US: Surviving the 'party school' rankings

Summer means rankings season is upon us, writes Ben Eisen for Inside Higher Ed. Last week the Princeton Review unveiled its newest edition of the Best 371 Colleges in the US. Though the book has over 800 pages, one page in particular often sends university press relations staff into damage control mode - the top 20 'party school' rankings, the winner of which this year is Pennsylvania State University.

A first time winner but long time contender on the party school list, Penn State also came in third on the 'Jock School' rankings, third on the 'Major Frat and Sorority Scene' rankings, ninth on the 'Lots of Hard Liquor' list , and first on the 'Lots of Beer' list. It also ranked high on the lists detailing the popularity of athletics on campus and 11th for 'Students Study the Least', both of which likely contributed to its party-related marks. To be fair, Penn State also ranked high for its career services and student newspaper. And it fits the pattern of recent winners: large universities where much intellectual life is obscured in the public mind by athletics and parties, but exists nonetheless.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site