The Princeton Review, which ranks colleges on a host of metrics from academics to beer consumption, has released its annual list of America’s top party colleges, and the winner isn’t happy about it.
Phyllis Wise, the chancellor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne (UIUC), which took the top spot, says there is far more the school should be known for rather than partying, and criticized the ranking for being insufficiently “scientific.”
“This is not a scientifically based ranking. It’s a promotion for The Princeton Review,” Wise said in a statement. “Our student body is comprised of the brightest, most hard-working students anywhere. Their graduation rates and achievements in their careers and lives demonstrate that they take their studies seriously and that they are at Illinois to get a world-class education. It’s disappointing that, once again, Princeton Review is promoting this pseudo ranking as though it were meaningful. It’s insulting to all of our students, since they are here to prepare to become leaders of their generation.”
While Wise might blast the Princeton Review for relying on an “unscientific” approach, she’s also essentially denigrating the viewpoints of the “hard-working” students she oversees. The Princeton Review’s rankings are based on the attitudes of surveys given to thousands of students across the country, meaning UIUC’s high ranking is based on the belief of its students that the school is a rowdy place.
This is UIUC’s first time at the top of the list, though it’s come close before, finishing fifth and third, respectively, in the last two years. Last year’s winner Syracuse University fell to fifth place.
Besides Illinois, the remainder of the top 20 are:
6. University of California, Santa Barbara
7. West Virginia
12. Ole Miss
13. Penn State
15. Florida State
19. Miami (Ohio)
20. College of Charleston
Presenting a sharp contrast to the hard-partying ways of other colleges, the school ranked as the most “Stone-Cold Sober” is no surprise: Brigham Young University in Utah. The school, operated by the Mormon Church, has a strict honor code that prohibits both extramarital sex and the consumption of alcohol. It’s finished #1 in the sobriety category every single year since it was introduced in 1997.
Party schools may be getting a lot of attention, but plenty of other categories were ranked in Monday’s release. According to Princeton Review, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee has the happiest students, Clemson in South Carolina is the most enthusiastic about sports,and Bowdoin College in Maine has the best food. Small, arch-Catholic Thomas Aquinas College in California is ranked as having the most conservative student body, while the even tinier Marlboro College in Vermont has the most liberal.
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