UGA is nation’s No. 1 party school. Tell me, is that a good thing?

UGA has been named the nation's top party school. I don't think it is anything to smile about, although this dog is darn cute.

UGA has been named the nation's top party school. I don't think it is anything to smile about, although this dog is darn cute.

The Princeton Review has crowned the University of Georgia the nation’s top party school. I am not too keen on the title because of how it’s decided: The  review uses student responses on alcohol and drug use, hours spent studying and the popularity of Greek life to declare the wildest campus.

I know that these things are very unscientific and mean little in the scheme of things, but the state is trying hard to recast itself as a place where academics is taken seriously. I am also sitting here at a hearing in the General Assembly on the future of the HOPE Scholarship in the face of rising demand. One of the facts presented was that Georgia trails the nation in college graduation rates.

Also, of the 24,415 HOPE recipients beginning University System colleges in the fall of 2003, 46.2 percent were HOPE eligible at the end of 30 semester hours, meaning that 54 percent had grade point averages below 3.0.

Even worse, at 90 hours, only 37.4 percent of HOPE recipients were still making the grades to keep HOPE. And by the end of six years, only 54 percent of that class of HOPE Scholars graduated college.

Anybody seen a connection to the amount of partying on campuses?

According to higher ed reporter Laura Diamond:

No one parties like a Bulldog.

The University of Georgia was named the No. 1 party school in the nation Monday, adding to the beer-soaked reputation the university’s college UGA leaders are trying to shed.

UGA climbed up from No. 4 to snatch the top spot on the annual list compiled by The Princeton Review. The university has the distinction — or disgrace, depending on your perspective — of being on the top 20 party list for 10 of the past 13 years.

“UGA does have a party atmosphere, there’s always a party going on,” said Catherine Hobbs, a senior with a double major in finance and sports management. “This list is funny. It sounds crazy, almost like a cool factor. But people need to understand the parties go on at night. We do actually go to class and study.”

Joshua Delaney, the student body president, joked that the list isn’t used as a recruiting tool.

“It’s not like anyone is saying come here and party,” Delaney said. “If students want to do that, that’s their decision. It’s just important for people to do it responsibly.”

University leaders have long pooh-poohed the rankings, which are based on student responses.

“UGA has been on the Party School list for a while, but it’s one we prefer not to lead,” spokesman Tom Jackson said in a statement. “We’d rather focus on the Green Honor Roll listing as a top environmentally conscious campus, or the top 50 ‘Best Values’ listing. The University of Georgia takes student alcohol education programs very seriously and will continue to do so.”

Here is the entire list:

1. University of Georgia

2. Ohio University, Athens

3. Pennsylvania State University

4. West Virginia University

5. University of Mississippi

6. The University of Texas, Austin

7. University of Florida

8. University of California, Santa Barbara

9. University of Iowa

10. DePauw University

11. Florida State University

12. University of Wisconsin, Madison

13. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

14. Sewanee – The University of the South

15. Indiana University, Bloomington

16. University of Colorado, Boulder

17. University of Missouri

18. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

19. University of Maryland, College Park

20. Michigan State University

Source: The Princeton Review, 2011 edition.

145 comments Add your comment

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

Lots of good schools on that list. Stop looking for crap to complain about.

[...] name for HOPE: Helping Outstanding Students Excel, which hardly anyone uses any more. By the way, I just posted on the news that UGA is the nation’s top partying college based on student reports of alcohol and drug use, hours [...]

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
12:51 pm

And if this state takes education so serously, please follow-up with the details of how were are the only state in the country to be reducing teacher headcount.

Saying we take it seriously, and showing we take it seriously are two completely different things.

This state has much larger problems than the flag-ship university being ranked in a student poll as the best party school in the country.

Garrett

August 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

Flag-ship? Seriously? Do you really think any employer ANYWHERE considers UGA the best state-of-Georgia college? I think you’re missing the school in this state that is actually raising the bar on education. I’m sure you know which one that is!

