And the biggest party school is...
West Virginia University was listed No. 1 on both the "Party Schools" and "Lots of Beer" lists released by the Princeton Review.
August 21st, 2012
09:26 AM ET

And the biggest party school is...

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - Perhaps right now in Morgantown, West Virginia, they are raising a glass, or rather a mug, to celebrate their No. 1 ranking from the Princeton Review.

Not as the best university for academics, but because West Virginia University was named the best party school in the United States.

The 22,000-plus students there like to let some steam off every now and now, according to the survey, which asked questions of 122,000 students, about 325 per campus at 377 college campuses.

All the schools on the top 20 list have more than 15,000 students, save for DePauw, which came in at No. 12, and No. 19 University of Maine.

"The schools on this list are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs," West Virginia said in a news release. "But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility."

West Virginia also topped the "Lots of Beer" list while Providence College was No.1 for "Lots of Hard Liquor."

Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, led the "Stone Cold Sober" list.

See the full list of party schools

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Filed under: After High School • College
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Ned

    How about the underrated party schools? Not everyone wants to go to a big school like WVU.

    http://coedmagazine.com/2012/08/22/15-most-underrated-party-schools-in-the-usa-2012-edition-photos-video/

    August 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |
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    August 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  3. blog photographe

    N'hesitez pas à visiter mon blog photo, merci!

    August 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  4. Me

    Party School doesn't mean easy. Work hard and play hard. Why isn't "The Rigorous Schools List" called out?

    College Rankings 2012: Least Rigorous Schools (only one party school in the top 30, and that would be Penn St.).
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/galleries/2012/08/05/college-rankings-2012-least-rigorous-schools-photos.html#slide2

    August 22, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Me

      BYU Ranks #1 as the Most Sober University, but it's on the "The Least Rigorous Schools List"

      So go to boring BYU and get a bad education vs Fun WVU and a good education.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  5. GenericMan

    Party On Dudes.

    August 22, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  6. brown

    The next batch of free riders on the project team!

    August 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  7. One of the Young Autistic Men

    There is a relationship between the grades and amount of alcohol drinking. "A" students on average drink 3.1 per week while "D" and "F" student on average drink 9.5 per week. I do not drink any alcohol, but for me, as long as the student do moderation on drinking, the person probably would do fine in college. Although I believed it is ok to have fun, I do not view that university as some form of country club. I view an university as a place for learning by lectures and work experience. I definitely have second thoughts on applying for University of Illinois for chemistry graduate program, since University of Illinois is number 4. However, despite being a huge party school, I am sure that most of the graduate students do not party hard.

    August 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • U of I alum

      As a U of I alum, I wouldn't worry about your decision to pursue the chemistry graduate program. Your written communication skills are far to poor to be accepted. That said, you are correct in your assumption that graduate students tend live a different lifestyle than undergrads.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
      • One of the Young Autistic Men

        I do not mean to offend the graduate program. I actually have a high interest in University of Illinois. I admitted I have poor writing skills and I wished it would not be in way of be accepted into a good graduate program. I have about GPA of 3.7. I also done undergraduate laboratory research. However, fair is fair.

        August 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
      • One of the Young Autistic Men

        Correction on myself. I did not mean to offend the university.

        August 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • mike

        "your written skills are far TO poor.." if you're going to offend someone about their spelling mistakes then you shouldn't make an obvious mistake yourself

        August 22, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • WVU female student

      I'm currently a 21 year old senior at WVU doing a double major. I drink 4-7 nights a week depending on the week and I still make a 3.5 GPA average. It's all about time management and WVU students know how to do it best. Just because we drink a lot and often doesn't mean we don't study just as hard as well.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
      • AcupofJoe

        If your major is communications, journalism, etc., then I'd believe it. But if you said it was engineering, I'd call bull.

