'Fiske Guide to Colleges' 2015 Edition Includes St. Lawrence

Calling it “a school on the rise,” St. Lawrence University has been included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015, which selects only 300 of the more than 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States, Canada and Great Britain to profile. The book provides a snapshot of each school's "personality," based on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities.

Fiske says St. Lawrence offers a classical liberal arts education, placing a premium on small classes and team teaching, and it highlights how more than half of St. Lawrence students spend time off campus, either at one of the University’s 18 international programs or nearby programs in Canada, Washington, D.C., or even the Adirondack Semester. The guide also mentions the Sullivan University Fellows Program, which offers 25 to 30 students housing and $3,500 stipends for summer research.

“Fiske identified in its Guide to Colleges many of the same attributes that we ourselves believe are the hallmarks of a St. Lawrence education and experience,” said President William L. Fox ’75. “It’s reassuring to read in a college guidebook that relies heavily on direct student comments that they, too, value our sense of community and camaraderie as well as our small class sizes, infrastructure investments, and natural surroundings. We are undoubtedly a school on the rise.” 

Students are routinely quoted in Fiske for their views of academics and social life. One student was quoted as saying about the small-town environment that “we learn to make our own fun, building a vibrant, involved community as we do so.” The guide states that St. Lawrence “makes up for frigid winters with the warmth of a close-knit, caring community."

The guide pays particular attention to St. Lawrence's low student-faculty ratios, and it highlights that professors — rather than graduate students — teach all classes, including introductory-level courses.

"I am particularly pleased that they have chosen to highlight the quality of student faculty relationships and the work that faculty do to create engaging and interactive classrooms," said Valerie D. Lehr, vice president and dean of academics affairs. "These are particular aspects of a St. Lawrence education, and they are areas in which survey data suggest that we excel."

Fiske says that recent construction projects have helped to make the campus “almost as breathtaking as the natural beauty that surrounds it.” It continues, “As the frenzied pace of construction winds down and academic standards are ratcheted up, SLU is a school on the rise, especially for those wanting to get back to nature.”

Edward B. Fiske served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times, where he realized that college-bound students and their families needed better information on which to base their educational choices. He is also the author of the Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges, which became available July 5, is also available as an iPad app on iTunes and a Web program on