GATECH!

GT Grad

August 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

I sure am glad I decided to forego the 4 years of partying and busted my rear to get an education. My six-figure salary sure pays for alot of partying now, has been for more than a decade! Enjoy the trailer park life with that UGA diploma dawgs!

William Casey

August 2nd, 2010
1:12 pm

Not if you are one of the poor smuck parents paying for it. Not me!

William Casey

August 2nd, 2010
1:19 pm

Hey, JARVIS, read Murray Sperber’s “Beer and Circus.” Lots of big “research universities” that don’t give a damn about undergraduate education on that list too.

The HOPE loss statistic shows why we need to make HOPE a reimbursement program that only pays off AFTER college scholarship has been exhibited.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 2nd, 2010
1:19 pm

As subjective as it may be it measure of some realative value nonetheless. Therefore, it is what it is. Sometimes what these institutions aspire to be and what they mainfest themselves to be is in conflict.

Clarence

August 2nd, 2010
1:20 pm

Before lumping UGA into those HOPE numbers, you should know that UGA and GT students do much better at retaining HOPE than other GA schools.

Count DeKalb's Legal Fees

August 2nd, 2010
1:23 pm

I graduated twice from UGA, and this is nothing to be proud of. I’d rather my kids go to Auburn.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kayla Swift, Jenny Smith, Eryca K., Gerald A. Griggs LLC, Maureen Downey and others. Maureen Downey said: UGA is nation’s No. 1 party school. Tell me, is that a good thing? http://bit.ly/a6s0Qd [...]

parent

August 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

Oh good god!! This is such a subjective list and is very unscientific. Almost every college out there is a party school. Who even takes this seriously? I say just ignore it.

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

UGA sucks. We should close it down, use what little left over monies their are and use them for Highway improvements.

PS…I wanna kick UGA in his fat gut.

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
1:28 pm

UGA looks like a baby hippo that needs to be kicked.

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
1:43 pm

Your superior education obviously didn’t teach you much in the way of vocabulary.
flagship: the finest, largest, or most important one of a series, network, or chain

As much as it may pain you Garrett, the University of Georgia, carries the state’s reputation.

Only engineers think engineering is the end all be all.

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
1:43 pm

It’s Uga. UGA is the school. Uga is the dog.

mom3

August 2nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Seriously, are all tech fans/grads this mature?!?!?

UGA was a party school when I was there too, and MY 6 figure salary is paying for a lot of partying now too. Oh yeah, and my mascot can beat up your mascot. Nanny Nanny boo boo.

No matter where a kid goes to school, if they want to party, they will find a party. This argument is a HUGE waste of time.

EnoughAlready

August 2nd, 2010
1:50 pm

I don’t consider any of them good schools, but they are on the “They will DO” as far as schools list.

Please Note: UGA party stigma follows them right into the workplace. And somethings should remain outside. :)

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
1:52 pm

@William Casey…isn’t Sperber that Professor from Indiana that suggests the way to improve colleges is to cut out their atheletic promgrams and their research departments?

I think he uses part of his judgement as the number of professors that undgraduate colleges produce. That’s just what the world needs, more academics and less doers.

I’m sure it’s a great read, but I think I’ll pass.

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Uga, UGA, UgA, uGA…who cares…that fat dawg needs to be kicked.

Shar

August 2nd, 2010
1:59 pm

My daughter will move into her freshman dorm at UGA a week from Wednesday, and this is a parental nightmare – and should be a taxpayer’s outrage. The party atmosphere that UGA turns such a blind eye to degrades students’ ability to learn and encourages the kind of appalling excess that killed Louis Fish two years ago. Should college students show the maturity and perspective to refuse to drink before they’re of legal age and to consume illegal drugs at any time? Yes, sure they should. Does widespread partying with plenty of said alcohol and drugs exert peer pressure on a bunch of 18 year olds who are out from under the parental eye for the first time? You betcha. Are taxpayers cheated out of the benefit to the state of a well-educated populace and academic innovation when the student body is consumed with partying more than any other campus in the country (and the alumni allowed to exhibit similar lack of personal control every home football weekend)? Again, absolutely yes.

