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To be fair, UND is still among the nation's top universities, which is how it got into Princeton Review's list of "The Best 373 Colleges" in North America. It was the only one in North Dakota listed, though several state universities did make it into a separate list of top Midwestern colleges.

Hit the books! Princeton Review ranks UND as No. 1 school where students study the least

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UND just can't seem to catch a break from the Princeton Review.

The university isn't on the list of top party schools or top liquor-swilling schools this year as it was last year.

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But now it's moved up on the list of schools with students who study the least -- actually, it's No. 1 -- and landed a spot on the list of schools with least accessible professors.

To be fair, UND is still among the nation's top universities, which is how it got into Princeton Review's list of "The Best 373 Colleges" in North America. It was the only one in North Dakota listed, though several state universities did make it into a separate list of top Midwestern colleges.

Princeton Review arrived at its rankings through a survey of 122,000 students at the 373 colleges, asking questions such as how widely liquor is used on campus.

Other than the rankings for specific categories, such as least studious students, the 373 are not ranked together because the company thinks it'd be comparing apples and oranges. Different universities fit different kinds of students, it said.

UND response

So, here's a quick recap: In 2009 UND was No. 5 among those with students who study the least, No. 15 for students who down the most liquor and No. 18 among party schools.

This year, UND is No. 1 among those with students who study the least and No. 19 among those with professors that are least accessible.

The Princeton Review based those on answers to these questions: "How many out-of-class hours do you spend studying each day?" and "How accessible are your instructors outside the classroom?"

In response to questions about its students' studiousness, UND released a study by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, that compared UND students with those at two peer universities, whose names were not revealed.

UND seniors in the 2008-2009 year said they studied, on average, 5.48 hours a week. At one peer, seniors said they studied an average of 5.54 hours and, at the other peer, 5.37 hours.

UND freshmen said they studied an average of 5.48 hours while their peers studied 5.65 and 5.48.

The top 5s

Among those with least studious students, the top five are UND, followed by the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of Mississippi in Oxford, the University at Albany (N.Y.) and West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Among those with least accessible professors, the top five are University of Toronto, Rutgers University-New Brunswick (N.J.), the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and Tuskegee (Ala.) University.

Who tops in liquor-swilling this year?

Providence (R.I.) College was No. 1, followed by the University of Georgia in Athens, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Mississippi.

The top party schools include University of Georgia, Ohio University-Athens, Penn State University in University Park, West Virginia University and the University of Mississippi.

Princeton Review also has a list of 125 best Midwestern universities that's a little broader than the best 373 list. On it are Jamestown (N.D.) College, Mayville (N.D.) State University and the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

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