BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland has been named one of the nation's top institutions for undergraduate higher education by The Princeton Review in its latest annual college guide, The Best 380 Colleges.
The school rose three spots from the 2015 list to check in at No. 2 nationally in "Best Athletic Facilities." The Greyhounds play their home basketball and volleyball contests at Reitz Arena where four video boards will further enhance the fan and student-athlete experience this year. Ridley Athletic Complex is home to the Loyola lacrosse and soccer programs, and the 6,000-seat venue is considered the top stadium for those sports of its size nationally.
The swimming and diving team competes in the Mangione Pool at the Fitness and Aquatics Center, while the track and field squad uses the Loyola/Johns Hopkins Track and Field Complex. The newest piece to the athletics' facilities equation is the $3.2-million McClure Tennis Center that is housed at Ridley. The eight, lighted courts were dedicated in April 2015 and will give the Greyhounds' tennis programs the opportunitiy to host more tournamnets and larger events while also allowing for better practice and contest scheduling.
This year, Loyola will open a new golf practice facility at Ridley that will give the program that has won eight-straight conference titles a new indoor home for honing skills.
Outside of athletics, Loyola ranks No. 2 on the new "Students Most Engaged in Community Service" list, introduced in this year's guide. Loyola ranks the highest of all four Jesuit institutions included on the list of 20 top schools.
Eighty percent of Loyola students participate in community service. A survey of students from the Class of 2018 students found that 61 percent were interested in social justice opportunities before their first year at Loyola.
"As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Loyola works to inspire our students to become active, committed members of the community, and our students embrace those opportunities with energy and passion," said Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., acting president of Loyola. "While this ranking is gratifying, I hope our students take even greater pride in knowing that their service can touch and transform lives."
Loyola offers numerous community service programs, including Spring Break Outreach, a week-long service immersion trip to five different areas in the eastern United States and organized through the Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ). Pre-health students aid new mothers and babies through Health Outreach Baltimore, a student-run program in partnership with Mercy Medical Center. In addition, Loyola's York Road Initiative is in its eighth year leading efforts to improve the lives of those living, working, and learning in the Govanstowne community of Baltimore. Other service programs are offered through CCSJ, Campus Ministry, and various academic and administrative departments.
Loyola also appears on four additional specialty lists, No. 4 in "Best College Dorms." Loyola is also featured on the "Best Northeastern Colleges," "Colleges That Pay You Back," and "Best Private Schools."
Students surveyed by the Princeton Review lauded Loyola's classroom facilities, career services, and recreation facilities, and noted the student government was active and engaged on campus.
The Princeton Review chooses the 380 schools based on their outstanding academic programs, and only 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges are included. Colleges are not ranked academically or from 1 to 380 in any category. Instead, The Princeton Review reports 62 ranking lists of the top 20 colleges in various categories. The lists are entirely based on The Princeton Review's survey of more than 100,000 students attending the colleges.
A full list of The Princeton Review's best colleges for 2016 is available at princetonreview.com.
Information from Loyola.edu used for this story.