UI 11th on Princeton Review's party-school list
URBANA — We're No. 11!
If you're seeing double on that number, maybe you've partied too much, if the Princeton Review can be trusted.
The testing service, not connected to Princeton University, said the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks 11th on its party-school list.
The UI also ranked ninth as "Major Frat & Sorority Scene," 12th on "Students Pack the Stadium," 14th on "Lots of Hard Liquor" and 18th on "Reefer Madness."
In the Big Ten, only Iowa and Penn State bested Illinois for the dubious achievement. Perennial party powerhouse Southern Illinois University at Carbondale did not make the list.
The Urbana campus spokeswoman, Robin Kaler, sniffed dismissively at the ranking, questioning how scientific a nationwide poll of 122,000 students could be.
"I can't imagine that was done scientifically in any way, shape or form," she said. "The vast majority of students at the UI would say they learn from the world's best faculty, and they work very hard in their time at the UI preparing to become world leaders."
College ratings director David Soto said the best 376 schools are selected by students who visit a website and answer 80 question designed to elicit a range of responses "from extremely positive to extremely negative." They're not asked the party-school questions; the rankings derive from questions about drinking and social life.
The Princeton Review reports its top 20 colleges in 62 categories in its guidebook, "The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition" (Random House / Princeton Review Books, $22.99).
Ohio University in Athens was ranked top party school in the nation.
Many of the honored schools are in smaller college towns where there's not as much crime or danger as Chicago or New York — and fewer cars to strike those stumbling down the streets.
It's an honor for the campus to be in Princeton Review's selective book, said Jeanne Krier, a spokeswoman for Princeton Review.
"Schools get in the book because the Princeton Review thinks the world of them," she said, noting that UI is a good value and scores well on "green" issues.
The Princeton Review quotes respondents from the Urbana campus as saying it "is very challenging and gives you freedom to do anything." The colleges of engineering and business are of the "most prestigious and hardest to get into," but there are dozens of other "very strong and reputable" departments as well, students said on the survey.
But students also said lower-level class sizes "are horrendously large" and "there are some professors that should not be teaching anywhere."
As for boozing, students told the review "drinking is a big thing at U of I," and there is an "outstanding bar culture."
The Princeton Review's top party schools in 2012
1. Ohio University, Athens.
2. University of Georgia, Athens.
3. University of Mississippi, Oxford.
4. University of Iowa, Iowa City.
5. University of California, Santa Barbara.
6. West Virginia University, Morgantown.
7. Penn State University, University Park.
8. Florida State University, Tallahassee.
9. University of Florida, Gainesville.
10. University of Texas, Austin.
11. UI, Urbana-Champaign.
12. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
13. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
14. University of Wisconsin, Madison.
15. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
16. Indiana University, Bloomington.
17. Arizona State University, Tempe.
18. University of Maryland, College Park.
19. University of Vermont, Burlington.
20. University of South Carolina, Columbia.