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Top party schools in every state

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Top party schools in every state

Many schools tout their high average GPAs, beautiful campuses or competitive admission rates. However, few can boast a rich campus social life as a distinguishing feature. While academic rigor is arguably one of the most important facets of college life, four years of all work and no play can take a tremendous toll on some students. In fact, taking regular breaks from workhas been shown to boost productivity (within good reason, of course).

Using2018 data collected from Niche, Stacker’s list reveals colleges with the best party scene in each state. Stacker’s ranking for each school’sparty scene is based on access to nightlife, athletic culture, Greek life, and student polling data. For each school, Stacker also included the “party scene grade,” national party scene rank, location, acceptance rate, and net price (average annual cost for a student to attend, after financial aid). Our list is alphabetical, and starts from Alabama to Wyoming.

See which school in your state was ranked highest for its ability to play hard (and in some cases, work hard as well).

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Thecoldmidwest/Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming: University of Wyoming

Wyoming: University of Wyoming

Party scene grade: B+

National party scene rank: 396

Location: Laramie, WY

Acceptance rate: 95%

Net price: $13,155

During the weekend, theUniversity of Wyoming has parties that range from house bashes to large-scale frat parties. Students get especially rowdy around homecoming, Halloween, and finals week.

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royalbroil/Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin

Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 13

Location: Madison, WI

Acceptance rate: 53%

Net price: $15,874

The University of Wisconsin has a special Halloween tradition in the form ofFreak Fest. Students buy tickets and gather on Madison’s State Street for the area’s largest Halloween party and music festival.

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aparkswv/Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: West Virginia University

West Virginia: West Virginia University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 6

Location: Morgantown, WV

Acceptance rate: 76%

Net price: $10,814

Students are welcomed to the West Virginia University campus each fall withFallFest, a large gathering over five days where people can enjoy concerts, film marathons, and dance parties.

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lidxplus/Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Washington State University

Washington: Washington State University

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 82

Location: Pullman, WA

Acceptance rate: 72%

Net price: $17,815

AtWashington State University, Halloween is such a big social event that it has turned into “Halloweek,” where students dress up in different costumes every day and prolong the holiday as long as they can.

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terren in Virginia/Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: University of Virginia

Virginia: University of Virginia

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 25

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Acceptance rate: 30%

Net price: $15,945

At theUniversity of Virginia, Foxfield Races reigns king of all celebrations. The bi-annual event features students breaking out their preppiest attire and partying before thehorse races at the Spring Foxfield Race Meet.

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Nightspark/Wikimedia Commons

Vermont: Champlain College

Vermont: Champlain College

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 151

Location: Burlington, VT

Acceptance rate: 70%

Net price: $38,370

Champlain College students enjoy to party hardest during a school-sponsored event called the “Winter Snowball Dance,” as well as during the end of finals when classes are over for the school year.

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Ken Lund/Flickr Commons

Utah: University of Utah

Utah: University of Utah

Party scene grade: A-

National party scene rank: 245

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Acceptance rate: 76%

Net price: $11,322

University of Utah’sCrimson Nights bring students together during the first week of school. Students host parties, participate in school-sponsored activities, and get free food. Students also tend to party before thebig rivalry football game against Brigham Young University, dubbed the “Holy War.”

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Karan Dodia/Wikimedia Commons

Texas: University of Texas - Austin

Texas: University of Texas - Austin

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 7

Location: Austin, TX

Acceptance rate: 40%

Net price: $16,010

DuringRoundUp weekend, Greek fraternities and sororities at the University of Texas - Austin  host the biggest parties and performers at their houses. Students can also delight in crawfish boils per Southern tradition.

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Jbaker08/Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Vanderbilt University

Tennessee: Vanderbilt University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 30

Location: Nashville, TN

Acceptance rate: 11%

Net price: $23,150

Every spring since 1971,Vanderbilt University’s Rites of Spring has rallied students together for fun and star-studded slates of musical performances. Gucci Mane, DNCE, and Cheat Codes made appearances this year.

