FORT KENT, Maine — It is no surprise to students, staff and alumni at the University of Maine at Fort Kent to hear that the college is an excellent institution of higher education.

That opinion is being expressed on a national level, as UMFK again has been ranked a “Best Northeastern College” by The Princeton Review in its 2010 edition. The Princeton Review is a New York-based company known for its test preparation, college admission and other education services.

This is the fifth consecutive year that UMFK has been designated among the top schools in the 11-state region.

The college is one of 218 outstanding colleges and universities in the Northeast that the publication recommends to college applicants in its book “Best Northeastern Colleges.”

The Fort Kent college has a two-page profile in the publication. An excerpt from the profile points out that potential students will learn successful skills at UMFK while “enjoying the Northern Maine living experience.”

“In addition to its rural location that gives unlimited opportunities for all things ‘outdoorsy,’” it continues. “UMFK provides a small, close-knit academic community that features students and faculty of varying ideas and cultures.”

The publication adds that the college, which has approximately 1,100 students, has several “standout programs,” including its education, nursing and business programs. The UMFK faculty members are singled out for their experience, love of teaching and the attention they give to students.

UMFK President Richard Cost said Tuesday afternoon that he was pleased to hear the news. He credited the faculty members for their hard work and said that he felt that the key to the college’s continued success was “consistency.”

“All of the input they received from the students was consistent,” he said. “The input provided had a common theme. The responses said that we have great programs where students receive individual attention from their professors, and that the staff and the professors at UMFK care about them.

“And this input is not just from students in the St. John Valley,” he continued. “It is from students in other parts of our state and across the nation.”

Cost added that there are many things that students look for when picking a college to attend. He noted that the ranking would convince more students to attend UMFK.

“And once they get here, they are going to love it,” he said Tuesday.

The publication’s Best Northeastern Colleges are chosen based on institutional data collected from several hundred schools in each region, visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisers whose recommendations are solicited. Students such as those at UMFK describe their campus experiences in an 80-question survey for the publication. The survey asks students to rate their schools in several categories, from the accessibility of professors to the quality of campus food.