Penn State University has been ranked the No. 1 party school in the nation by the Princeton Review.
The Princeton Review today released its rankings, which also give Penn State the No. 1 ranking in two other categories: students pack the stadiums (intercollegiate sports popular) and lots of beer (usage reported high).
Penn State also made Top 20 rankings in some other areas: students dissatisfied with financial aid, No. 2; jock schools, No. 3; major frat and sorority scene, No. 3; best athletic facilities, No. 3; best career services, No. 6; everyone plays intramural sports, No. 6; best college newspaper, No. 6; lots of hard liquor, No. 9; students study the least, No. 11; and least politically active students, No. 17.
Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said the survey results are not representative. "There are about 10 sites I found on Facebook urging students to vote and make Penn State the No. 1 party school, which shows that these rankings are nothing more than a popularity contest. It's become a badge of honor among students to get their school as No. 1 in these categories. The results are not connected to reality."
She said, "The students that are answering are not the ones spending their time in the library studying and getting the high grades that pump up our graduation rates."
Ms. Mountz agreed that Penn State has highly regarded career services and student newspaper, but said that is not because of the rankings. She also disagreed with the financial aid ranking, noting that Penn State was one of the first to go to direct lending, thus helping to ensure availability of student loans for its students.
Survey results are based on responses from 122,000 students at 371 colleges and universities. West Virginia ranked sixth on the party school list.
Carnegie Mellon University ranked seventh in best college theater and 10th in dissatisfaction with food.
Duquesne University ranked eighth in dissatisfaction with the library and 20th in low acceptance of gay community.
Education writer Eleanor Chute can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1955.