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Top Party Schools Pay Off

Whoever said it doesn't pay to play was clearly mistaken.

Elizabeth Hoyt

July 07, 2014

Top Party Schools Pay Off
Whoever said it doesn't pay to play was clearly mistaken. Apparently, the work-and-play combo is still on the menu for these schools, where students get the best of both worlds. So, what’s the key element in finding these hot spots? It all started as most great discoveries do: by following the money trail., an online salary database, calculated and ranked the colleges 20-year return on investment (ROI) by school type, Top Party Colleges.

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You can learn more about Payscale’s methodology here. These ten schools ranked offer the high ROI found by PayScale combined with the honor of being deemed one of the 20 top party colleges by The Princeton Review. The key component to point out, however, is that the schools with the best bashes and brains usually have strong programs in profitable fields.

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Here is the list of Payscale’s top ten ranked party schools with the best return on investment (ROI), combining a university’s in- and out-of-state ROI, when applicable.
10. DePauw University
Cost: $202,800
ROI: $400,400
Top Party Schools Rank: 13th

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We highly doubt the school’s proclaimed goal, “combining challenging academics with robust social experiences to prepare our students for life,” was referring to being included within the nation’s top party schools. Either way, their Tigers definitely have a bright future ahead.

9. Syracuse University
Cost: $220,100
ROI: $324,700
Top Party Schools Rank: 5th

With the 2013-2014 Top Party Schools rankings, Syracuse University held the distinction of the top party schools amongst the ranked private universities of the list.

8. Miami University
Cost: $186,400
ROI: $337,700
Top Party Schools Rank: 16th

This public university located in Ohio was founded in 1809 and offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 120 areas of study.
With a liberal education core, Miami University focuses on “immersing students in both academic and co-curricular experiences,” which has helped the school “achieve a top-tier national ranking among universities that provide the best student outcomes.”

7. University of Florida
Cost: $168,500
ROI: $357,700
Top Party Schools Rank: 6th

More than 50,000 students, also known as Gators, making up the school body of the University of Florida. It’s the second largest public university in Florida nation and holds the distinction of being the state’s oldest university. Fun fact: the University of Florida also holds a unique claim to fame: it’s where Gatorade, the sports drink, was born.

6. University of California, Santa Barbara
Cost: $222,100
ROI: $364,500
Top Party Schools Rank: 2nd

We have a hunch that students are attracted to this school for more than the scenery. Picturesque as it is, the stats show that it doesn't distract students from studying or partying, for that matter!

5. Pennsylvania State University
Cost: $179,000
ROI: $369,400
Top Party Schools Rank: 9th

With 24 campuses and around 100,000 students, there is plenty for Penn State students to do, both in terms of education and in terms of having a great time. The university also holds plenty of the nation’s top rankings, which includes being ranked amongst U.S. News and World Report’s best graduate schools in 2015.

4. University of Texas at Austin
Cost: $202,800
ROI: $400,400
Top Party Schools Rank: 15th

Amongst nearly 50,000 students there’s surely a party—or study session—always taking place, which is why these Longhorns likely do so well post-graduation.

3. University of Maryland, College Park
Cost: $167,700
ROI: $429,200
Top Party Schools Rank: 17th

Practically a stone’s throw away from Washington D.C., the Terps’ location likely aids its research programs as well as its strong career placement rate for graduates.

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cost: $172,600
ROI: $482,200
Top Party Schools Rank: 3rd

It’s no surprise that Illinis take the gold when it comes to balancing great times with a great future. In addition to being a part of the Big Ten, they boast a great engineering program, which undoubtedly aided in its rank.

1. Lehigh University
Cost: $219,200
ROI: $526,900
Top Party Schools Rank: 10th

Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is a private residential research school that annually ranks within the top national research universities. This year, however, the school boasts another title, number ten on the Princeton Review’s top party schools list. Lehigh was founded in 1865. The school offers studies within four colleges to nearly 5,000 undergraduates and more than 2,000 graduate students.

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