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Ammodramus/Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: University of South Dakota

South Dakota: University of South Dakota

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 29

Location: Columbia, SC

Acceptance rate: 68%

Net price: $19,913

Besides Greek Life, pride at University of South Dakota is showcased during the weeklong campus tradition,Dakota Days. Students participate in a parade and many night parties during D-Days (also known among students asHate State Week — a dig against their rivals at South Dakota State University).

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Master Mary Hinson/Released

South Carolina: University of South Carolina

South Carolina: University of South Carolina

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 29

Location: Columbia, SC

Acceptance rate: 68%

Net price: $19,913

Ahead of the University of South Carolina versus Clemson rivalry football game, students at the University of South Carolina gather for Tiger Burn, a rally and party where students set a giant Clemson tiger ablaze.

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Briles Takes Pictures/Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Providence College

Rhode Island: Providence College

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 51

Location: Providence, RI

Acceptance rate: 55%

Net price: $35,238

Providence, Rhode Island may be home to an Ivy League school, but it also is home toProvidence College, which holds the title of the best party-scene in the smallest state. Students get especially rowdy atGolf Party, a day when students dress in their finest pastels and flood Eaton Street for all-day celebrations.

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Pxhere

Pennsylvania: Penn State

Pennsylvania: Penn State

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 8

Location: University Park, PA

Acceptance rate: 56%

Net price: $25,055

Though football is usually cause for celebration atPenn State, the school also loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the form of"State Patty’s." Students flock to local bars and downtown State College to day-drink.

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Don Hankins/Flickr Commons

Oregon: University of Oregon

Oregon: University of Oregon

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 68

Location: Eugene, OR

Acceptance rate: 78%

Net price: $15,355

Partying in the Pacific Northwest is done best at theUniversity of Oregon, where students rally around Civil War, the aptly named football game against rival Ohio State University. Students also participate in Whistler College Weekend, a popular Canadian ski trip.

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Center For Teaching Excellence/Flickr Commons

Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 72

Location: Norman, OK

Acceptance rate: 71%

Net price: $17,966

At theUniversity of Oklahoma, school spirit runs strong, with Greek life and football dominating the social scenes. Students start festivities early with “Thirsty Thursdays” before their weekends even start.

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Theodonc/Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Miami University

Ohio: Miami University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 3

Location: Oxford, OH

Acceptance rate: 65%

Net price: $20,186

With off-campus houses named Booze Barn, Tequila Mockingbird, and Menace to Sobriety, you can guess that Miami University in Ohio’s party culture is strong. This school’s biggest party is Green Beer Day, where students drink beer they dye green all day before spring break.

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Brianna.glaus // Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota: North Dakota State University

North Dakota: North Dakota State University

Party scene grade: A-

National party scene rank: 170

Location: Fargo, ND

Acceptance rate: 93%

Net price: $14,581

Movies and TV shows weren’t the only thing that put Fargo, North Dakota, on the map.North Dakota State University’s party scene is the best in the state, with football and homecoming as the main focal points.

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Mark Ramelb/Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: East Carolina University

North Carolina: East Carolina University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 23

Location: Greenville, NC

Acceptance rate: 70%

Net price: $12,817

East Carolina University throws down most nights of the week, but the Pirates especially love to party around Halloween and homecoming.

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DASonnenfeld/Wikimedia Commons

New York: Syracuse University

New York: Syracuse University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 27

Location: Syracuse, NY

Acceptance rate: 52%

Net price: $31,823

The biggest annual student party at New York’sSyracuse University isMayfest, a giant outdoor concert held in the spring. In the fall, Syracuse rings in the new school year withJuice Jam, another large concert.

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Camerafiend/Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: University of New Mexico

New Mexico: University of New Mexico

Party scene grade: B

National party scene rank: 443

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Acceptance rate: 58%

Net price: $11,230

At the heart of the celebrations at theUniversity of New Mexico is theRed Rally, held before the Lobos football versus NMSU Aggies rivalry football game. Students gather to burn the 25-foot tall Aggie, dance to musical performances, and cheer on their team.

