University of Iowa Is Top Party School

Hawkeyes have more fun, according to a new Princeton Review survey

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Student fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes watch a free throw shot during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions on January 31, 2013 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City

Correction Appended: August 6, 2013

It’s official: college students say Hawkeyes party the hardest. The University of Iowa in Iowa City has topped Princeton Review’s 2013 list of the Top 20 party schools in the U.S. The school — which placed second to West Virginia University in the 2012 edition — also landed a spot on Princeton Review’s “Students Study Least,” “Lots of Beer,” “Students Pack the Stadiums” and “Lots of Greek Life” lists.

(LIST: 2012: And the Nation’s Top Party School Is…)

The test prep company compiled the “Party Schools” ranking by surveying 126,000 students nationwide and asking questions about how active fraternities and sororities are on campus and how many hours students spend studying each night.

University of Iowa spokesperson Tom Moore told the Des Moines Register that the percentage of students that consumes five or more drinks at once has dropped from 70.3 percent in 2009 to 58.7 percent in 2013, according to data from the National College Health Assessment. He also admitted that rate is “still too high.”

Nightlife at the college usually revolves around the bars in Iowa City. In the past, bars let in anyone over 18 or 19, though now only people over 21 can get in due to a 2010 city ordinance, the Associated Press reports.

(MORE: Does College Put Kids on a Party Pathway?)

The lively atmosphere has also earned the University of Iowa an A+ grade for nightlife, according to the College Prowler for the University of Iowapart of a series of guides written by actual students. In terms of parties, 62.1 percent of Hawkeyes say there are “lots of options Wednesday-Saturday” while 25.8 percent say there are “tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.” Tailgating during football season is probably the only time of year students are excited to wake up before 7:00 am, according another guide published by HerCampus.

Here’s the full list of the Top 20 party schools in America for 2013:

1. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

2. University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.

3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.

4. West Virginia University, Morgantown W. Va.

5. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

6. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

7. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

8. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.

9. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.

10. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

11. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

12. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

13. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.

14. University of Mississippi, University, Miss.

15. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

16. Miami University of Ohio, Oxford, Ohio

17. University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

18. Tulane University, New Orleans, La.

19. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.

20. University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.

For students looking for a more mellow college experience, Princeton Review also released its 2013 list of the Top 20 “stone-cold sober” schools — which kicks off with Brigham Young University:

1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

2. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.

3. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo.

4. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.

5. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

6. Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.

7. Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga.

8. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.

9. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

10. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.

11. City University of New York-Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, N.Y.

12. City University of New York-City College, New York City

13. City University of New York-Queens College, Flushing, N.Y.

14. Mills College, Oakland, Calif.

15. Agnes Scott College, Atlanta/Decatur, Ga.

16. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass.

17. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

18. Simmons College, Boston

19. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.

20. Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans

This article previously stated that Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration at the University of Iowa. It takes place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the #3 party school on Princeton Review’s list. A previous version also stated that Brigham Young University enforces a curfew, but mistakenly hyperlinked to the BYU in Idaho. The BYU in Provo, Utah, is the one on the sober schools list. The spelling of West Virginia University has also been corrected. 

29 comments
RichyBocaz
RichyBocaz

Top 20 party schools in America...Wrong. In USA. America is not just one country. It's a continent. How many rings has the Olympics Game flag?...5. Why?


JamieBreslow
JamieBreslow

What happened to you Chico? You used to be so cool...

popcornmaltese
popcornmaltese

All these people on here splitting hairs. The real issues, to me, are:  what sorts of scholars are these party schools graduating; how many of the hard partiers develop consequent alcohol problems for years to come; how does this madcap partying affect America's ability to graduate top scholars who help advance their fields; how do all these years of intense partying affect the students' ability to lead responsible lives, handle life's vicissitudes without getting smashed, and raise functional families? 

lost_n_austin
lost_n_austin

Nothing to see here  Move along . . . Move along . . .

JanDuncanHardison
JanDuncanHardison

@DeweySayenoff and @MBA,   I wish Time magazine and others would get the name correct of number four.  In the first paragraph of the article, Time calls it University of West Virginia.  It is not.  It is West Virginia University.  Yes, it is correct in the list itself.  That kind of goes along with other people who don't know that West Virginia left Virginia during the Civil War and became a state in 1863.  Meanwhile WVU has moved up to number four.  Woo hoo or boo hoo......;-)  And Dewey, I agree with MBA.  I graduated from WVU with two degrees and have had a great career.  Now I am retired.  

BYUProvoStudent
BYUProvoStudent

The link you have for evidence that BYU Provo has a curfew is to a BYU Idaho page. BYU Idaho has much stricter rules. I would suggest checking your sources before posting the story.

YoMan
YoMan

What, no Arizona State?  The frat boys there are so committed to partying they already have an impressive body bag and ER count!  

