SHSU named in Best Western Colleges list

For some it is time to start college or get back to a campus. For many others still in high school, the process of selecting a college for a year or more in the future is beginning.

This week there are several recently-released college selection reports, and Sam Houston State University fares well.

For the second year in a row Sam Houston State is among the Texas four-year public and private colleges and universities named to the Best Western Colleges list by the Princeton Review.

This year there are 22 so designated from 101 that were eligible for selection in the state.

Also released this week was a U. S. News and World Report story by reporter Carol Frey, who made Sam Houston State one of four stops on a college “road trip” through Texas. Other schools featured included the University of Texas-Austin, University of Houston, and Prairie View A&M.

Frey’s 502-word story and a photo are in the America’s Best Colleges 2008 U. S. News and World Report. In addition, there is an online 24-second video segment on SHSU, which was one of 12 schools profiled nationally.

In her visit to SHSU in April, Frey was obviously impressed by the Big Sam statue, SHSU’S growth in enrollment and facilities, and the caring and friendly campus tradition.

“Its student population has grown more than 22 percent in the past five years to 16,000,” she wrote, “and new buildings and student apartments have cropped up on the Huntsville campus like Texas bluebells.”

After mentioning the university’s Woodlands effort in the University Center, she says “Huntsville still oozes small-town friendliness, and a stranger used to being greeded with ‘S’up?’ eventually will hear an old-fashioned Texas ‘Howdy.'”

That caring touch extends through the Student Advising and Mentoring Center operation, which she calls “relentless” in preparing students for and keeping them in school.

She also pulls no punches–“What students do not come for is night life. Huntsville has some fine barbecue but no club scene.”

She concludes by saying that SHSU is “impossible to miss–just look for the six-story statue of Sam Houston as you’re tooling down I-45.”

Of the 12 schools profiled nationally by U. S. News, SHSU’s estimated annual cost for tuition, fees, room and board was the lowest — $11,612 for Texas residents. The average for all 12 is $28,410.

Also near the bottom of the U. S. News online story on Sam Houston State is a randomly appearing ad for Vault surveys, which prints comments from current and former students in the areas of admissions, academics, employment prospects, quality of life and social life. That survey is also accessible directly.

The Vault comments also range from “all are pretty average” relating to academics, to “the academics are great,” but were mostly positive.

One student who enrolled in August 2004 had these comments:

“You learn so much more here because the classes are so much smaller than that of UT or Texas A&M. At Sam you get to meet your professors and really get to know them. If you are in the honors program you get to sign up for the most popular classes first. Then classes are opened for everyone. Don’t wait to sign up for classes and plan early. This way you ensure most of the teachers you really want. Sam has very knowledgeable professors that really teach. As far as grading goes… do your work, study hard, get involved, and you will succeed.”

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