Princeton Review has released its Annual College Rankings guide with sixty-two ranking lists after conducting a comprehensive student survey. One of the most anticipated lists is that of ‘Top Party Schools’, and Princeton Review has crowned the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as #1. The University of Iowa came in second and the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed at third place.
Since 1991, the Princeton Review has released its Best Colleges Guide annually. Among the most popular lists are the Most Beautiful Campuses in the Nation and the Best Campus Food.
For this year’s rankings, a total of 136,000 students from 380 colleges offered their two cents. The survey includes over 80 questions in four main categories: “About Yourself,” “Your School’s Academics/Administration,” “Students” and “Life at Your School.” For most questions, the respondents must provide an answer on a five-point scale.
“Our 62 ranking lists provide students with a way to see the types of colleges that could help them achieve their future goals and dreams,” Robert Franek the Princeton Review’s Senior VP Publisher said. “Our goal is to help applicants choose and get into their dream college – the college best for them.”
The top ten list of the best party schools included the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bucknell University, Syracuse University, the University of California–Santa Barbara, West Virginia University, the University of Georgia, Tulane University and Colgate University.
An anonymous student commenting on the University of Illinois summed up the campus:
“Drinking culture is huge here.”
According to Princeton Review’s rankings, the most sober school is Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The list also includes the United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy at the sixth and fifth places respectively.
University of Illinois spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the ranking doesn’t do justice to the university’s students. She explains:
“They are serious, they are hard-working, and to try to present them as being somehow irresponsible is insulting.”
The school’s chancellor, Phyllis Wise, said in an emailed a statement to USA Today regarding the University of Illinois’ ranking that:
“This is not a scientifically based ranking. . . . [Students’] 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.”
Princeton Review’s publisher says the rankings are shaped by students’ responses and experiences on these campuses and they’re not meant to scorn any institution:
“We have such a high regard for each of the 380 schools,” Robert Franek said. “The University of Illinois, it is an exceptional school.”
Claremont McKenna University was ranked as the school with the most satisfied students, Bowdoin College in Maine as having the best on-campus food, and Vanderbilt University for having the happiest students. Clemson University in South Carolina is said to have a solid international network that gets its graduates off the ground to pursue their careers.