Observer1
Observer1

percentage of students that consumes five or more drinks at once has dropped 



sammy99999
sammy99999

1. everyone thinks their school is the biggest party school

2. because of size alone, only big schools (which I attended) will make this list, when in reality the smaller schools probably party more based on the fact that scocial groups aren't as exclusive; everyone knows everyone.

fgg34e
fgg34e

queens parties harder than ny or kings haha

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

And the schools least likely to graduate anyone employable are:

  • 1. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • 2. University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • 3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
  • 4. West Virginia University, Morgantown W. Va.
  • 5. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • 6. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • 7. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  • 8. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.
  • 9. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
  • 10. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • 11. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • 12. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • 13. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
  • 14. University of Mississippi, University, Miss.
  • 15. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • 16. Miami University of Ohio, Oxford, Ohio
  • 17. University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
  • 18. Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
  • 19. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.
  • 20. University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
These "party school" lists just give employers really good reason to scrutinize the resumes of their graduates a lot closer.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

"top party school" is really just code for "more obnoxious fratholes and sorostitutes per capita"

BLEE
BLEE

"The test prep company compiled the “Party Schools” ranking by surveying 126,000 students nationwide"

That's a small (very small) amount of surveys collected when comparing to the amount of universities/colleges nationwide.

Univ of Iowa a little over 30,000 students. That's a close to a 1/4 of the students surveyed meaning they can gain 25% favor by just voting for their school. Doesn't seem like all students at every school was given a chance to vote from what you can tell just by how many were surveyed. Don't know how Princeton Review does their survey or even determine if the amount is even a good enough sample to determine who's best. 

From http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98 it's stated that in 2010 there were about 21 million students enrolled in a degree granting institution. 126,000 out of 21 million is 0.006 (about 1/2 of 1%). 

ajkrause
ajkrause

too bad unofficial actually happens on University of Illinois campus, not's Iowa's. #factchecking 

ShelbyWilliams
ShelbyWilliams

@RichyBocaz uggh.....you are such a party pooper.....stop pooping all over the place. No one cares about you problem. You smell.

OliverClosov
OliverClosov

@YoMan Agreed.  Time seems to have skipped over Tempe altogether in compiling this list.  Two Frats banned in the last year because brothers and pledges seem wind up going swimming the Salt River in the middle of a drunken whim, or they get dropped off in the local ER with a Post-It note attached to them when they start turning blue - all so that the party for everyone else can keep going on and on and on.  Then there's high school girls being set on fire and getting kicked out of frat parties so that the local authorities don't break things up.  Did I mention the semi-spontaneous 'fight clubs' at off-campus housing when rival frats get together?  ASU student life has gotten out of control.

AJWatson95
AJWatson95

@DeweySayenoff A lot of the schools up there are some of the best schools in the country, even the entire world. An employer would be lucky to have anyone from Iowa, UCSB, Illinois, etc. They're all great schools and ranked very well. They are a lot more than just partying. I know so many people from Iowa who have gone on to do such amazing things. Iowa is a great school, don't hate on it just because of it's party ranking.

mmappling
mmappling

@DeweySayenoff  I see what you did here. You copied and pasted the list and were like, "more like top schools that produce crap!" I can see why employers would choose the stone-cold sober applicants over the lowly grads of a top party school, assuming you were a stone-cold applicant. What wit! What moxie! What ability to copy and paste and generalize! I mean, wow, ignoring all other valid inferences for why these schools beat out the likes of BYU in partying, just wow. You're going places, mister. I'm just going to trust your judgment that a school in New Orleans is a party school, not based on its location, but because the students are a bunch of drunken rascals. Same goes for the size of its student body, influence of Greek life, which athletic conference they are located in and the size of their athletic programs, or their graduate programs. Pssh, graduate programs! Give me a break, everyone knows these "party" schools can't compete in their graduate programs! I mean, for instance, UT's law school is a joke compared to BYU's law school...right?

MBA
MBA

@DeweySayenoff You obviously never worked in business world. These schools put out top notch talent that know how to study hard and have a good time. These are the people you need not some stuck up idiot who can't hold a real conversation. But you are right Florida, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Iowa, Penn State, Florida State, Texas, Maryland, Oregon, etc never contribute quality people into the workforce. Oh wait they are some of the Top schools in the world. Do some research before making unintelligent remarks. 

JennyBuffett
JennyBuffett

@DeweySayenoff I wouldn't be so sure--for example, University of Texas in Austin is a big academic contender when it comes to their graduate programs.  Tulane as well.

ConorSchley
ConorSchley

@cjh2nd We have a very small percent of our student population belonging to the Greek organizations. Learn something.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@BLEE You do realize that your reasoning is as unsound as it can get, right?  That or you have no clue how surveys are conducted and didn't bother to look up how this one was done.  

You even said you didn't know how the survey was done.

And yet, you posted complete nonsense based on your ignorance anyhow.

They do national surveys based on 1500 or fewer people, and toss in a margin of error that indicates its accuracy.   If you want to do math, that's a couple of orders of magnitude FEWER people than who responded in this survey.  And national surveys are usually very accurate within their margins of error because those surveyed are averaged based on multiple demographic.

To survey that many students is a remarkably huge number.  It means they likely had numerous surveys turned in from each of the colleges, distilled the answers down to a mean average for each college and came up with the list based on the answers.  It's not like those kids voted in these surveys.

It was a survey, not an election.

For future reference, it's best, when posting things, to base what you post on facts instead of bravely leaping to a completely erroneous conclusion from a starting point based on a complete lack of knowledge.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@ajkrause  Please put what you just posted on your resume.  It will spare a lot of future employers the bother of even calling you for an interview.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@ajkrause  

too bad you actually care and are upset that your school isn't number one on this list. based on that response, i would assume you are or were involved in greek life, in which case i wouldn't expect you to realize just how little the real world cares about what house you're in, so i'm not surprised you find this upsetting. but really, no one cares what house you're in. or which frat you partnered with for your latest "golf pros and tennis hoes" party. #hashtags_are_almost_as_stupid_as_greek_life