Any student who leaves home to go to college is going to experiment, to push boundaries formerly patrolled by Mom and Dad, to re-invent the self they see in others’ eyes. This delicate process should not be warped by the crude, destructive environment that unlimited, no holds barred partying brings.

UGA pays lip service to the dangers of drugs and alcohol, requiring each entering freshman to complete an online drug and alcohol course before they enter the school. UGA then proceeds to condone this, permitting the activities that have placed UGA at the top of the nation’s party schools and going so far as to promote “The World’s Biggest Cocktail Party” in the guise of a football game.

Bottom line, the school takes in Georgia’s students at a very vulnerable time, and takes taxpayers’ dollars under the pretext of educating future workers and creating future innovations, and then they subvert those missions by allowing ramshackle and dangerous on-campus behavior. This is a number one ranking UGA administrators should do everything they can to avoid, and if they can’t avoid it, they should be fired and more competent people found who can focus the school on its true goals.

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
1:59 pm

There actually isn’t an Uga at the moment.

jarvis

August 2nd, 2010
2:01 pm

That damn UGA stigma. The one that followed our two Senators and our Governor right into being elected….twice….each.

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
2:08 pm

UGA (is that correct?) should change its mascot to the Hog-Nosed snake.

HS Teacher

August 2nd, 2010
2:09 pm

The worst part of all is that students and alumni of UGA think that this is a good thing….

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
2:12 pm

UH…it IS a GOOD THING!!

PS…rename Uga to Duhga

JacketFan

August 2nd, 2010
2:22 pm

Unlike some of my more tasteless colleagues from GT, I agree with the poster who said that a student in college can find a party no matter where he or she goes. Georgia Tech was not without it’s share of revelers. Keeping your kid in the classroom and focused begins in the home and setting the right example. Yes, kids will inevitably drink in college; however, it is on us as parents to instill a sense of responsibility in our young people before we send them to Athens or Atlanta or Statesboro or wherever. I’ve worked with brilliant people from all over this state – many of whom attended UGA. Just because the school, which is in the middle of a true college town, has this reputation doesn’t mean that every student who attends is a lush.

Go Jackets!

student

August 2nd, 2010
2:29 pm

damn proud of this title. thanks for all of my supporters. GOOOO puppies! arf arf arf!!!!!! woof woof woof!
i am hyped up on illicit drugs and alcohol RIGHT NOW!

[...] post:  UGA is nation's No. 1 party school. Tell me, is that a good thing … By admin | category: College Park, University of MARYLAND | tags: College Park, illinois, [...]

Jennifer

August 2nd, 2010
2:36 pm

As a current sophomore at UGA I would have to say that partying only contributes to a percentage of the students losing HOPE. From my experience, I have found many students lost the scholarship due to introductory courses trying to fail out excess students. The University maintains a philosophy that it is best to fail out students they do not wish to have in the program. I feel that this article has merit, but does not consider all sides of the situation and how the University of Georgia runs.

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
2:37 pm

“Everybody must get stoned”

Dr NO

August 2nd, 2010
2:38 pm

Well thank you Jennifer for that answer but Im sorry that is incorrect.

Thanks for playing and Jay has some nice parting gifts for you!

SKB

August 2nd, 2010
2:40 pm

Is that something to be proud of? no
Maybe this will hurt the admission prospects of the school. Not looking good for UGA. I mean who the hell knows..

Mic

August 2nd, 2010
2:48 pm

10. DePauw University

My dog wants to get in this university when he graduates from obedience school!

Mic

August 2nd, 2010
2:48 pm

I’m sure that should be DePaul!!