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Tomwsulcer/Flickr Commons

New Jersey: Rutgers University

New Jersey: Rutgers University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 46

Location: New Brunswick, NJ

Acceptance rate: 57%

Net price: $15,614

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year,Rutgers University’sRutgers Day is an event in which students can enjoy hundreds of free performances, crafts, art shows, and other activities.

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Lori L. Stalteri/Flickr Commons

New Hampshire: Keene State College

New Hampshire: Keene State College

Party scene grade: A-

National party scene rank: 209

Location: Keene, NH

Acceptance rate: 83%

Net price: $18,647

The hallmark event of the year atKeene State is undoubtedly Pumpkin Fest, during which the small townbroke world records for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns in one place. But the partying at Keene State became so out-of-hand that the festival had to be cancelled in 2014. It’s now back, on a smaller scale, for students and Keene residents to enjoy.

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Ken Lund/Wikimedia Commons

Nevada: University of Nevada - Reno

Nevada: University of Nevada - Reno

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 115

Location: Reno, NV

Acceptance rate: 83%

Net price: $15,022

When theUniversity of Nevada - Reno goes up against the University of Nevada - Las Vegas for their annual football showdown, parties erupt all around campus. Despite their athletic record,the Wolf Pack shows up to flaunt their school spirit.

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Bobak Ha'Eri/Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Nebraska: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 83

Location: Lincoln, NE

Acceptance rate: 75%

Net price: $16,462

TheUniversity of Nebraska - Lincoln gets most excited about football games, Halloween, and their homecoming parade. However, students can find some celebration or another throughout the week.

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Djembayz/Wikimedia Commons

Montana: University of Montana

Montana: University of Montana

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 146

Location: Missoula, MT

Acceptance rate: 92%

Net price: $13,894

A special event that distinguishes the University of Montana is Foresters’ Ball, a tradition held in the first week of February.According to the official event site, “the gymnasium is converted into a turn of the century logging town complete with a saloon, general store, jail, chapel, chow hall, and museum.” All proceeds go to scholarships for students.

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Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture/Wikimedia Commons

Missouri: University of Missouri

Missouri: University of Missouri

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 33

Location: Columbia, MO

Acceptance rate: 75%

Net price: $16,317

Partying atMizzou starts early, withSyllabus Week kicking off the debauchery on campus. This is the time in which classes first start, so teachers usually hand out syllabuses for the semester and end class early. Homecoming is also a popular time to get rowdy at the Columbia, Missouri school.

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Ken Lund/Flickr Commons

Mississippi: University of Mississippi

Mississippi: University of Mississippi

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 15

Location: University, MS

Acceptance rate: 78%

Net price: $14,678

TheUniversity of Mississippi tops the state in its ability to party, and also is 15th among schools around the country. Football season in the fall is when the party scene really lights up.

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Alexius Horatius/Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minnesota: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 70

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Acceptance rate: 44%

Net price: $16,242

Every year, students look forward to theUniversity of Minnesota - Twin CitiesSpring Jam, a festival complete with musical performers, food and, carnival rides. This year, rapper Lil’ Yachty is slated to perform.

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User Jeffness/Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Michigan State University

Michigan: Michigan State University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 20

Location: East Lansing, MI

Acceptance rate: 66%

Net price: $14,970

From Wednesday through Saturday, students can find parties of all kinds and sizes at Michigan State University. Few, however, can rivalMSU’s celebrations around their rivalry gamesagainst the University of Michigan.

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Lion Hirth/Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 56

Location: Amherst, MA

Acceptance rate: 60%

Net price: $20,093

The Irish roots of many of those from Massachusetts are celebrated fully duringBlarney Blowout, theUniversity of Massachusetts - Amherst’ biggest event of the year. Students spend Blarney celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the weekend before spring break by day-drinking in local bars.

