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The top 50 party schools in America

  • The top 50 party schools in America

    It's often said that college is the best four years of one's life. It's a time to learn, to explore, to sign up for an 8 a.m. class thinking, “that's not too early,” and subsequently miss every last lecture because yes, that is too early. College is the padded barrier between childhood and adult life, full of adventures and ice cream for dinner, but devoid of grown-up problems like mortgages and cholesterol. College gives you a chance to figure out who you ultimately want to be.

    An added bonus to all that meaningful self-discovery? Parties. Most colleges, in addition to anthropology courses and mediocre dining hall grub, offer their own particular brand of social scene. While some studies have found that your typical college freshman is partying less and using social media more, Instagram hasn't killed off the college party yet: 60% of students in a national survey reported drinking alcohol in the past month and more of them are regular users of marijuana than they were a decade ago.

    Whether students are binge drinking or sipping a glass of water while they spend time with their friends, parties offer the opportunity to socialize and connect with classmates. As a growing number of today's college students report struggling with depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation, these moments of human connection outside the classroom have become even more important. However, not all college parties are created equal. Certain schools really know what they're doing in the way of parties, and it's those schools that are honored with a place on this list.

    To create this party school ranking, Stacker used data pulled from Niche. Niche's party calculations account for access to bars and restaurants, athletics culture, Greek life, and student polling data. Every school on this list received an A+ party grade, so grab a red plastic cup, drink responsibly, and enjoy Stacker's list of the top 50 party schools in America.

    You may also like: Party schools whose grads go on to earn the most money

  • #50. University of California - Los Angeles

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Number of undergraduates: 30,458
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700
    Overall Niche grade: A+

    It would be a shame not to party in glamorous Los Angeles; luckily, despite only 13% of undergraduate UCLA men belonging to fraternities and the same proportion of women in sororities, a majority of college students surveyed on Niche agree that there are suitable party options for the weekend. Bruin Bash, the annual spring concert and festival which last year featured pop star Charli XCX and rappers Buddy and CupcakKe, was also declared the biggest party event of the year.

  • #49. North Carolina A&T State University

    Location: Greensboro, NC
    Number of undergraduates: 9,347
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,700
    Overall Niche grade: B

    An HBCU (historically black college or university) located in Greensboro, N.C., A&T State's students place a lot of emphasis on varsity sports. It's therefore easy to see why, along with many other HBCUs, homecoming events are the essential parties on campus. No wonder A&T's students call it “GHOE,” or “Greatest Homecoming on Earth.”

  • #48. Morehouse College

    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Number of undergraduates: 2,090
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,800
    Overall Niche grade: B

    Morehouse, like A&T State, is an HBCU; however, Morehouse is specifically a men's liberal arts college, though it's down the street from Spelman College, a women's HBCU. With the legendary music scene of Atlanta always providing concert opportunities and Waffle House being the post-party location of choice, Morehouse is perfectly situated for a great campus party scene.

  • #47. University of Virginia

    Location: Charlottesville, VA
    Number of undergraduates: 15,766
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,200
    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Of 188 students interviewed on Niche, 78% say that “varsity sports are a huge part of campus life” at University of Virginia. And then are the campus traditions that require a little less clothing: Streaking the lawn has been a staple of Virginia life for decades.

  • #46. Temple University

    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    Number of undergraduates: 26,643
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,500
    Overall Niche grade: A

    Though the student population is still sore about the much-beloved Spring Fling event being cancelled back in 2013, the fraternities at Temple more than make up for its absence with their own ample party selection over the weekend. Plus, being near several other Pennsylvania schools means a glut of options if you ever get tired of Temple's atmosphere.

  • #45. University of Dayton

    Location: Dayton, OH
    Number of undergraduates: 8,079
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,100
    Overall Niche grade: A

    At UD, it's all about St. Patrick's day. Well, at least it was: Last year, police in riot gear had to break up the student festivities, getting beer bottles thrown at them in the process. This year, UD changed up the spring break schedule to try to avoid another debacle, but according to students on Niche, there's still plenty of party options during the week and on the weekends. If UD's basketball team has a good season, there's plenty of parties revolving around the tournament run, too.

  • #44. University at Albany, SUNY

    Location: Albany, NY
    Number of undergraduates: 12,740
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,500
    Overall Niche grade: B+

    The University at Albany has a diverse range of partying opportunities throughout the year, from Lark Fest, which claims to be Upstate New York's largest one-day street festival, to Parkfest, Albany's spring concert which last year hosted Bazzi, Rich the Kid, and Jay Critch. Well, they're not diversely named, but they're a blast all the same.

  • #43. Vanderbilt University

    Location: Nashville, TN
    Number of undergraduates: 6,805
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,000
    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Nashville is not just a college town—it's a vibrant spot full of food, music, history, and lots and lots of bars. On campus, Vanderbilt students are also very active in Greek life, with 42% of students participating in fraternities and sororities during the 2016–2017 school year.

  • #42. Bowling Green State University

    Location: Bowling Green, OH
    Number of undergraduates: 13,104
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,500
    Overall Niche grade: B

    The city of Bowling Green may be small, but it's also full of bars and college kids, meaning parties are sure to ensue. For BGSU, St. Patrick's Day is perhaps the biggest party event of the year; when the holiday fell on a Saturday in 2018, students prepared for absolute madness.

  • #41. Texas State University

    Location: San Marcos, TX
    Number of undergraduates: 28,019
    Student-to-faculty ratio: 22:1
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $45,700
    Overall Niche grade: B+

    San Marcos, Texas, is a college town through and through, with the university all but dominating the city itself. 60% of Students polled on Niche cite Riverfest, an annual spring concert, as the school's biggest party of the year.

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