        August 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  8. brendaankney

    It's interesting to read these comments knowing that most are written out of hypocrisy. Everyone saying that "this is what's wrong with America" and bashing our education system is more than likely forgetting their college days. Of course education should be the #1 priority, but we all know that a bunch of young adults are looking to have fun too! There are undoubtedly those who didn't party their way through school and buried their nose into the text books, but it's more likely that you spent at least some of you weekends in a drunken stupor, enjoying every moment of your life, creating lasting memories (what you can remember) and valuable life lessons. College is about the experience, not just the text books.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • aj

      Please let us know how you feel about your college "experience" when you're looking for a job after graduation.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  9. studentleasingagent

    I graduated from WVU in 2008. WVU is like any other large university – parties happen. Does that mean I didn't get an education? Absolutely not. WVU is very much a "get what you put into it" school. Some kids will drink away their education. Others don't. Disliking "party schools" for that reputation means nothing to the students concerned with their education.

    August 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  10. DC

    You could not pay me enough to party in west virginia.

    August 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  11. Merry5559

    All this partying going on in our Colleges and Universities explains partly why the US is #31 in Education in the world.
    SAD.

    August 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • John

      Never seen a dumb redneck get drunk, eh? With republican cut backs on education, prepare to see that number get larger.

      August 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • Theresa

        Dumb Rednecks huh?

        I graduated WVU with a 3.9 GPA and I have a full time job right out of school.
        Yes, WVU is a party school. But it's a university. Every school is a party school.
        I would never down talk another school.
        Its what you make of it...you can drink your 4 years away or you can have a great time while maintaing a good GPA.
        That is the students choice.

        Did you know that most of the students that go to WVU are from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey?
        Did you know that Morgantown is located at the top of West Virginia, 15 minutes outside of Pennsylvania?

        WVU graduates go places. They have fun, believe me...I had some of the best times of my life.
        They are NOT by any means, dumb rednecks. I take a high offense to that.

        August 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  12. Jim

    College student drinking has been around since . . . . who knows. Should college students drink to excess? No, it is bad for them. Will all college students ever stop drinking to excess? No, and no govt or campus program will change that.

    August 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  13. Rob

    Really could care less what any of you trolls think. Graduated from WVU in 2002, have held a great since since graduation, bought a house, a car and 3 motorcycles. All accomplished while having the time of my life partying at the best place you could imagine. Partying happens at EVERY single college university whether you like it or not. Raise your kids the right way and you will not have to worry about what college you send you kids to. In fact, dont send your kids to WVU, Morgantown is too great for your kids.

    August 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Gino

      Glad you're so pleased with being a college drunk.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Rob

        Thanks troll. Wouldn't have it any other way. Sorry the only shred of happiness in your life comes from negative responces on cnn's articles. You must have played in the band.

        August 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Me

      Maybe if you had partied less you could write a paragraph without so many misspelled words and typos. Pretty basic.

      August 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • Keith

        When I was hired out of college to one of the top engineering and construction companies in the world they hired me a secretary to spell and type for me. I couldn't do either at the time; it has nothing to do with intelligence.

        August 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
      • Rob

        Ha, good one. try spelling on todays smartphone. autocorrect will screw you more than it will help you, but i suppose partying has everything to do with that. moron

        August 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Moncada

      The big question is; do you own the house, the car and the three motorcycles? Or are they all financed?

      August 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  14. drew

    might be the #1 party school, but it is easily the worst fan base i have ever been to. visited last year and it was awful.

    August 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Doggbreath

    Which one has the loosest women? (slobber)

    August 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Keith

      You can probably get the most nookie at UT Austin, but at Western in Washington they don't have much else to do when it rains.

      August 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  16. freelance

    I'd rather have my kid go without education than send him to a loser school like this.