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Bgervais/Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: University of Maryland - College Park

Maryland: University of Maryland - College Park

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 41

Location: College Park, MD

Acceptance rate: 48%

Net price: $15,757

At theUniversity of Maryland - College Park, there’s a party for almost everyone. Many students participate in the festivities surrounding the Maryland versus Duke University sports games. However, there are also events for the fraternity inclined, like Greek Week, or for the more creatively inclined, such as Art Attack.

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John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

Maine: University of Maine

Maine: University of Maine

Party scene grade: B

National party scene rank: 511

Location: Orono, ME

Acceptance rate: 90%

Net price: $15,763

When it comes to the party scene at theUniversity of Maine, giving back is a keyword.The school’s biggest event, Maine Day, includes a barbecue and parade. Maine Day also includes service projects for students, staff, and alumni to participate in.

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Tulane Public Relations/Wikimedia Commons

Louisiana: Tulane University

Louisiana: Tulane University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 1

Location: New Orleans, LA

Acceptance rate: 26%

Net price: $32,515

New Orleans’ Tulane University tops the country as theNo.1 party scene among all U.S. schools, according to Niche. Students can find parties almost every day of the week, but no celebration tops that of Mardi Gras, where students join locals for parades, bead-throwing, and King Cake-eating.

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Good Free Photos

Kentucky: University of Kentucky

Kentucky: University of Kentucky

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 105

Location: Lexington, KY

Acceptance rate: 91%

Net price: $17,850

Much like their University of Kansas counterparts, the University of Kentucky Wildcats love to party around basketball season. The team has been in the Final Four 17 times, with its last win in 2015.March Madness on State Street is usually where the festivities are held.

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Inamaka/Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: University of Kansas

Kansas: University of Kansas

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 24

Location: Lawrence, KS

Acceptance rate: 93%

Net price: $18,014

March Madness holds true for students at theUniversity of Kansasin particular, thanks to the school’s wildly successful basketball team. The team has appeared in the tournament consistently every year for thelast three decades, so basketball season usually invites much cause for celebration.

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Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: University of Iowa

Iowa: University of Iowa

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 4

Location: Iowa City, IA

Acceptance rate: 84%

Net price: $14,161

When theIowa versus Iowa State football game comes around, students at the University of Iowa take tailgating just as seriously as the sports event itself.

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IT Communications Office/Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: Indiana University - Bloomington

Indiana: Indiana University - Bloomington

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 9

Location: Bloomington, IN

Acceptance rate: 79%

Net price: $12,621

Students atIndiana University - Bloomington look forward to the famous"Little 500" every year, in which people compete in relay races on bicycles. It’s a big sporting event that rallies students and even residents of the surrounding area.

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Aries Lang/Wikimedia Commons

Illinois: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 10

Location: Champaign, IL

Acceptance rate: 60%

Net price: $16,683

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks nationallyamong the top 10 schools with the best party scenes. Students particularly enjoy"Unofficial," (short for “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day”) a famous Urbana-Champaign party every Friday.

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Davidharlan/Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: University of Idaho

Idaho: University of Idaho

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 120

Location: Moscow, ID

Acceptance rate: 76%

Net price: $14,787

At the University of Idaho, weekly celebrations tend to start on Wednesdays, raging on through the weekend. Homecoming in the fall is thebiggest event, and second come certain signature frat parties, like Mardi Gras, Jock Jams, and Beta Rave.

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Travis Thurston/Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Party scene grade: B

National party scene rank: 470

Location: Honolulu, HI

Acceptance rate: 85%

Net price: $13,520

The weekends at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Michael Rivera/Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: University of Georgia

Georgia: University of Georgia

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 2

Location: Athens, GA

Acceptance rate: 54%

Net price: $14,956

University of Georgia not only knows how to throw down by Georgia’s standards, but by national standards as well — the Bulldogs are ranked second among all college partiers. The biggest parties revolve around the weekend in whichtheir football team goes head-to-head with the University of Florida Gators.

