Top 20 Party Schools: Penn State #1

July 28, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Trade Shows & Events | Youth & Gen X

Pennsylvania State University has graduated to #1 on the list of top “party schools” in America after being on the list for seven years and rising two spots from #3 last year, according to a survey of 122,000 students at 371 US colleges by Princeton Review.

The study determined party-school status by asking students at US colleges questions about the use of alcohol and drugs on campus, the amount of time spent studying, and the popularity of the Greek system, among other things.? It also ranked the University of Florida (last year’s #1), the University of Mississippi, the University of Georgia and Ohio University in the top five.


Brigham Young University in Utah was at the opposite end of the party spectrum from Penn State.? It was rated the #1 Stone-Cold Sober School.

Additional “Best of” College Lists

The list of party schools is included in Princeton Review’s annual ratings book, “The Best 371 Colleges – 2010 Edition,” which includes 61 additional lists ranking the top 20 colleges over a wide range of categories, including schools with the best administrators, best professors, best financial aid, most gay-friendly, best fire safety and most “green.”

Other ranking lists in the book and #1 colleges on them:

  • Best Library Facilities: Harvard University (MA)
  • Most Beautiful Campus: Colgate University (NY)
  • Best Professors: Davidson College (NC)
  • Best Financial Aid: Swarthmore College (PA)
  • Best Career Services: University of Florida (FL)
  • Best Classroom Experience: Pomona College (CA)
  • Most Accessible Profs: US Military Academy (NY)
  • Most Conservative Students: Texas A&M University (TX)
  • Most Liberal Students: Warren Wilson College (NC)
  • Most Politically Active Students: George Washington University (DC)
  • Least Religious Students: Bennington College (VT)
  • Race/Class Relations Friendliest: University of Miami (FL)
  • Gay Community Most Accepted: New York University (NY)
  • Everyone Plays Intramural Sports: University of Notre Dame (IN)
  • Best Athletic Facilities: University of Maryland at College Park
  • Best Town-Gown Relations: Clemson University (SC)
  • Best Dormitories: Smith College (MA)

An academic ranking of schools is not included on any of Princeton Review’s lists because the organization stresses the idea that students should consider and apply to schools that are a right fit for them individually. “Each of our 371 ‘best’ colleges offers great academics,” said Robert Franek, author of the book and VP/ Publisher, The Princeton Review. “However, we don’t rank schools academically because our goal is to help students find and get into the best school for them. It’s all about the fit.”

About the rankings: The 80-question survey that formed the basis for the rankings was conducted among 122,000 students (325 per campus on average) at the 371 schools in the book during the 2008-09 and/or previous two school years. The ratings are scores (60 – 99) based largely on institutional data collected during 2008-09.


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