    August 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Laxman15

      Ha. Spoken like a true college educated parent right there

      August 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  17. The Left Wing

    "The schools on this list are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs," West Virginia said in a news release. "But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility."
    *********
    Many large public universities with research profiles are in states where the tax payers want their children to have a chance to attend. Hence, a broad range of students are admitted, some very good, many not very good. The "highly successful athletic programs" ensure that many students choose the school because it would be entertaining and fun. At many of these schools the "research profile" ensures that professors need to spend more time on research than teaching. The lack of quality funding by some states ensures that administrators insist that retention is a priority. The result: lower standards and the party animals have a chance to run wild.

    August 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  18. Jwrtr 68

    So much for all American values and the 'importance' of an education. So explain to me why this is still one of the poorest states in the country? Secondly, why not emphasize which schools, excluding the Ivy League schools, provide the best education with the most cost effective tuition? Thirdly, why are people so appalled about the level or lack of standards concerning grammar by the journalists on CNN?!! They have been steadily going sensationalist for well over a decade in an effort to keep up with the idiocy that reality TV has brought to television programming world wide!! This is what the pursuit of astronomical profit margins over intellectual substance in media results in...We're being programmed to ALL become ideological, philosophical and economic slaves in America...ALL OF US, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR!!! If you're not wealthy, not rich, than you're being programmed too ;-)

    August 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Beth Redstone

      This is one reason America is in decline. I will make sure my grandkids never attend a school like this.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • Laxman15

        You cannot shelter your grandkids. I played college lax at a big university. When I was going around on my recruiting trips or coaching camps, drinking is everywhere on every university. It cannot be avoided. Ive been to over 20 big universities visiting and is all the same. You have to trust your grandkids and hope you raised them properly. Hopefully they wont drink on a tuesday night with a wed morning exam.

        August 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • Laxman15

        Also to add......You can responsibly have fun as well. College education is important, but a social enviroment(education) is almost equally as important. Again referring back to you cant shelter them, hopefully you taught them right. When to and when not to.

        August 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • juniper

        Wow Beth, shouldn't your grandkids decide where they want to go? Beth you lived your life...let them live theres. You are not helping your grandkids here. No where does is say that WVU is academically deficient (it certainly is not). If you work hard, can play hard. Admittedly, some kids do need to set their priorities in working hard first though.

        August 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • Phil

        Wow Juniper....No they should not decide unless they are paying for it.

        August 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • dave

        Small private schools are worse.

        August 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Andrew

      This guy has a point if hes paying for it. If I'm paying for my kid's college they aren't going there just to "have fun" but to actually learn something other then getting drunk can have some really harsh consequences.
      If they pay for it themselves though. Then they have the option of freedom of choice.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Phil

        Right on man.

        August 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Yankees24

      FYI – most kids at WVU are from out of state, usually from NJ, NY and CT (along with WV). WV citizens' income level when compared to the rest of the country is due to a variety of economic factors, not the partying that goes on in Morgantown. Other than that, you do make some strong points.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jd

      Because that list already exists; can they not coexist? Can there not be both a top education list AND a top party list? Oh thats right, there is...you're either a hypocrite or bitter you never went to college.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  19. Jeff

    How do you poll only 325 people on 377 college campuses? I'd say this poll is plus or minus 30 percent.

    August 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • chase

      haha dude.. they poll 325 people at each of those campuses.. not less than 1 person at each campus

      August 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  20. MikeyZ

    There's no place to sit there. All the sofas are torched!

    August 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  21. Jan

    I am a proud graduate of WVU. I have had a great career because I had a great education there. I followed my undergraduate degree there with a Masters from John Hopkins. I am now retired and remember my days at WVU with great fondness and pride.

    August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jeff

      Do you guys learn anything there, or is it just an expensive party?

      August 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • marsmotel

      Wow, aren't you the greatest! It sounds like you had a real boring life with your nose in a book. WVU stinks.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • diluded000

      The mixture of future perfect and past tense does seem to align with the conclusion implied by the article, and ranking contained therein.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  22. Ernie

    I agree with Floyd, the standard of English from CNN has really gone down hill.

