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Princeton Review ranks area colleges as best in financial aid, diversity

The Princeton Review's annual college rankings list has just been released.

The Princeton Review's annual college rankings list has just been released, and several local colleges and universities appear on it -- both in categories they'll want to brag about and others they'll need to explain.

Here are some local results:

Princeton University was #1 on the list for great financial aid, and #3 on the list of best values for private colleges. Swarthmore College, which was #2 on the best value list, was #4 on the list of schools with great financial aid. Schools where the financial aid is not so great include Penn State (#2), University of Delaware (#4) and Villanova University (#8).

Princeton was #6 on the list of schools whose students study the most; Haverford College was #10 on that list. The school with the best classroom experience was Swarthmore, at #1.

Swarthmore and Haverford's sister school, Bryn Mawr, scored #9 on two lists, best dorms and best food.

Penn State did well on several lists, including best career services (#2) and best health services (#1). They were also #1 for best campus newspaper. They were #4 among jock schools and #11 among party schools.

Temple University has a #2 spot on the list of schools with lots of interaction among people of different races and classes. Among the schools with the least interaction was Villanova, at #9.

The Princeton Review survey covers only 377 schools -- about 15 percent of the four-year schools in the U.S. Although they provide the top 20 schools in each of 62 different categories, there is no overall list of "best schools." They explain: "The fact is no one school is, in all subjects, for all majors, for all students, the academically best in the nation. It's not which school is best academically (there's no such thing) but which school is best for you that's important."

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