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America’s Top Party Schools of 2012

America’s Top Party Schools of 2012

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Post Date: December 12, 2011

America’s Top Party Schools of 2012

If partying is more important than classes, check out this list of the America’s Top Party Schools!

According to the Princeton Review’s annual list of top party schools, the University Ohio is the No. 1 party school in America. Seeing as there is nothing to do in Ohio, but go to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame or figure out what a ‘Buckeye’ is, partying seems like the only option. 

Southern schools, unsurprisingly, like The University of Georgia, The University of Mississippi, Florida State University, The University of Florida, and The University of Texas all came in strong.  Penn State also made the list.  The recent firing of beloved Joe Pa apparently turned the school in a bunch of ranging alcoholics. The University of Maryland also made this year’s list giving the Washington, D.C. area a feeling of local pride in the hard partying ways of area college students.

1.  Ohio University

Location:  Athens, Ohio

Mascot:  Ohio Bobcats

Athletic Conference:  Mid-American Conference

Party Scene:  Whether any of the administrators want to admit it or not, OU is a party school. Drinking is the most popular student activity, thanks in part to the sheer number of bars that line Court Street.  The drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is energized, and the people are outgoing.  While there is only one dance club, most people don’t have a problem with busting a move in the middle of the bar floor or on nearby tables.  For those students who enjoy a drunken time  in an alcohol-soaked atmosphere, OU’s nightlife is a dream come true. Ou is also famous for their big Halloween block party which typically attracts at least 20,000 people to downtown Athens streets. Arrests and citations during the party, mostly for alcohol and disorderly conduct violations, have at times reached more than 200 in recent years.

2.  University of Georgia

Location:  Athens, Georgia

Mascot:  Bulldogs

Athletic Conference:  Southeastern Conference

Party Scene:  The University of Georgia earns its party reputation from its balance of a strong Greek presence as well as its location in Athens, a hip city with dozens of fun—and cheap—bars with a local music scene (B52’s and REM are from Athens). Athens’ happening downtown area is extremely close to campus; it often only takes a two to five dollar cab ride to get you out there partying and get you back home safely.

3.  University of Mississippi

Location:  Oxford, Mississippi

Mascot: The Rebels

Athletic Conference:  Southeastern Conference

Party Scene:  A New York Times article specifically featured Ole Miss’ tailgaiting scene, and quoted a woman after the Rebels lost—”We may not win every game, but we’ve never lost a party.”

4.  University of Iowa

Location:  Iowa City, Iowa

Mascot: Hawkeyes

Athletic Conference:  The Big Ten

Party Scene:  Educational institute where learning comes third to drinking and football.It has been said that the weekend at UI begins on Wednesday night and ends Monday morning. Most bars in Iowa City allow anyone 19 or older through the doors. So even if you can’t legally drink, you can still head out to the bar.

5. University of California-Santa Barbara

Location:  Santa Barbara

Mascot:  Gauchos

Athletic Conference:  Big West

Party Scene:   A glamorous location on 989 acres of Pacific Ocean coastline overlooking the Santa Ynez Mountains. It’s the party school with an increasingly impressive academic reputation. Three faculty members have won Nobel Prizes in recent years. Besides beach parties and bon fires, downtown  is what most students do on weekends. You can take a taxi or ride the bus to there. Students also go around Isla Vista where you can walk to all the night spots.

6.  West Virginia University

Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

Mascot: Mountaineers

Athletic Conference: Big East, 2012 Season will be Big 12 Conference

Party Scene:  A small town with 20,000 permanent residents and about 25,000 college students, the school and its surroundings have an atmosphere that is decidedly collegiate.  In 1989, Playboy magazine purposefully excluded WVU from the top ten list, noting that the magazine does not rank professional partiers.

7.  Pennsylvania State University

Location:  University Park, Pennsylvania

Mascot:  Nittany Lions

Athletic Conference:  Big Ten

Party Scene:  The school is known in part for its football tailgate weekends and fraternity and sorority scene. In 2009 PSU finished #1 in the Princeton Review survey.


8.  Florida State University

Location:  Tallahassee, Florida

Mascot:  Seminoles

Athletic Conference:  Atlantic Coast Conference

Party Scene:  Florida has a huge football following amongst student and  also landed on the Major Frat and Sorority Scene. On any given night, you can have your choice of live music, dancing, and drink specials. The Greeks on campus have a reputation of throwing some of the best bashes, and the off-campus parties often wind up being large and loud. Most students will hang out on the Tennessee Street Strip, but bars and clubs surround the campus.

9.  University of Florida

Location:  Gainesville, Florida

Mascot:  Gators

Athletic Conference:  Southeastern Conference

Party Scene:  Students pour onto University Avenue every night. Even in the morning, before a game starts, UF students begin their partying. A student was once quoted in a New York Times article, saying, shortly before a game at 10:30am, “We will not let anyone drink under the influence. I mean drive under the influence. I’m sorry, I’m drunk already.” Enough said.

