Work hard, play hard. It’s the motto at many college campuses across the country. And while some colleges play hard in moderation, there are those that go above and beyond.
Each year, this list of top party schools is met with controversy. Some students embrace the title, while others shape their weekends (and their college search wish list) with campuses that focus less on parties and more on wholesome weekend entertainment. College administrators on the other end rush to present their school in a more acceptable light, placing an emphasis on academics, student organizations and alumni connections.
Whatever the response, people on both sides of the aisle are dying to know which colleges make the list. Without further ado, here are the top 10 party schools, according to The Princeton Review
10. University of Rhode Island – Kingston, Rhode Island
Despite being a dry campus where no parties are allowed, University of Rhode Island made the top 10 party schools list on The Princeton Review.
Home to just over 13,000 students, there is more that they boast in than the party scene that takes place off campus. Its close proximity to the beach allows students to relax on the weekends, and the campus dining hall has won national awards for its outstanding food.
University of Rhode Island also made the list for Best Northeastern Schools and Green Colleges.
9. Colgate University – Hamilton, New York
Colgate’s party scene is attributed to its large fraternity and sorority scene; however, students say that the Greek parties are inclusive of everyone on campus, despite their Greek status.
Just under 3,000 students attend the school that is “in the middle of nowhere,” but students say that doesn’t seem to impact what the school has to offer. Many speakers are brought to campus, and there is always something going on.
Colgate has found itself on multiple rankings list, including Top 50 – Best Value Colleges, Best Financial Aid and Best Classroom Experience.
8. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin’s partying takes place just as much off campus as it does on campus. With plenty to do in Madison, students find themselves taking advantage of all it has to offer.
While students hunker down and study hard during the week, the weekends are for the Badgers. The whole school unites over its college athletic program, which boasts one of the best college football experiences in the country.
In addition to the Top Party Schools, University of Wisconsin – Madison also ranks Best Value Colleges, Best Alumni Network, Best Qualify of Life and Best-Run Colleges.
7. University of California – Santa Barbara, California
Despite imbibing in the beach party scene of Santa Barbara, students tell The Princeton Review that the campus is full of the “smartest, most hard-working people they’ve met in their lives.”
The school has over 22,000 undergraduate students that attend and are involved in a variety of activities across campus. When students aren’t studying, they are working on community service projects, rock climbing or competing on the school or intramural sports teams.
UCSB also made the rankings lists for Top 50 – Best Value Colleges and Happiest Students.
6. Lehigh University – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Lehigh students can be described as hard-working, ambitious students by day, and relaxed, party-goers at night. One student told The Princeton Review that “even the kids who are in the hardest classes and wake up at 7:00 a.m. to study are going hard at these parties.”
A repeated characteristic of the campus and its students is that everything is intellectual, from the individuals who attend to the extracurriculars to the social offerings. With just over 5,000 students in attendance, the school community feels small and welcoming.
Lehigh also ranks as a Top 50 – Best Value Colleges, Best Career Placement and Best Science Lab Facilities.
5. Bucknell University – Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Of the academic and partying scene at Bucknell, students tell The Princeton Review that everyone on campus “works hard, plays hard (and safe).”
Outside of partying, though, there is much to do around campus. Between typical college campus academic and social offerings, Bucknell provides students with unique opportunities like cake decorating contests, canoe battleship and campus-wide movie nights.
In addition to being a Top Party School, Bucknell also claims the #1 spot on Most Beautiful Campus as well as honorable mentions on Best Athletic Facilities and Best Classroom Experience.
4. Syracuse University – Syracuse, New York
Though partying at the fraternities and sororities is big at Syracuse, there are plenty of options “after dark” for those who aren’t into that type of scene. Students can choose from campus-sponsored activities like bowling, white water rafting and day trips to NYC.
Students at Syracuse are passionate about school spirit and feel that there is a place for everyone on campus, whether that’s in the athletic department, Greek life or classroom.
Syracuse also ranks in the top 10 on the following lists: Best College Newspaper, Best College Radio Station and Everyone Plays an Intramural Sport.
3. Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana
It should be no surprise that a school in New Orleans is ranked as a Top Party School by The Princeton Review. However, New Orleans provides the students of Tulane with a unique, cultural experience off campus as well.
Of the 6,000 students on campus, many start their day at the campus recreation center, getting a workout in before classes. After class, they’re taking advantage of the fun campus offerings like a capella concerts, comedy shows and dive-in movie nights at the indoor pool.
Tulane also ranked high on the Most Engaged in Community Service, Happiest Students and Best Quality of Life lists.
2. West Virginia University – Morgantown, West Virginia
At WVU, the common phrase is: “You going downtown tonight?” Students typically spend their weekend nights in downtown Morgantown exploring all that High Street has to offer.
But students love to be engaged on campus too. There is a ridiculous amount of school pride prevalent at WVU, which stems from the athletic teams that students love to support on the weekends.
On top of being a Top Party School, WVU also made the lists for Students Pack the Stadiums and Green Colleges.
1. University of Delaware – Newark, Delaware
Coming in at #1 on the Top Party School list is University of Delaware. No matter the night, there is something happening at this school, from small mixers and socials during the week to house parties on the weekend.
Over 18,000 students attend this school, and it seems that each one of them wears a smile on their face. The campus is warm and welcoming with a plethora of activities, clubs and organizations for students to choose from in which to become involved.
In addition to making the Top Party School list, the University of Delaware also ranked as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges and Most Popular Study Abroad Program.