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by Vault Education Editors | July 28, 2009


Today, Princeton Review announced its list of the Top American Party Schools for 2009-2010. The list is based on a survey of 122,000 students who ranked different schools based on "Reefer Madness," "Lots of Hard Liquor," "Lots of Beer" and "Major Frat and Sorority Scene.". Penn State scored the No. 1 spot this year, up from No. 2 in 2008-2009. Also notable is that the increase in the number of smaller, liberal arts colleges among the top-20 schools this year--Union College at No. 13, DePauw University at No. 15, and Sewanee at No. 17--and absence of some long-time top partiers, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though, in the end, the Top 20 remains dominated by large universities located in the South and other warm climates.

Even though the Top Party Schools list gets a lot of media and student attention each year, it has no affect on or relationship to academic quality. According to Inside Higher Ed, "In terms of admissions, few administrators say that these rankings have a real impact on attracting partiers or driving away more serious students." University administrators say that the attention surrounding the rankings doesn't last, and afterwards the perception of a school returns to normal.

The Top 20 American Party Schools for 2009-2010

  1. 1. Penn State University, State College, Pa.
  2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  3. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
  4. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  5. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  6. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
  7. University of Texas, Austin, Texas
  8. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
  9. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  10. University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
  11. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
  12. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  13. Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
  14. Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
  15. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
  16. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
  17. Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.
  18. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
  19. Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
  20. Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

On the other side of the party spectrum, Princeton Review also announced the Top 20 Stone-Cold Sober Schools for 2009-2010. The majority of the schools on this list are dry because of their religious or military standards. Others are all-women's colleges or simply really hard because of academic or work demands. It's also important to remember that these schools aren't necessarily where fun goes to die, but that their social life simply may not be party- or alcohol-based. As Rulon Barlow of Brigham Young University (No. 1 on the Stone-Cold list this year) told Inside Higher Ed, "Everyone laughs and says, 'That's who we are.'"

The Top 20 Stone-Cold Sober Schools

  1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  2. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.
  3. United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.
  4. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo.
  5. Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga.
  6. United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  7. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
  8. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.
  9. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.
  10. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  11. Grove City College, Grove City, Penn.
  12. United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  13. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass.
  14. City University of New York, New York, N.Y.
  15. Marywood University, Scranton, Penn.
  16. Mills College, Oakland, Calif.
  17. Berea College, Berea, Ky.
  18. California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, Calif.
  19. Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga.
  20. Simmons College, Boston, Mass.


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