Iona University Named to The Princeton Review’s National List of “The Best 389 Colleges”
A first for the University, inclusion in this influential publication reflects the ongoing momentum at Iona
New Rochelle & Bronxville, N.Y. – A school on the rise, Iona University is proud to announce it has been included for the first time ever in The Princeton Review’s highly influential national list of “The Best 389 Colleges,” signifying it is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduates.
Released today, only about 15 percent of America’s 2,600 four-year colleges are profiled in the book. The Princeton Review made its selection based in part on an 85-question survey of 165,000 students across the country, providing insights into academics, professors, student life, campus culture, clubs, dorms, extracurricular activities and much more. It also collected data from 2,000 college administrators about their institutions’ academic offerings.
“We are honored to be recognized as one of The Princeton Review’s top schools nationwide, especially since the list directly highlights how our students feel about their overall Iona experience,” said Iona President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “In keeping with Iona’s mission, our students spoke not only of a rigorous and rewarding academic culture, but also of an exciting and engaging world beyond the classroom; a world that inspires them to reach for their fullest potential and supports them along the way. Today’s recognition reflects all the hard work taking place across campus. My thanks to the entire Iona community.”
Ultimately, the publication – which includes a profile about Iona in The Princeton Review’s 2024 edition book as well as online – aims to offer invaluable guidance for students as they search for their “best-fit” school. While Iona previously ranked as one of the top schools regionally, this is the first time Iona made the national list.
"We salute Iona University for its outstanding academics, and its many other impressive offerings. We’re delighted to recommend it as an ideal choice for students searching for their ‘best-fit’ college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief and lead author of The Best 389 Colleges.
The news comes as Iona continues to grow new student enrollment and expand opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Since 2019, new student enrollment is up nearly 30 percent at Iona. In addition to a rigorous academic focus, Iona students enjoy choosing from over 80 clubs and leadership organizations as well as a wide range of performing arts opportunities, 13 club sports and 23 NCAA Division I Athletics programs.
“The inclusion of Iona University in The Princeton Review’s Best 389 Colleges confirms what we have known for a long time: that an Iona education is transformative and provides outstanding outcomes for our students,” said Kevin O'Sullivan, senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Affairs. “With our enrollment growth and acquisition of the Bronxville campus, along with an investment of over $100 million into campus enhancements and facilities to support the student experience both in and out of the classroom, coupled with the launch of new schools, academic programs and student engagement opportunities, Iona is poised to continue accomplishing great results. The Princeton Review’s inclusion of Iona in this publication is a gratifying affirmation of this important work, and we thank them for recognizing our commitment to the student experience.”
On the academic front, students told The Princeton Review that from their first to final year at Iona, they are welcomed into an “inclusive community” that has “the feeling of home.” Undergraduates also appreciated that the school has “a lot of resources available” and “a huge network of support that will allow you to pursue your dreams.”
Iona students also pointed out that there are “opportunities for internships and job offers since the school works so hard to have companies come in and talk with the students,” and that being “so close to the city” helps.
Undergraduates also noted that “Iona is renowned for their business school,” which gets students early access to real-world companies and hands-on experience, which “allowed us to take what we learn[ed] in the classroom and apply it to the real world.”
Fortunately, no matter the class, Iona students said “the professors here are passionate about the subject material they are teaching.” Additionally, professors “do an excellent job at preparing students for their intended field of study and providing a meaningful learning experience.” Perhaps most importantly, Iona students said it’s evident that the professors “really care about their students. They will contact you if you are doing well or if you aren’t doing well. They want to see you succeed at Iona.”
At Iona, “respect and dignity [are] always a priority,” students said, so it’s no surprise that undergraduates spoke very highly of their “warm and welcoming” peers.” They see each other as “passionate, involved” individuals who are quick to “flash you a smile or hold open the door for you.”
One student elaborated, “I’ve met some of my best friends through asking a friendly face for help in many different areas at Iona… People genuinely want what’s best for you.” As another put it, “The second I walked onto campus everyone made me feel like I belonged.”
Students also told The Princeton Review that the Catholic university attracts a “diverse range of students from different religious backgrounds” and “a lot of people from all over the world. [It] is nice to know that I can always learn something new about a different country.”
To those at Iona, the most important factor is how they come together to “care about their community and making a difference in the world.” Beliefs like that are what led some students to say that their already impressive peers “are going to go far beyond what they expected.”
Students also told The Princeton Review that “there is never a boring or dull moment” at Iona. Students cite many clubs and programs—everything from rugby to criminal justice—that are not only “exciting and interactive [but that] bring the student body closer together.”
For those professionally motivated, students say of clubs such as in accounting and finance that, “I love how they create opportunities...to network with alumni and participate in interesting career chats.”
Of course, even with all these activities, students sometimes need a change of scenery, and that’s where they said they capitalize on the University’s “proximity to NYC to spend time in Manhattan to experience the Big Apple nightlife and cultural outlets.”
A SCHOOL ON THE RISE
The momentum continues to rise at Iona – and students and families are taking notice. Not only has new student enrollment continued to climb, but Iona also changed its status from a college to a university in July 2022. Notably, Iona also recently expanded to a new 28-acre campus in Bronxville, located just three miles from its 45-acre campus in New Rochelle, N.Y.
In addition to adding new athletic facilities and performing arts spaces, the Bronxville campus is now primarily home to the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences and the state-of-the-art Kelly Center for Health Sciences. This premier new school offers a variety of undergraduate and advanced degrees in collaboration with one of the nation’s top hospitals, including top clinical placements and full-time employment opportunities.
All of this builds upon the longstanding reputation of Iona’s School of Arts & Science and the LaPenta School of Business, not to mention the collaborative opportunities offered through the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
Michael P. Hegarty '66, chair of the Iona Board of Trustees, said it is encouraging to see all the ways in which Iona and its students are flourishing. Both inside and outside the classroom, Iona has focused on expanding opportunities for students. Now, especially with the additional space provided by a new campus in Bronxville, the University looks forward to continued growth.
“Iona was founded upon a mission of providing a transformative experience for our students, embodying opportunity, justice and the liberating power of education,” Hegarty said. “Iona students are widely recognized for their ethics, creativity, problem-solving and joy of lifelong learning. The Princeton Review acknowledgement helps to affirm that not only is Iona living up to its mission, but that the best days are still ahead.”
Iona University is included regularly in reports and lists created by Colleges of Distinction, U.S. News & World Report, College Factual and more. Learn more about why these national organizations recognize Iona as a leader in the world of higher education.
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.