Top Drinking Colleges

U.S. News, Washington Monthly, and others have ranked America’s colleges on academic and social measures. Princeton Review has put out its annual list of top drinking schools, ranking schools on per capita alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, there is little overlap.

Survey Ranks Wisconsin School Tops in Drinking (AP)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison topped a list of the nation’s best party schools released Monday, despite a decade-long effort by the school to reduce its reputation for heavy drinking. Meanwhile, Brigham Young University led “stone cold sober” schools for the eighth straight year. The rankings are based on survey responses regarding alcohol and drug use, hours of study each day, and the number of students in fraternities and sororities.

Schools often criticize the list, while the American Medical Association has urged Princeton Review to stop putting it out, saying it legitimizes students’ drinking. UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley dismissed the report as “junk science that results in a day of national media coverage.”


Robert Franek, who authored the report, said students are looking for more than just a classroom experience when they pick a college. “The mission is very simple — to provide information to make the college search palatable for a student and all of them to find a school that’s the best fit for them,” he said.

Other universities listed in the Top 10 party schools were Ohio University-Athens, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, University of California-Santa Barbara, State University of New York at Albany, Indiana University-Bloomington, University of Mississippi, University of Iowa, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Loyola University New Orleans.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mustang 23 says:

    I would have thought Rodney would have broken this news. 🙂

  2. Sunni Sam says:

    Princeton has put out its annual list of top drinking schools

    Please note that it was the Princeton Review that published this list–they have no connection to the university.

  3. Anderson says:

    Ole Miss makes the list again! I went there for law school, and the scene at the Grove on a football day is … anthropologically interesting, let’s just say. Don’t miss a chance to see it if fate puts you in Oxford at the right time.

  4. Kent says:

    I see that my alma mater topped the “stone cold sober” list again. I can’t say I’m surprised.

  5. Thomas Williams says:

    Lehigh University “Work Hard, Play Hard” Top Ten Drinking and Top Forty in Academics.