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Top Party Schools of 2014-2015

Top Party Schools of 2014-2015

Did your school make the list?

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 05, 2014

Whether you love or love to hate college rankings, it seems that everyone buzzes about one list in particular: the Princeton Review’s Top Party Schools.

SPOILER ALERT: A new champion, Syracuse University, has taken the top slot from last year’s #1 party school, University of Iowa, quickly moving up the list from #5 in last year’s list and #10 in 2013’s list.

As you likely know, the Princeton Review ranks pretty much everything college category – from student life to political agendas. Try as they might to gain student hype around academics or other categories, one of the most highly anticipated rankings remains both coveted and despised: top party colleges.

Nevertheless, the top party schools list seems to reign among the most watched – whether it is by students who wait to see which schools they will apply to for their chance at the party headquarters or for students looking at which schools to avoid.

The results of the rankings come from surveying students on each school’s academics, study habits, Greek life, as well as student body and campus life. (You can find additional detailed notes about the how they find the rankings at the bottom of this article.)

The list is finally out – so, without further ado, here are the Princeton Review’s top ten party school rankings for 2014-15:

10. University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

The Gators fell from #6 the past two years in a row to bringing up the rear as the #10 party school in 2014-2015.

The university’s other Princeton Review list rankings include: #2 Lots of Beer, #10 Best Career Services, #11 Jock Schools, #12 Best College Newspaper, along with several other rankings.

It was also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Southeastern College, among the Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges, the Best Value Colleges for 2014 (Public), The Best 379 Colleges and amongst the Green Colleges.

With more than 50,000 students making up the school body, the school is the second largest public university in Florida, one of the largest in the nation and holds the distinction of being the state’s oldest university.

One of 17 public, land-grant universities belonging to the Association of America Universities, the University of Florida also holds a unique claim to fame: it’s where Gatorade, the sports drink, was born.

9. Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA

Coming in at #9, this small private liberal arts university was founded in 1846 as a “literary institution.” Today, it offers much more than its original literary roots – the school has expanded to offer academic programs in everything from the arts and humanities to social and natural sciences including almost 50 majors and over 60 minors.

The university’s other Princeton Review list rankings include: #7 Lots of Greek Life, #10 Lots of Beer, #12 Little Race/Class Interaction, #18 Best Athletic Facilities and #20 Lots of Hard Liquor.

It was also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Northeastern College, among The Best 379 Colleges, and amongst the Green Colleges. Additionally, Bucknell University ranked among the Best Value Colleges for 2014 (Private).

8. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI

Students love Madison’s beautiful main campus, which includes four National Historic Landmarks.

The school is also noted on other Princeton Review list rankings in addition to being the #8 ranked party school this year.

The rankings include: #4 Best Health Services, #5 Lots of Beer, #7 LGBT-Friendly and #10 Best College Newspaper.

It’s also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College, among The Best 379 Colleges, and amongst the Best Value Colleges for 2014 (Public).

The University of Wisconsin also has more than 750 registered student organizations, which means that there is something on campus for every student to enjoy getting involved in.

7. Pennsylvania State University-University Park
University Park, PA

Ranked as #9 last year, the school better known as Penn State jumped to #7 this year.

As one of the largest universities in the United States – with more than 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students on the main campus at University Park alone, we’re willing to bet it’s always easy to find someone who wants to party.

However, they do more than just party at Penn State. The university offers more than 160 majors across all of its campus locations and the university also hosts the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) – the world’s largest student-run philanthropy.

The school is also ranked within The Princeton Review’s other lists, including: #1 Best Health Services, #1 Lots of Beer, #2 Best Career Services, #2 Financial Aid Not So Great, #4 Everyone Plays Intermural Sports, #4 Students Pack the Stadiums, #6 Best College Newspaper, #9 Jock Schools, amongst many more.

It’s also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Northeastern College, among The Best 379 Colleges, and amongst the Green Colleges.

6. Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA

Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, this private residential research university was originally established as a four-year technical school, but includes a variety of other degrees in modern day.

The university has four colleges, the largest of which is the College of Arts and Sciences – which roughly 40 percent of the university’s students attend.

Lehigh is commonly known as one of the 24 “Hidden Ivies” in the Northeastern United States. This year, however, the school boasts another title: jumping from last year’s #10 slot to this year’s #6 on the top party schools list.

Lehigh University isn’t just a top party school, it’s also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #3 Town-Gown Relations are Strained, #7 Lots of Beer, #10 Little Race/Class Interaction, #10 Lots of Greek Life and #14 Best Science Lab Facilities.

It’s also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Northeastern College and among The Best 379 Colleges.

Founded in 1865, the school is home to nearly 5,000 undergraduates and more than 2,000 graduate students.