Maureen Downey

August 2nd, 2010
2:56 pm

@Mic., You have to get out of Georgia more if you never heard of DePauw

http://www.depauw.edu/

David

August 2nd, 2010
3:04 pm

Voted on by 177,000 VOLUNTARY responses. That’s about as subjective as you can get. You might as well show up on every campus in 30 minutes before gametime in the fall to do the sampling.

I worked at a very popular bar during my time at UGA in order to pay utilities and rent, and I can tell you that the difference from 2004 when I was a freshman to 2008 when I graduated was astonishing. If anything, the school has decreased significantly in partying.

To Shar – calm down, your daughter will be fine. everyone goes to college and has a few drinks. just have to rely on the self-control that you’ve likely already instilled in your daughter.

To Dr NO – you are clearly nothing but a troll on this message board. everyone should disregard whatever he/she says for the remainder of this discussion

Katie

August 2nd, 2010
3:16 pm

Your stats about HOPE retention are from 2003. Newsflash — it’s 2010. The students who made those stats are long gone. If you are going to suggest that current partying habits are contributing to poor academic performance at least give relevant statistics to your article.

Atlanta mom

August 2nd, 2010
3:28 pm

Maureen,
Is there any way we can get the HOPE drop out rate by institution?

[...] the original here: UGA is nation's No. 1 party school. Tell me, is that a good thing … By admin | category: University of FLORIDA | tags: assistant-professor, beat-out, [...]

William Casey

August 2nd, 2010
3:45 pm

JARVIS: Sperber used the athletic program thing as a “hook” to get attention for his book. His larger point is that large “research universities” use their whole undergraduate program as a cash cow to fund what they consider really important: academic research. It is a good book. Sperber also points out that such schools use their “party reputations” to attract the masses of fools to attend weak undergrad programs and pay the bills. Ever sit in a chem class with 200+ other students? I have. What a rip off!

[...] the original here: UGA is nation's No. 1 party school. Tell me, is that a good thing … By admin | category: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | tags: are-invited, [...]

UGASenior

August 2nd, 2010
4:11 pm

As an actual student at UGA, I’m pretty sure that other UGA students and I know a lot more about what it’s really like to go to UGA than most people filling up this message board. While there’s definitely a lot of valid points from all sides posted here, I can tell you in no way, shape or form does the school itself promote a party reputation. I have never taken a class at UGA that promoted it (sorry seniors in high school looking to go to UGA- Funneling 101 isn’t offered). In regards to the North Campus issue, if anything the administration has seriously curtailed tailgating to prevent this, not promote it. As for the HOPE issue, in my experience, as someone who has kept HOPE all through college, my experience and observations have shown me that issues with people losing HOPE stem mainly from lack of preparation at the high school and parental level so students came to UGA, don’t know how to study but they made it through high school without much trouble, and had no time managing skills because high school was a breeze to them. Let’s not sit here and bash every UGA student or HOPE recipient. As a UGA senior, I’m proud of my education, and I worked hard for it. Yes, I had fun while doing it, but that hasn’t held me back as a student. I receive competitive internships over other students from all different schools, and I got to use the money I saved from HOPE to study abroad. So UGA got ranked #1 party school by a survey that no one considers as first rate…Who cares!? Trust me, UGA students are not going to drink more because we’re number 1 and thus defending champs in the same way as Ole Miss or UF students aren’t going to start drinking a lot more just to beat us in the Princeton rankings. And if that keeps a high school senior from coming to UGA, well then that kid needs to learn a little bit more about reality and how to evaluate their sources before they whole-heartedly believe anything anybody tells him or her. Either make your judgement from personal experience at UGA or through your observations of your friends, family, employees, employers who went to UGA while keeping in mind that one article, one person, and one beer can’t define 32,000 current students, years of prestigious faculty, and an extremely active and successful alumni.

Now I’ll drink to that.

