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.