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Party on: Princeton Review lists best (and worst) party schools

August 21, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • West Virginia University wins a top national ranking -- but not in football. The Princeton Review rates it the top party school.
West Virginia University wins a top national ranking -- but not in football.… (Al Johnson / Wikimedia Commons )

West Virginia University claimed a national title that will guarantee students dubious bragging rights for 2013: top party school. 

The Morgantown, W. Va., university has been among the nation’s top 20 party schools 12 times since the Princeton Review began the rankings 21 years ago. It has been champion three of those years, but not since 2007.

The University of Iowa secured second place, and last year's champion, Ohio University, slid to third.

WVU also clinched awards in two categories that some might argue are related: first in “Lots of Beer,” and third in “Students Study the Least” (despite having the 15th-best campus library).

On the other side of the bar, Utah’s Brigham Young University extended its streak to the 15th year as reigning champion of the “Stone Cold Sober” schools. BYU also got first place in the “Got Milk?” and “Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch” categories.

The rankings are part of the Princeton Review’s 2013 edition of “The Best 377 Colleges,” a book that contains 62 lists on all aspects of college life, including academics, administration and the social climate on campus. The company gave 80-question surveys to 122,000 students. “The Best 377 Colleges” goes on sale Tuesday.

During move-in weekend, WVU police issued dozens of citations for underage drinking, according to the campus police website. Incidents included a young woman passed out in an elevator and multiple arrests outside campus buildings.

Victory can be a lot to drink in.

“If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs,” spokeswoman Becky Lofstead told the Associated Press. “But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility.”

Rounding out the top 10 party schools of 2013 were, in order: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, UC-Santa Barbara, Florida State University, Miami University and Syracuse University.

After BYU, the stone-cold sober schools were Wheaton College, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Grove City College, West Point, CUNY-Brooklyn College, Wesleyan College, Wellesley College and Calvin College.

Other social-life champions crowned include the University of Colorado-Boulder (“Reefer Madness”), Reed College (“Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians”) and Providence College (“Lots of Hard Liquor”).

The other categories included  “Students Pack the Stadiums,” “Class Discussion Encouraged” and “Least Beautiful Campus.”

The winner of that last honor (or is it?): Case Western Reserve University.

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Follow Laura on Twitter. Email: laura.nelson@latimes.com

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