July 11, 2017 | Matt Kucinski

Students participate in a Friday chapel service in Spring 2017.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges has again touted Calvin College as one the country’s best and most interesting colleges in its 2018 guidebook.

Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018 is a selective, subjective and systematic look at 300-plus colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

For more than 30 years, the guide has aimed to help prospective students and their families discover the real personality of top colleges and universities based on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities.

In the two-page essay included in the guide, editors say that “academically, Calvin’s atmosphere is tough but collaborative,” and that it “is founded on the belief that every subject—even the sciences or mass media and popular culture—can be approached from a Christian perspective, and faculty members work hard to integrate faith and learning.”

Current Calvin students quoted in the guide are appreciative of the challenging academic environment balanced with the support of faculty. “The faculty will challenge students in their intellectual pursuits as well as encourage them in their personal lives,” said an international development major.” A social work major says, “Class sizes are small enough that professors will get to know your name, but big enough to offer a variety of opinions in discussions.”

The guide also notes the many opportunities Calvin offers its students to learn outside the traditional classroom setting through internships, regular collaboration with faculty on research, presentations and publications, and through 40 faculty-led off-campus programs in such locales as Britain, China, Ghana, Honduras and Washington D.C. The guide also notes the college is among the top institutions in the nation for the number of students who study abroad.

Students also give the college high marks in the areas of residence life, extracurricular activities and for its Grand Rapids location, offering students access to restaurants, coffee shops, minor-league sports, galleries and the annual ArtPrize festival and competition.

“The social life at Calvin is great,” said one student. “Most of it takes place on campus, but the Grand Rapids area is also a great way to bond with friends.”

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