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Jackson Myers/Flickr Commons

Florida: Florida State University

Florida: Florida State University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 5

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Acceptance rate: 58%

Net price: $16,506

Florida State University’s social scene revolves mainly around sports — with football game days being the rallying points. Students love to tailgate and party whenESPN College Game Day broadcasts its show at the school, few things get fans in the mood to celebrate than awinning team.

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Pubdog/Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: University of Delaware

Delaware: University of Delaware

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 35

Location: Newark, DE

Acceptance rate: 70%

Net price: $15,894

Delaware may be one of the smallest states, but its ability to throw a good party shouldn’t be underestimated. The University of Delaware has anA+ party scene grade, thanks to events like St. Patrick’s Day and homecoming weekend.

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Connecticut: Yale University

Connecticut: Yale University

Party scene grade: A

National party scene rank: 133

Location: New Haven, CT

Acceptance rate: 6%

Net price: $18,319

Just because it’s an Ivy League school doesn’t mean it doesn’t know how to party. The academically rigorous University isConnecticut’s biggest party school, with flagship events such asSpring Fling, where big-name artists like A$AP Ferg perform. One of the school’s biggest events, the 80’s-themed “Safety Dance,” was evencanceled in 2012because it became too rowdy.

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MECU/Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: University of Colorado - Boulder

Colorado: University of Colorado - Boulder

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 26

Location: Boulder, CO

Acceptance rate: 77%

Net price: $22,727

Students at the University of Colorado - Boulder lean into the holiday spirit,with the biggest parties surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and 4/20 (Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, after all). The big rivalry football game against the Colorado State Rams, known as theRocky Mountain Showdown, is also a popular time to let loose.

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Padsquad19/Wikimedia Commons

California: University of Southern California

California: University of Southern California

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 34

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Acceptance rate: 17%

Net price: $32,932

University of Southern California’s proximity to downtown Los Angeles would seem like it would attract students looking to go out, but for the most part,Trojans have enough social events on campus. Besides rallying around football games, students go out Wednesday through Saturday, and tend to stick to the Greek Row, where they throw down at frat parties.

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Brandonrush/Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: University of Arkansas

Arkansas: University of Arkansas

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 36

Location: Fayetteville, AR

Acceptance rate: 63%

Net price: $15,411

Going out is a regular occurrence at the University of Arkansas, and there tends to be arange of options for students. Most of the biggest parties,like Row Week, happen during the latter half of the week through the weekend around the fraternity houses.

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John M. Quick/Creative Commons

Arizona: Arizona State University

Arizona: Arizona State University

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 40

Location: Tempe, AZ

Acceptance rate: 83%

Net price: $13,007

In 2002, Arizona State University was listed asPlayboy’s#1 party school. Though it no longer holds that title, and was — to the chagrin of some students —  left off of the Princeton Review’s Top 20 Party Schools list, this Arizona school retains its high marks it terms of its ability to party (and isNiche’s 40th party school in the nation).Students say that they can find parties to go to every day of the week. The largest parties are during Halloween and during rivalry games versus the University of Arizona.

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Xa'at/Flickr Commons

Alaska: University of Alaska Southeast

Alaska: University of Alaska Southeast

Party scene grade: C

National party scene rank: Not nationally ranked

Location: Juneau, AK

Acceptance rate: 49%

Net price: $8,719

Overlooking a lake in Juneau, University of Alaska Southeast’s beautiful campus is the perfect backdrop to let loose. However, when it comes to the national average, Alaska’s schoolsare relatively low-key partiers. Students in Alaska tend to revolve their social activitiesaround taking advantage of the outdoors (perhaps taking a few beers with them for the campfire).

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Deutschlandreform/ Wikimedia Commons

Alabama: University of Alabama

Alabama: University of Alabama

Party scene grade: A+

National party scene rank: 12

Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

Acceptance rate: 53%

Net price: $20,133

Much of U of A’s social life is wrapped up in its legendary football team. Alabama’s Crimson Tide has won awhopping 17 national championships since 1892, including five in the last decade.  Last year, the team only lost once to Auburn, finishing the regular season 11-1.

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