5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL

Amongst the many prestigious academic rankings, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fell from last year’s #3 to the middle of the list at #5.

One of the founding members of the Big Ten conference, this university isn’t just a top party school, it’s also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #1 Best Athletic Facilities, #8 Lots of Beer, #9 Lots of Greek Life, #11 Lots of Hard Liquor and #14 Financial Aid Not So Great.

It’s also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College, among The Best 379 Colleges, one of the Best Value Colleges for 2014 (Public) and amongst the Green Colleges.

Around 140 miles south of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers 17 colleges and over 150 programs of study. It’s also considered a “Public Ivy” and is research-intensive – it’s even designated as a RU-VH Research University (very high research activities).

4. West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV

Holding on to the #4 slot for the second year in a row, West Virginia University is clearly full of over 30,000 steadfast partiers.

West Virginia University (WVU) isn’t just a top party school, it’s also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #3 Best Athletic Facilities, #6 Students Study the Least, #12 Students Pack the Stadiums, #8 Best College Newspaper and #11 Best College Library.

It’s also ranked by The Princeton Review as a Best Southeastern College, among The Best 379 Colleges and amongst the Green Colleges.

In addition to offering a great time, WVU has 14 colleges for students to choose from 184 study programs and is in a location that allows students to easily travel to Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, PA, as well as Cleveland and Columbus, OH.

The school has also produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, amongst many other academic award winners.

3. University of California – Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA

This college, commonly known as UCSB, is home-sweet-home to over 18,000 undergraduate students and nearly 3,000 graduate students, who enjoy the views from the cliffs of the Pacific and the college’s very own lagoon.

The University of California – Santa Barbara also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #6 Lots of HRD Liquor, #12 Lots of Beer and #13 Happiest Students.

Plus, it’s one of the Best Value Colleges for 2014 (Public), ranked a Best Western College, among The Best 379 Colleges and Green Colleges by The Princeton Review. Sounds like a sweet deal!

UCSB was bumped from last year’s #2 spot to taking this year’s bronze medal, ranking at #3.

2. University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

What’s there to do in Iowa? Party, of course! Located in Iowa City, this school is part of the Big Ten but still manages to feel like a smaller college, despite over 30,000 students in attendance.

Not only is it ranked as a top party school, the University of Iowa also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #1 Lots of Hard Liquor, #9 Lots of Beer, #13 Students Pack the Stadiums and #17 Lots of Greek Life.

Bumped from the #1 slot last year, this school is known for producing athletic and academic stars alike – the University of Iowa boasts successful alumni from Pulitzer-Prize winners to football heroes. A fine choice for #2, don’t you think?

It’s also ranked a Best Midwestern College, among The Best 379 Colleges and Green Colleges by The Princeton Review.

Comprised of 11 colleges, the University of Iowa offers a broad range of more than 200 areas of study for its students, including the infamous Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

The school has a strong Greek life presence, in addition to packing stadiums with sports fans game after game – as any great Big Ten school does.

1. Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University jumped five slots this year to grab the gold medal, coming in as the #1 party school for 2014-2015!

Thanks to its strong basketball team and crazy rivalries, students tend to party hardy at this school. Cold winter months and concentrated sports fanatics is a surefire recipe for becoming the top party school, if we’ve ever heard one!

Notably, Syracuse finally broke the tradition of large state schools that usually rank as #1 on the list.

In addition to being ranked the #1 party school, Syracuse University (SU) also ranked on some other Princeton Review lists, including: #2 Best College Newspaper, #2 Lots of Hard Liquor, #3 Students Pack the Stadiums, #4 Lots of Beer, #4 2014 Top Entrepreneurial Programs: Undergraduate, #5 Best College Radio Station, and #15 Most Popular Study Abroad Program.

It’s also ranked a Best Northeastern College, among The Best 379 Colleges and Green Colleges by The Princeton Review.

Founded in 1870, the private university has a large campus, which is organized into 13 distinct schools and colleges. SU has nationally recognized programs in information studies and library science, architecture, communications, business administration, public administration, engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Syracuse University claims many famous alums including recording artist and actress, Vanessa Williams (1986), fashion designer, Betsey Johnson (1964) and football star Donovan McNabb (1998).


NOTE: Princeton Review Rankings should be reviewed with a grain of salt. The Princeton Review surveys students and their answers determine how the school ranks. According to the Princeton Review, “each college is given a score (similar to a GPA) for its students’ answers to each multiple-choice question. These scores enable us to compare student opinion from college to college and to tally the ranking lists. Most of the lists are based on students’ answers to one survey question; some lists are based on students’ answers to several questions. But all of our lists are based on our student survey results. They are the sole factors that determine which schools make it onto our 62 ranking lists and at what rank.”



Do you agree with the rankings? Why or why not?


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