since 1992, The Princeton Review has published the student-based rankings. This edition's rankings are based on surveys taken during the 2003–04 and/or previous two academic years.