10.  University of Texas

Location:  Austin, Texas

Mascot:  Longhorns

Athletic Conference:  Big 12 Conference

Party Scene:   A focal point for constant student celebration is UT’s sports culture.  The fraternity and sorority scene at UT is remarkable—the school is home to more than 50 different chapters. And, what’s more, UT’s main campus is centrally located in the self-lauded “Live Music Capital of the World.” Austin’s Sixth Street, similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, is lined with raucous bars, clubs, and music venues.

11.  University of Illinois

Location:  Urbana-Champaign

Mascot:  Fighting Illini

Athletic Conference:  Big Ten Conference

Party Scene:   It is home to the largest Greek Community in the country with over 50 fraternities and 30 sororities. The bar and club scene is crowded every weekend, and they tend to be just as busy during the week. Closing time is 2 AM, but parties here do not start or end in bars for most students. Once the bars close, people often pour out to either an after-party at a frat or an apartment.

12.  Syracuse University

Location:  Syracuse, New York

Mascot:  Otto the Orange

Athletic Conference:  Big East Conference

Party Scene:   House parties- The frats are very good proof of that. Those who like 100–200 people jammed in a basement waiting in line for the keg should head towards Frat Row on Comstock Avenue. Parties  have games like Flip Cup, multiple Beirut tables, an area for Shotgun or Beer Bong challenges, a house drink, and multiple kegs.

13.  Louisiana State University

Location:  Baton Rogue, Louisiana

Mascot:  Tigers

Athletic Conference:  South Eastern Conference

Party Scene: Between the football, baseball and the tailgating, students at LSU have plenty of opportunities to party. Most of the places are bars as opposed to clubs. Students looking for great places to dance might be best served to make the trek to New Orleans. Live music tends to be at the center of most bars.

14.  University of Wisconsin

Location:  Madison, Wisconsin

Mascot:  Badgers

Athletic Conference: Big Ten Conference

Party Scene:  UW is associated with two gigantic drinking fests: Halloween’s Freakfest and Mifflin Block Party. Both are two of the largest college drinking fests in the country, attracting thousands upon thousands of drunk students.

15.  DePauw University

Location: Greencastle, Indiana

Mascot:  Tigers

Athletic Conference:   North Coast Athletic Conference

Party Scene:  The frat party is king when it comes to weekend entertainment. Most weekends boast several different parties, generally themed, for which you’ll see costumed coeds running all around campus.

16.  Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Mascot:  Hoosiers

Athletic Conference:   Big Ten Conference

Party Scene:  The school was also ranked in the top 20 for schools with “lots of beer” and “lots of hard liquor”. There are bars on campus, plus the Greek social atmosphere is very enthusiastic with a much more cost-effective party atmosphere. House parties and apartment parties are also abundant. Over all, IU social life is exciting, intense, friendly, and never boring.

17.  Arizona State University

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Mascot:  Sun Devils

Athletic Conference:   Pac-12 Conference

Party Scene:  Pre-gaming for the Pre-game, Pool parties, a mere 4 hours from Mexico, 6 hours from LA, and 5 from Vegas. You do the math! Mill Avenue and the surrounding area are saturated with places to grab a drink and dance. Scottsdale is the place to go for students who to want to dress nicer and go to more sophisticated clubs.

18.  University of Maryland

Location: College Park, Maryland

Mascot:  Terrapins

Athletic Conference:   Atlantic Coast Conference

Party Scene:  With only a handful of bars in town and no bar on campus, it’s a good thing that there is plenty of nightlife 18 and over in D.C. and Baltimore that is not too far away. As for parties on Fraternity Row, times have changed: alcohol-focused parties are fading, and UMCP seems to be slowly changing into a barren, dry campus, as it continues to crack down on on-campus revelries. This is where living off campus comes in handy for students who crave alcohol and parties.

19.  University of Vermont

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Mascot:  Vermont Catamounts

Athletic Conference:   America East Conference

Party Scene:  There are a number of bars ranging from relaxed to loud. There are also several spots for under 21 nightclubs . Montreal is also about two hours away for students looking to go to clubs. Although Burlington isn’t a party Mecca, there are enough venues to keep students busy and enough variety to provide the little-city feel to the style of New York City.  Parties on campus tend to be no more than a dozen people due to noise regulations and enforcements.

20.  University of South Carolina

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Mascot:  Gamecocks

Athletic Conference:   Southeastern Conference

Party Scene: The nightlife in Columbia revolves mainly around Five Points and the Vista, where bars and clubs are abundant with social students and good times. While almost all of the bars prohibit underage students, some of the dance clubs permit entry to the underage crowd.