20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (2023)

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (1)

In popular culture, college life is often portrayed as a nonstop party full of fun, bacchanalian times. While these portrayals are a bit exaggerated, some colleges have garnered reputations as being particularly festive. This raises the following questions: should you go to a party school? And can you get a good education at a party school?

In this article, I'll define what a party school is, provide party school rankings, and explain how you can still get a quality education from a college known for its epic parties.

What Is a Party School?

A party school has a very active on-campus party scene. In other words, there are frequent and numerous parties, which are usually well attended and act as popular social events for students.

Universities that are described as party schools generally have high rates of student drinking and drug use as well as a large number of fraternities and sororities.

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (2)
The best parties have cake...even the college ones.

What Are the Top Party Colleges?

Our list below is based on Niche's list of the top party schools in the US for 2022.According to Niche, the biggest party schools are those at which had a variety of nighttime entertainment options both on and off campus, as well as student bodies that are "fun, friendly, and into partying."

Most top party schools are large public universities. Because large schools have more students, they often have a more vibrant social scene and more fraternities and sororities.

Below, I've created a table with the top 20 party schools, their undergraduate enrollments, and the average range of standardized test scores of admitted applicants. All private colleges are in bold.

RankSchoolLocationUndergraduate EnrollmentMiddle 50% SATMiddle 50% ACT
1UC Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CA22,4801230-146028-34
2Tulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA8,2311340-150030-33
3Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL29,0721220-135027-31
4The University of Alabama—TuscaloosaTuscaloosa, AL27,7501070-133023-31
5Howard UniversityWashington DC7,4971130-126022-26
6University of Wisconsin—MadisonMadison, WI30,0631260-146027-32
7University of GeorgiaAthens, GA27,8881250-146029-33
8Syracuse UniversitySyracuse, NY13,8321180-138026-30
9University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA18,5601340-153030-34
10University of Illinois--Champaign UrbanaUrbana-Champaign, IL32,1071200-146027-33
11West Virginia UniversityMorgantown, WV18,7261030-123021-27
12Penn StateUniversity Park, PA39,3211160-136025-30
13University of MississippiOxford, MS15,4851010-123022-30
14Ohio UniversityAthens, OH13,8961050-125021-26
15Miami UniversityOxford, OH16,6151160-137024-30
16Indiana University--BloomingtonBloomington, IN31,6321120-135024-31
17University of IowaIowa City, IA20,2271110-131022-29
18San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, CA28,0841090-130022-29
19Florida A&MTallahassee, FL6,2441030-115020-24
20Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, MI34,5001100-130023-29

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (3)
marsmettnn tallahaassee/Flicker

(Video) 7 Top Party Colleges in the Us

Can You Get a Good Education at a Party School?

You can definitely get a good education at a party school. Some of the top party colleges are also some of the best schools in the US. For example, UC Santa Barbara, the #1 ranked party school, was ranked the #7 public school in the US and the #32 national university by US News. It's part of the University of California system, which includes some of the top research universities in the world.

Meanwhile, UCSB, the #16 ranked party school, is ranked both the #5 public school and the #28 national university by US News. It's part of the University of California system, which includes some of the top research universities in the world.

It's also important to note that not all students who attend top party colleges participate in the party culture. Even at party schools, there are many students who don't party. Students who don't party often find a community of like-minded students in their dorms or in various on-campus organizations. Especially at large public universities, there are so many students that you're bound to find plenty of people who aren't party animals.

How Do You Get a Good Education at a Party School?

At almost every college, there are parties and temptation that can get in the way of your studies. At party schools, there's even more temptation because there are more parties and more students who like to party.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing some partying in college, but you have to take care that you're not letting your partying get in the way of your academic success.

As long as you do the following, you'll be able to enjoy the occasional party and get an exceptional education.

#1: Manage Your Time

Regardless of whether you party or not, time management is essential when you're in college. For many students, college is the first time they don't have their parents regularly telling them what to do and when to do it.

If you've got a test Friday morning, you need to have the discipline to not stay out late partying on Thursday instead of preparing for your test and getting a good night's sleep. If you've got a big paper due Monday, maybe you shouldn't spend all weekend partying and start your paper Sunday evening. Even though some students can get away with this behavior, I wouldn't advise it.

To manage your time more effectively, I recommend establishing a routine each semester that will enable your academic success. Many of my Stanford peers would dedicate themselves to studying Monday-Thursday nights, relax and have fun Friday nights and Saturdays, and spend most of the day on Sundays on their academics.

The amount of time you need to spend studying and doing classwork will vary depending on your class schedule and academic strengths, but it's imperative you develop habits that will allow you to be successful.

If you're working part-time or participating in athletics or other extracurricular activities, you'll have less available study time, so you'll have to manage your time exceptionally well.

At Stanford, I was on the gymnastics team and had an on-campus job. Because my free time was limited, I knew that I had to take advantage of the hours I had available to focus on my academics. I did a decent job of managing my time, so I was ultimately able to have ample time for fun, too.

(Video) Top 10 Party Schools in the United States

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (4)

#2: Remember Your Priorities

Reminding yourself why you're in college can help prevent you from letting parties take precedence. You probably worked hard in high school and chose to attend college to get a quality education and useful opportunities.

What's more, college is a costly investment. If you neglect your studies to party, you're not getting the most out of your educational opportunities.

For 2022-23, the total cost of attendance for one year at Tulane—the #2 party school—is more than $82,000. Hopefully, you wouldn't want to pay that much money just so you can go to Mardi Gras with your friends!

#3: Choose Your Classes Wisely

When you're choosing your class schedule, try to pick the classes that interest you and will help you graduate with your desired major.

Too many students try to avoid Friday classes or early morning classes so that school won't interfere with their partying. Because of your other responsibilities and time commitments, you might not be able to take every class that interests you, but, ideally, you won't allow your intended partying schedule to influence the classes you take.

Admittedly, I didn't like early morning classes and preferred not to take them because I'm not a morning person. However, I still ended up taking all the classes I needed and wanted to take.

#4: Maintain Balance

In college, you're likely going to have to juggle a number of responsibilities, in addition to the parties you might be attending.

Many college students go to class, work, and participate in extracurricular activities. They can't party so much that it takes away from their other responsibilities, but they're able to find the time to be able to work hard and play hard.

On the other hand, there are many students who spend so much time in the library that they forget to have fun and interact socially with their peers. I definitely encountered some of these students during my time at Stanford. I recommend that you make sure to have fun while you're in college and enjoy yourself.

I'm not advocating breaking any laws, but some of my greatest memories are from my social activities with my friends while I was in college. Parties can help form and strengthen friendships, and they can give you some quality stories you'll cherish when you're older and all your friends are too busy to party.

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (5)
dennis crowley/Flickr

(Video) College Rankings: The 5 Tiers of Colleges in America

Conclusion: Should You Go to a Party School?

Even though you're not in college to party, parties can be a large part of the college experience, regardless of the school you attend. While party schools have more parties more often, they still offer quality educations.

One of my friends who went to the University of Illinois excelled during his undergraduate years and ended up getting a PhD in Engineering from UC Berkeley. On the other hand, another friend who went there spent too much time partying and lost his athletic scholarship due to drug use.

Similarly, even at a college that's not considered a party school, you can party too hard and suffer academic, legal, or health consequences due to irresponsible partying.

In large part, the quality of your education and your future success is dependent on the choices you make while you're in school. If you make wise choices and prioritize your time, you can get an exceptional education—and have fun doing so!

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (6)

What's Next?

Interested in colleges where your acceptance is nearly a sure thing?Check out the 100+ colleges that are easiest to get into.

Want to attend a college that aligns with your political views? Read through our guides to the most liberal colleges and the most conservative colleges.

Which college rankings are actually important to look at?We've compiled a list of every college ranking that's worth your time!

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (7)

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (8)

(Video) Top PARTY schools in America l CollegeInfo

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!

20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? (9)

Justin Berkman

About the Author

Justin has extensive experience teaching SAT prep and guiding high school students through the college admissions and selection process. He is firmly committed to improving equity in education and helping students to reach their educational goals. Justin received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University and graduated with a BA in American Studies.

Get Free Guides to Boost Your SAT/ACT


20 Top Party Colleges: Can You Still Get a Good Education? ›

You can definitely get a good education at a party school

party school
The term party school is used to refer to a college or university (usually in the United States) that has a reputation for heavy alcohol and drug use or a general culture of licentiousness at the expense of educational credibility and integrity.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Party_school
. Some of the top party colleges are also some of the best schools in the US. For example, UC Santa Barbara, the #1 ranked party school, was ranked the #7 public school in the US and the #32 national university by US News.

What is the #1 party school in America? ›

New Orleans' Tulane University tops the country as the No. 1 party scene among all U.S. schools, according to Niche. Students can find parties almost every day of the week, but no celebration tops that of Mardi Gras, where students join locals for parades, bead-throwing, and King Cake-eating.

Which Ivy League is the biggest party school? ›

If you're wondering which Ivies have the best party scenes, this guide breaks it down. The best Ivy League party schools are Dartmouth and Penn, followed by Cornell. But if you put yourself out there and meet the right people, you can have an incredible social life at any of them.

What college has the nicest people? ›

Friendliest Colleges in the US
  • Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee. ...
  • Rice University – Houston, TX. ...
  • Tulane University – New Orleans, LA. ...
  • College of William and Mary – Williamsburg, VA. ...
  • Colby College — Waterville, ME. ...
  • Clemson University – Clemson, SC. ...
  • University of California-Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara, CA.
Jan 1, 2023

What colleges have the least partying? ›

Top 10 Most Sober Colleges
  • Wheaton College. ...
  • United States Naval Academy. ...
  • Gordon Christian College. ...
  • Thomas Aquinas College. ...
  • Calvin College. ...
  • City University of New York, Baruch College. ...
  • United States Military Academy. ...
  • City University of New York, Hunter College.

What is the biggest partying college? ›

Top Party Schools
  • The Pennsylvania State University. ...
  • University of Texas at Austin. ...
  • West Virginia University. ...
  • Colorado State University. Fort Collins, CO. ...
  • University of California, Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA. ...
  • University of Iowa. Iowa City, IA. ...
  • Tulane University. New Orleans, LA. ...
  • Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY.

Is Texas A&M a party school? ›

Texas A&M University is a party school. However, unlike others, it doesn't dominate top party school rankings. For instance, it's just #132 in Top Party Schools in America by Niche. The same ranker ranks TAMU #10 in Top Party Schools in Texas.

What is the hardest college to get a? ›

Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, unsurprisingly, are America's toughest colleges to get into in 2023, according to Niche's most recent rankings.

Which college has the happiest students? ›

Happiest Colleges in the US
  • College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) The College of William and Mary will often appear high up on college rankings for the happiest colleges in the country. ...
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) ...
  • University of Dallas (Irving, TX) ...
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
Mar 9, 2023

What is America's friendliest college town? ›

Known for friendliness

Students and employees enjoy a better quality of life while on campus. Oklahoma State University sits in the heart of America's Friendliest College Town of Stillwater, Oklahoma.

What is the least accepting college? ›

Among the institutions with the lowest acceptance rate, colleges included, UCLA is the only public university with the lowest acceptance rate while the college with the lowest acceptance rate is Dartmouth College. The rest of the U.S. higher educational institutions with low acceptance rates are privately-owned.

What is the least fun college? ›

Xavier University of Louisiana has been named the unhappiest university campus in America, keeping the unwanted title for a second consecutive year.

What is the least happy college? ›

20 Colleges With the Unhappiest Students
  • Duquesne University. ...
  • Emerson College. ...
  • George Mason University. ...
  • Illinois Institute of Technology. ...
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ...
  • Marywood University. ...
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology. ...
  • Pace University.

What is the most fun ivy? ›

Campus happiness: Brown is widely known as the happiest Ivy, perhaps because of students' freedom to choose courses with almost complete autonomy. Students report feeling less competition amongst themselves and an overall sense of campus community.

What is the happiest Ivy League? ›

Brown is ranked by the Princeton Review as the 10th happiest campus in the country and the happiest school in the Ivy League, and has a general reputation for being the “Happy Ivy.” But why does Brown have this reputation?

What is the easiest school in Ivy League? ›

Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate.

What is the biggest party dorm in the US? ›

2305 Sheridan Road. Once dubbed the biggest party dorm in America, Bobb-McCulloch is one of Northwestern students' favorite residence halls.

How many people go to college just to party? ›

According to a study by Niznik Behavioral Health, about 27 percent of polled college students attend college with the intention to party.

Is partying a big part of college? ›

Partying will likely be a part of every student's college social experience and can be a great way to let loose, have a good time, and meet new friends.

Is UT or A&M better? ›

UT Austin has consistently higher Salary Scores for business-related majors, with median salaries in some fields, such as Business/Commerce, outstripping A&M by $13,000 a year. Texas A&M offers a dozen agricultural and environmental majors on its sprawling campus that can't be found at UT Austin's more urban campus.

Is LSU a party school? ›

LSU, as well as the University of Alabama and the University of Texas climbed in the rankings just above last year's king of the party, Florida State University. “Between the football, baseball and the tailgating, we're definitely No. 1,” said Todd Duhon, the owner of the Stadium Club, located near LSU.

What GPA do you need to get into Texas A&M? ›

Undergraduate students who meet the following general admission requirements at the time of application are assured admission to A&M-Central Texas: Minimum 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA on a 4.0 scale; Minimum 30 academic, college-level transferable semester hours.

What is the easiest college to get to? ›

Colleges with 100% acceptance rates
  • University of Maine--Fort Kent.
  • University of Maine--Presque Isle.
  • University of Pikeville.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Utah Valley University.
  • Wayne State College.
  • Weber State University.
  • Western Nevada College.
Mar 30, 2023

What college has 100 percent acceptance? ›

Established in 1911 in southwestern Utah, Dixie State University features a 100% acceptance rate. The campus, which sits adjacent to the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, serves more than 11,000 students, about 60% of whom attend full time. Dixie maintains a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

What GPA is required for Harvard? ›

The GPA requirements for Harvard University are between 3.9 to 4.1. You will need an incredibly high GPA and will likely be graduating at the top of their class in order to get into Harvard University.

What is the biggest mistakes college students make? ›

Common academic mistakes college students make
  • Skipping the reading. ...
  • Taking on way too much. ...
  • Sticking to what you know. ...
  • Trying to work in a distracting environment. ...
  • Memorizing without understanding. ...
  • Procrastinating until crunch time. ...
  • Skipping sleep. ...
  • Ignoring expenses.
May 2, 2022

Which university has the best social life? ›

The University of Sheffield

Offering over 350 societies for students to join, the Uni of Sheffield has finally won the Clubs and Societies award, after ranking second in 2021.

What college do the smartest students go to? ›

Top 25 Smartest Colleges in America for 2023
RankCollegeEstimated IQ from SAT Score
3Olin College143.4
21 more rows

What is the #1 college town? ›

🔎What is the best college town in America? America's best college town is Stanford, Calif., followed by Williamsburg, Va.

What is the number 1 safest college campus in America? ›

According to Niche, a website that offers reviews of schools and colleges across the country, the safest college campus in the U.S. is Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

What state has the most prestigious college? ›

1. California: Along with having the most colleges by state in the U.S., California also has the highest number of top-ranked institutions.

What college degrees are not worth getting? ›

20 Most Useless Degrees of 2023
  • Advertising. Pursuing an advertising major could lead to potential career paths in digital marketing, e-commerce, or sports marketing. ...
  • Anthropology And Archeology. ...
  • Art history. ...
  • Communications. ...
  • Computer Science. ...
  • Creative Writing. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Culinary arts.

What college has the best dorms? ›

But where can you find the best college dorms in America? The Princeton Review recently released its 2022 ranking of the best college dorms, based on student ratings of their dorms and residence halls. Taking the top spot is Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

What GPA is too low for college? ›

Unofficially, 2.0 is the lowest GPA accepted into a standard college, so while there's a chance that college admission is possible, it's not likely at more than a few institutions.

What is the least stressful major in college? ›

According to the annual National Survey of Student Engagement, software engineering, computer science and astronomy majors enjoy the least stressful college experience, and spend the most time relaxing and socializing, including hanging out with friends, playing video games and going online.

What is college like for introverts? ›

College is challenging at times for all students, but for introverts, it can be especially difficult. While more outgoing students can easily make friends and navigate their way through crowded classes and social events, introverts may often feel uncomfortable and left out.

What is the most random college? ›

The 5 Weirdest Colleges You Can Attend
  1. Deep Springs College. Big Pine, CA. Where ranching is the preferred method of learning. ...
  2. St. John's College. Annapolis, MD/Santa Fe, NM. ...
  3. Clown Conservatory. San Francisco, CA. They're not clowning around. ...
  4. Sarah Lawrence College. Yonkers, NY. Yoink! ...
  5. Hamburger University. Oak Brook, Illinois.

