The school known partly for its football tailgate weekends and fraternity and sorority scene snatched the title away from the University of Florida in the 2009 Princeton Review survey of 122,000 students nationwide. Florida, last year’s winner, finished second in the annual survey released Monday.
It’s the first time Penn State has finished first in the dubious category. The school has been on the list the last seven years and ranked third in 2008. The listing covers Penn State’s main University Park campus in State College.
“These rankings are not more than popularity contests,” said university spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz. She noted that groups on the social networking site Facebook have urged members to make Penn State the top party school.
“It’s a badge of honor at this point. Nationwide, kids want to pump their schools in these surveys,” Mountz said. “It’s not connected to reality.”
The rankings were part of the Princeton Review’s “The Best 371 Colleges” annual guide. On average, there were 325 respondents to the survey per school, which Mountz said amounted to less than 1 percent of the University Park campus’ enrollment of 43,000 students.
Guide author Robert Franek said every school in the survey offered “great academics.”
The annual rankings also list the country’s “Stone-Cold Sober Schools.” Brigham Young University in Utah topped that list for the 12th straight year.
The Princeton Review is a New York company known for its test preparation courses, educational services and books and is not affiliated with Princeton University.
Top party schools
The nation’s top party schools, according to Princeton Review’s 2009 survey of 122,000 students.
- Penn State University, State College, Pa.
- University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
- University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
- University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
- Ohio University, Athens, Ohio