Looking for the best party school in the U.S.? Okay, so that’s not one of the main reasons you should choose a university. First, you probably want to look at their academics and certifications, but it doesn’t hurt to look at how much fun they have. We’re not saying that you need to go out and get drunk every single night until you forget you have a calculus exam the next morning, but you can still have fun in college. In fact, partying may help you relax and actually do better at school – who knows!?
South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina only broke into the top 20 twice in the past 5 years. Once they began to rise in the rankings, the college quickly shut this campus-wide party down. Since then, they haven’t made the list the past two years. During the height of the campus party scene in 2011, the school canceled fraternity recruitment across the board. It seems that things have finally settled down a little since then.
Tulane Green Wave
When you’re school is located in the Big Easy, just steps away from Bourbon Street, how can you not have an active party culture? While they haven’t been ranked in the past, Tulane has been coming on strong the past two years. In the past five years, the under-30 population of New Orleans has swelled 25% so there are even more things for twentysomethings to do.
With 50,000 students (both undergrad and graduate), UT Austin is huge just like everything else in Texas. That amounts to around 5% of the entire city’s population. You might as well start making 6th Street your home away from home. If you don’t see a friend out and about here, you probably aren’t really a student.
Ole Miss Rebels
If you’ve ever been to Ole Miss, you know about their Southern charm. Everybody’s a good host and wants to make sure guests have a good time. There’s no better example of this than The Grove during football games. Plus, “hotty toddy” is in their fight song. Need we say more?
Alabama Crimson Tide
Unless you live in Alabama, you have no idea what the tailgating scene is like. Gameday is a blur, especially when they’re going against their rivals, Auburn. Fans go hard, and it’ll be a party you’ll never forget. This rivalry is as old as the schools themselves.
Florida State Seminoles
Florida is Spring Break central. When you live there, every day is like Spring Break, right? Florida State and the University of Florida have long-standing rivalries in numerous aspects, and party culture is no exception. The ‘Noles lose out here, though, to their cross-state competitors. The last time State ranked above the Gators was way back in 2012.
Sonoma State Seawolves
We’re not gonna lie about this one. Greek life parties at Sonoma State are fine and all, but the real party happens at the Snow Club. Frat parties happen almost every week, but cops are usually called and. Sonoma State is also known for being very academically inclined, so it’s a balancing game at this university.
DePauw’s Greek-letter community consistently ranks as one of the largest when measured as a percentage of the student body that participates, which isn’t a surprise since this is the home of the first modern women’s sorority and two of the longest continuous fraternities in the world. This large Greek life presence might account for such a high ranking. Then again, as the birthplace of the Society of Professional Journalists, DePauw might simply be full of writers worried about the internet killing the print business.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Lehigh jumped into the rankings at #10 in 2014 and rose to #6 in 2015. That’s even after the school introduced a “Lehigh After Dark” program in 2012 to reduce high-risk behaviors. Lehigh is a small, competitive school, however, and has also been called a “Hidden Ivy,” a nod to the academically rigorous Ivy League. Therefore, some just see it as part of the school’s nature: study hard, play hard!
When summer rolls around in College Park, many bars and restaurants heavily adjust their hours or close up shop until August rolls around again. Not only does the college provide an important part of the workforce, but the students are also the patrons. Students must be getting their work done though since not many are sticking around for summer school.
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks
Miami University is basically in a city created just for itself. The median age of Oxford, Ohio, is just 21-years-old. That’s a lot of people who will be wanting to legally raise a glass for the first time on their birthday. And with over 50 fraternity and sorority organizations on campus, things are known to get a little crazy.
We’ll cut Wisconsin a break because it’s probably not their fault. The state of Wisconsin, as a whole, has a high level of alcohol consumption compared to national averages. Wisconsin is also part of the “Beer Belly” of America (along with Minnesota and both Dakotas). They have three times as many bars as grocery stores!
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Somehow, Wake Forest University beat out every other North Carolina college. Much of this is because students’ social life is heavily wrapped up around Greek life. Most fraternities and sororities have at least one day a week, either Friday or Saturday.
Party school rankings change greatly from year to year. If a school has a high ranking one year, it usually falls in the rankings the next, usually following changes from the university’s administration. One school that bucks this trend is the University of Iowa. They’ve consistently stayed among the top four during the past four years. While other schools have come and gone, Iowa sticks around. This truly makes them the kings of campus in this regard.
Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens
UD students don’t lack places to drink. There are several bars, taverns, and restaurants with ample happy hour deals to quench any thirst. Dages (aka daytime parties) and bar crawls are common, but the real party happens around St. Paddy’s Day thanks to Shamrockfest.