    August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  23. A Statistic, Not a Graduate

    Good to see things still don't change in M'Town – '89 – '91 were good years – at the top of the game then too. Just goes to show how a hard working student body can succeed!

    August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  24. Bill

    Way to go WVU. I not longer live in West Virginia but loved attending WVU in the late 70"s. I earned a great education there and am able to make a good living supporting my family. Let me say this this about West Virgina and the people who live there. Citizens of WV love the United States. They understand what is going on in Washington and realize we are headed in the wrong direction. Most of them love God, go to church, know how to survive, and can run a trot line and skin a buck. You can also thank them when you turn your lights on for the coal they mine which God so richly blessed them with. Party on WVU while you earn that education.

    August 21, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • The_Mick

      West Virginians " understand what is going on in Washington and realize we are headed in the wrong direction"? Really? They don't even understand the Boss-Hogg-ism that's kept WVA poor so long. They condemn government regulation, but each year send thousands of their sons and daughters to well-regulated Maryland and Pennsylvania looking for decent-paying jobs.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:55 am |
      • Ha

        WVA is not a state abbreviation

        August 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • West 'By God' Virginia

        Really? You are way off 'The_Mick'. So what if they condemn gov't regulation....most smart people do. I venture to guess that WV isn't the only state that sends their sons and daughters to well-regulated MD or PA...give me a break. Don't slam what you can't speak of.... and just so you know, if you are going to use WVA, it is with a lower case 'a', not a capital 'A'.... WVa. But, the only people that use WVa are the ones who still think West Virginia is still part of Virginia.

        Really? They don't even understand the Boss-Hogg-ism that's kept WVA poor so long. They condemn government regulation, but each year send thousands of their sons and daughters to well-regulated Maryland and Pennsylvania looking for decent-paying jobs.

        August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • West 'By God' Virginia

        Really? You are way off 'The_Mick'. So what if they condemn gov't regulation....most smart people do. I venture to guess that WV isn't the only state that sends their sons and daughters to well-regulated MD or PA...give me a break. Don't slam what you can't speak of.... and just so you know, if you are going to use WVA, it is with a lower case 'a', not a capital 'A'.... WVa. But, the only people that use WVa are the ones who still think West Virginia is still part of Virginia.

        August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • InWV

      I live in Morgantown and I can tell you that the university is a disgrace. A WVU degree is in most cases almost worthless. Bill – how ironic that you say that Washington is going the wrong way, etc., when WV is one of the biggest recipients of government aid and has the lowest level of education in the country (high school, college, and postgraduate school graduation rates). And frankly, I don't care for the Christian bs that everyone spouts around here, nor do I care about coal and the game called "Blame Obama for All Your Troubles". Personal responsibility? Not to be found around here. Geez.

      August 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • Really

        sounds like a bunch of belly aching. you live there. what did you do to bring this on to your state? take some responsibility.

        August 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  25. YoursIsNoDisgrace

    I am sure the B12 is proud.

    August 21, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  26. Floyd from Illinois

    Wait...they polled "...about 325 people on 377 college campuses." ?

    How does THAT work?

    August 21, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • William

      Per campus.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:02 am |
      • JP

        Where does it say "per campus"?

        August 21, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • The_Mick

      Another example of why math classes should be part of the core curriculum for journalism majors. I doubt it's per campus. That would be 325 x 377 = 122,525 interviews!

      August 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • OldCoachV

        Mick ... never quite mastered that reading comprehension thing, huh? The articles SAYS they asked 122,000 students.

        August 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • jgumbrechtcnn

      Hi Floyd, this is Jamie Gumbrecht from CNN.com. Good point - I adjusted this post to make clear that Princeton Review says it interviewed about 122,000 students, 325 per campus at 377 campuses. I also included a link to the Princeton Review's methodology. Thanks for reading!

      August 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • CNN in yo face!

        Haha, you tell 'em, jgumbrechtcnn! Thanks for the clarification.

        August 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |