Princeton Review Rates 2009’s Best Party Schools

Schools of thought on picking a university

Is this what you picture happening at your dream school?

Is this what you picture happening at your dream school?

A lot of different factors can affect a college student’s decision about where to go for their higher education. Some base their decision on how much money other graduates from that university make.

Some students and their families decide based on the cost of attending the school. Some students, however, might let the Princeton Review’s List of Top Party Schools affect their choice — one way or the other.

What makes a party school?

Truth be told, it’s a little difficult to find out the Princeton Review’s criteria for ranking the top party schools in the country. “The Princeton Review is a New York company known for its test preparation courses, educational services and books and is not affiliated with Princeton University,” says the Washington Examiner.

But I think the general college-going public understands what “party school” means. It means the students are more likely to get an emergency cash loan for beer rather than books. This year, the winner was Penn State University. The Washington Examiner reports:

Penn State finished first in the categories “lots of beer” and students who pack the stadium. Beaver Stadium is one of the country’s largest sports facilities, seating more than 107,000 for football games.

Why rank party schools?

On its official web site, The Princeton Review promises help students find out which colleges match their interests. The Princeton Review every year releases a guide to the best colleges in the country. This year’s ranks the 371 best colleges in the U.S.

There are 62 different rankings lists. For instance, Reed College is No. 5 on the rankings list for “Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians.” While this distinction may only affect a small portion of individuals when choosing their school, the party schools list gets a lot of attention every year. Partying is something that most students either seek or seek to avoid, so it’s a commonly sought after list.

How real are the rankings?

The Washington Examiner reports:

“These rankings are not more than popularity contests,” said university spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz. She noted that groups on the social networking site Facebook have urged members to make Penn State the top party school.

“It’s a badge of honor at this point. Nationwide, kids want to pump their schools in these surveys,” Mountz said. “It’s not connected to reality.”

Recent past in partying

This is the first year Penn State has made it to the No. 1 spot. Last  year University of Florida was the top party school, while Penn State was No. 3. Here are the Top 20 best party schools from the Princeton Review.

If you’re one of the students looking to study in peace and quiet, you can check out the Princeton Review’s list of “Stone Cold Sober” schools. Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, has held the No. 1 spot on that list for 12 years.