10 Top Party Schools

Updated April 17, 2017

For many, the term "party school" conjures up images of the 1978 movie "Animal House", where fraternity boys ran amok in their excessive drinking and shenanigans. Characters like "Bluto" and "Otter" have served as archetypes for generations and for many, represent the "college days." Each year, "Playboy" and "The Princeton Review" create a top 10 party school list. In an effort to build a list, "The Princeton Review" hands out surveys to students at colleges across the country, asking them questions about alcohol, drugs, studying, and the popularity of fraternities and sororities.

University of Georgia and University of Texas

"The Princeton Review" ranked the University of Georgia as the top party school in the country, and it has been ranked among the top 20 schools in 10 of the last 13 years. "Playboy," however, went with the University of Texas as its top party school. In its rankings, "Playboy" cited the school's athletic programs, liberal environment, "gorgeous babes," weather and nightlife as credence for its top placement.

Ohio University and West Virginia University

"The Princeton Review" chose Ohio University for its second top party school, while "Playboy" selected West Virginia. According to the "Columbus Dispatch," Ohio University, located in Athens, has fought hard to battle its party school reputation. More than 70 per cent of OU students who responded to "The Princeton Review" survey said they binge-drank. According to "Playboy," West Virginia, located in Morgantown, doesn't offer much to do in the town except party, study and "ignite furniture." "The Princeton Review" ranked West Virginia fourth.

Pennsylvania State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison

"The Princeton Review" ranked Penn State third in 2010, after it ranked first in 2009. Among party schools, however, Penn State ranked in the top 10 in salary potential at over $ 80,000, according to Pay Scale. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was ranked third by "Playboy," who called it the best "beer-drinking school in the country."

University of Mississippi and University of Miami

"The Princeton Review" ranked the University of Mississippi fifth and "Playboy" ranked University of Miami fourth. According to, Ole Miss is considered a top party school because it "maintains a great balance between on-campus/frat house parties and the local bar scene." "Playboy" lauded the University of Miami, saying it had "fine women and weather, not to mention an impressive 11-to-one student-to-professor ratio."

University of Florida and East Carolina

The University of Florida found itself seventh on "The Princeton Review's" list. According to, the school has 26 registered fraternity chapters and 16 sorority chapters to go along with top athletic programs, making it a prime party school. Florida was also ranked in the top 10 among party schools for salary potential. "Playboy" ranked East Carolina fifth, citing the fact that the "administration provides students with drunk-bus shuttles from downtown to campus," as evidence of its partying-nature.

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About the Author

Nick Ruland has reported and written for newspapers and magazines since 2006. Ruland won the Arizona Newspaper Association Sports Story of the Year Award in 2006 and 2007 and was a Hearst Award nominee in 2010. He is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.