Georgia Girl

August 2nd, 2010
4:15 pm

I guess I will sink to Dr NO’s level because this study should not be taken seriously and it’s fun! The average entering GPA for a UGA freshman is a 3.8; plus UGA is ranked #8 for most attractive females in the counrty. So, let’s see… we are smart, good looking, and we know how to have fun. Dr. NO, I am glad you are enjoying your six-figure income. My husband and I are enjoying ours as well, plus we are more attractive ;) Boo-YA!

Writer Gal

August 2nd, 2010
4:30 pm

Maureen, I’d be interested in the HOPE drop out rate by institution as well. (My nod to Atlanta mom).

Hahaha

August 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

While the legitimacy of this list is debatable. especially considering the seemingly ridiculous amount of hate coming from “GT Graduates” who think this is another reason to try and tackle a school whose football team beats theirs even on bad seasons. Regardless of all that though, if a student wants to party in college, he’ll party, it doesn’t matter what school he or she attends, or plans to attend, college partying happens, EVEN AT TECH (which just a quick fyi, I know a large number of tech grads who are now unemployed whereas I know just about as many UGA grads who are, go figure, that party stigma REALLY follows them to the workplace)

outside opinion

August 2nd, 2010
5:30 pm

A.) I agree with the past comments that kids will party anywhere.
B.) I recognize that many public school students from Georgia could not be as well prepared, and thus, loose HOPE. It’s easily distinguishable because of the state’s school system overcrowding (especially in metro Atlanta), sadly leading to a lack of attention with teachers. This is clearly not completely right, but can be argued.
C.) Maybe if the state built up the public school system, then UGA would improve more than it already has under President Adams. With the budget cuts, Adams definitely deserves a round of an applause by preventing a further brain drain in the state, and by putting UGA on the map with his faculty-research promotion. However, working from the ground up in the school system leads to impressive state universities. Look at Texas and Virginia.
D.) UGA is an excellent school for students not looking for engineering and mathematics. Think of Grady School of Journalism, continually ranked, and the Vet School. Also, Terry’s Risk Management program ranks #2 in the nation-behind Yale’s Warton Business School.

Writer Gal

August 2nd, 2010
5:44 pm

As with any college, some programs are continually and consistently better than others. I went to a private college in Georgia. Many majors were more rigorous than others. I was an English major and in the Honors Program–even had to write a thesis my senior year. Compare that with the Public Relations majors who rarely ever had to write more than a paragraph. I found that the more serious the major, the less partying went on. The more fluffier the major, the more all-nighters pulled. I lived with these girls in a sorority house. I was no saint, but I knew how to stop at midnight or so and get on the typewriter. I graduated with Highest Honors, but I had a few good times along the way. Ultimately it revolves around the student and why they go to college in the first place. If they go to get away from mommy and daddy, they will party. If they want to be someone and contribute to the world, they will work hard and log the hours to get the grades. This was pre-HOPE. I had scholarships and I knew if I did not make the grades, I would be out, and there were no “second chances.” It is ridiculous that HOPE is giving second chances. Perhaps if the parents had to pay more of the bill (and I knew my parents could not afford it) there would be a lot less partying.

GA Parent

August 2nd, 2010
6:08 pm

Wow – Why is this a Tech vs. UGA discussion? It has nothing to do with Tech. I don’t even think Tech made the list anywhere.

It is about UGA and the reputation of our State University as a party school. I’m highly embarrassed. Shouldn’t we strive to be an academic school rather than a party school?

catlady

August 2nd, 2010
6:09 pm

It’s a good thing for the 60%+ freshman party animals who get their tuition paid via HOPE for a year till they have to put up or shut up. Just think, and $18,000 ride from the pockets of John Q Public for the part of the cost that HOPE does not pay (in addition to the student-paid fees and room and board)!

I soundly agree, there should NOT be an opportunity to regain HOPE after losing it. That might sober a few of the students up!