Are college dropouts happier? ›

People who go to college are slightly likelier to report that they are happy about their lives than those who don't go to college. In 2011, researchers found that 89 percent of high-school graduates who did not attend college said they were happy or very happy, compared with 94 percent of bachelor's-degree holders.

Is it OK to not enjoy college? ›

It's perfectly acceptable to hate college, and it's not a crime to admit it to yourself. In fact, doing so alleviates the pressure to constantly enjoy and be grateful for the experience. Attending college is a privilege, and I am thankful for what I learned about myself — inside and outside of class.

Is it OK to not like college? ›

It's totally normal and ultimately your call.

Take some time, reflect, and make a choice that serves your goals and needs. If you're really struggling, always remember to put your health and happiness first. Reach out to a therapist or a trusted loved one right away and get help if you need it.

What was the #1 party school in the US in 2010? ›

1. Penn State University, State College, Pa. 2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

What was the #1 party school in the US in 2016? ›

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was crowned the number one party school in America for 2016-2017. It's the first time UW-Madison has taken the top slot in the party school rankings, with last year's “winner,” the University of Illinois, coming in at number three.

What was the #1 party school in the US in 2015? ›

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign topped the Princeton Review's annual list of the biggest party schools for 2015.

Is USA one party country? ›

Political parties are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution (which predates the party system). The two-party system is based on laws, party rules, and custom. Several third parties also operate in the U.S. and, from time to time, elect someone to local office.

What was the first black school in us? ›

Richard Humphreys established the African Institute (now Cheyney University) in 1837 in Pennsylvania, making it the oldest HBCU in the United States. Its mission was to teach free African Americans skills for gainful employment.

What school is paying for the party about? ›

Drawing on findings from a five-year interview study, Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton bring us to the campus of “MU,” a flagship Midwestern public university, where we follow a group of women drawn into a culture of status seeking and sororities.

What is the biggest minor party in the US? ›

In the United States, there have been numerous "third parties". The largest since the mid-20th century are the Libertarian and Green Parties.

Where is the oldest public school in the US? ›

The Boston Latin School, established in 1635, was the first school in what is now the United States. Although it has changed locations, the public school is still operating today. On April 23, 1635, the first public school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts.

Where was the first public school in the United States? ›

The first public normal school in the United States was founded shortly thereafter in 1839 in Lexington, Massachusetts.

What are the oldest US political parties? ›

The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties of the United States political system and the oldest existing political party in the country. The Democratic party was founded in the 1830s and 1840s. It is also the oldest active voter-based political party in the world.

What was America's best high school in 2015? ›

Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Share this article.
1. School for the Talented and Gifted (TX)6. Carnegie Vanguard High School (TX)
2. BASIS Scottsdale (AZ)7. Academic Magnet High School (SC)
3. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)8. University High School (AZ)
2 more rows
May 12, 2015

What were the first 2 US political parties? ›

The followers of both of the first political parties, the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans, were organized in loose alliances led by members of the social elite who served in Congress or the executive branch.

What is the party school of America? ›

What Are the Top Party Colleges?
1UC Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CA
2Tulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA
3Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL
4The University of Alabama—TuscaloosaTuscaloosa, AL
16 more rows
Dec 10, 2022

How many states are one-party? ›

Thirty-eight states of the US and the district of Columbia have adopted single-party consent: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New-Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South ...

Which is the largest and strongest political party in the world? ›

Parties with over 50 million members
1Bharatiya Janata Party Indian People's PartyBJP
2Chinese Communist PartyCCP CPC

What do Democrats believe in? ›

From workers' rights to protecting the environment, equal pay to fighting the special interests, Democrats believe we can and should make life better for families across our nation. fairness, justice, and equality for all by standing up for all middle-class Americans and those struggling to get there.


1. The Top ‘Party Schools’ in America, According to the Princeton Review
2. The Top 10 Party Schools in the USA | The Dean's List
(SCORE: Your College Counselor)
3. He Went To The Best Party University In America!
(Robert Rivani)
4. Top 20 party schools in the United States
(University News)
5. Finding The #1 Party School In The Nation!
(The Boys of 98)
6. The Best Party School Is … | TMZ


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 02/07/2023

Views: 5848

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.