Would party school title turn you off from UGA, other colleges?

So the announcement was made yesterday that UGA was named the No. 1 party school in the USA by the Princeton Review.

It’s made the list many, many times in the past. The school is not happy about it and would rather tout its awards for top value or environmentally friendly school.

From  AJC.com:

“The college has landed on the top 20 party list compiled by the Princeton Review for 10 of the past 13 years, but this is the first time it finished in the top spot. Students, channeling their inner “Bluto” Blutarsky from “Animal House,” posted “We’re No. 1!” on Facebook and Twitter. A few wondered how this national title would fit in the trophy case.”

“University leaders took the Dean Wormer approach, viewing the list as sobering news. After all, this isn’t the top-ranking leaders were hoping for. Especially as administrators have worked for years to cut down on underage drinking by throwing offenders in jail or calling their parents following a first offense.”

” ‘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.’ (Both those rankings also came from the Princeton Review.)”

“It’s hard to shake the party image in Athens, where nearly 100 bars are located. Beyond the bars, there are countless house parties where drinking games reign. For example, beer pong enthusiasts throw pingpong balls across a table, trying to land them in cups of beer at the other end. The loser drinks the remaining beer in the winner’s cups.”

“ ‘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.’ ”

Lots of questions on this one:

So does this list help the “cool” factor of the school? Would it actually attract teenagers to want to come to Georgia for this reason?

On other hand would this type of “honor” actually ward you off from a school? Would you not want your child to go to a school known for its partying?

Do you think they actually party less at other schools or there would be less risk of party-related problems at other colleges?

Are 18-year-olds even aware this list exists? Do they care about any of the titles, honor or awards schools actually win?

What more could Georgia do to shed that party image?

99 comments Add your comment

Oh, hail no...

August 3rd, 2010
6:32 am

…we all know UGA is now an excellent academic institution (maybe not so much back in your day T). That party title just means that students can be well rounded, so it should really be a plus to anyone who is considering an academic institution of higher learning…if they can get admitted, which is now a huge hurdle…

motherjanegoose

August 3rd, 2010
6:54 am

Morning all!

Our son went to UGA and our daughter will head out next week. While I am not surprised at the news, it did not affect our decision. My daughter has a major that is not offered most other places in GA. The HOPE scholarship is currently $8000 for the year and FYI it is not easy to get into UGA.

I have read all sorts of ridiculous comments on other boards and even some that talk about the fact that anyone with a southern accent ( an assumption that all UGA students are rednecks) cannot be very bright. HEY YA’LL get your fannies down here and show us your GPA, SAT and ACT scores.
Let’s see if you can even get into UGA.

WE did not got to UGA and honestly neither of us would have probably made the cut. My kids both have lots of peers who also did not get in and hope to go at a later date.

We made the same deal with both of my kids: you lose your HOPE…you can come home or pay it yourself. If other parents made that deal, the ranking might change.

We made it through UGA with our first. We told him he would not get into Pharmacy school if he had bad choices on his record. That was his decision. He saw quite a bit of evidence of those who fulfilled the quota for a party school and often told us of the ridiculousness of it.

Our daughter does not run with kids who party. Could this change? Yes. We did our best to set examples and she has spoken with her brother. Her room mate is solid. We pray she will make good choices.

BTW I mentioned this before, the police department showed all sorts of actual records with REAL names of kids on the power point presentation, during orientation. I am not sure that kids realize how much this can affect their future.

I see kids all the time, who are continually being baled out by their parents. The parents are hoping they will grow up soon and are giving them just on more chance. We are not doing that with our kids.

My son came home once and told us, “My friends ( whose parents you know) are all ___________.
I am not telling you who it is. But I am telling you that I told them I CANNOT DO THAT….MY PARENTS WILL KILL ME…” I am not saying he never did anything that I would not approve of but he managed to get through 4 years safely.

To me, it is all about consequences. If UGA wants to curb the problem, the consequences need to be there. My kids know the consequences with me.

YES, the cool factor is there…many kids talk about the fact that all the fun parties are at UGA.
Many kids cannot wait to get there as Mom and Dad are footing the bill for freedom and fun.
Not in my house!

motherjanegoose

August 3rd, 2010
6:56 am

T…my comment disappeared. I now have 2 UGA students and a few things to share. Can you find it? Frustrating to see that it did not post.

shaggy

August 3rd, 2010
7:12 am

This ain’t news. UGA has been a major party school since at least the 1960’s. Georgia Southern has had that same reputation, since forever. It is really simple. Put thousands of college age kids in a small town, with little else to do, and SHAZZAM! It’s PARTY TIME!
In my day, it was most always a sure thing to cruise to Athens and find a coed or two for some easy fun. I know this will offend, but it was (is) true.

shaggy

August 3rd, 2010
7:13 am

I just knew you wouldn’t allow my comment, and it was claen as a whistle.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 3rd, 2010
7:19 am

I will look in the spam —

shaggy — if you’ve been tagged by the system it’s the system not allowing it, not me.

[...] more here: Would party school title turn you off from UGA, other colleges … Posted in blog | Tags: colleges, other-colleges, party-school, title-turn, [...]

atl mom

August 3rd, 2010
7:51 am

UGA may be hard to get into based on GPA’s(which are highly overinflated) and test scores, but once you’re in, the academic bar is not raised. Look at the AP scores they accept… most good universities will not accept a 3 on most AP’s for credit… not UGA!!! The party school title only confirms i don’t want my kids there, even with the HOPE!!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania, Nicole Gustin. Nicole Gustin said: My alma mater UGA named top party school. Draw or PR crisis? Other schools have tried to change this image. http://bit.ly/cKP8hb [...]

Photius

August 3rd, 2010
8:23 am

Yes, the school has improved it’s measure of admittance into the University however the degrees being generated are simply average in comparison to other Universities. In over 200 years UGA has not produced one Nobel Laureate; every now and then a Rhodes Scholar will emerge but that’s about it. Graduates of UGA generally are not those who wind up on the Boards of Fortune 500 companies, leaders of greater universities outside the south and the research being generated out of UGA is again average at best. The undergraduate and graduate degrees are solid no doubt, but they simply do not carry the same weight as an engineering degree from Georgia Tech/Purdue or an economics degree from the University of Chicago or a Business degree from Wharton of a Liberal Arts degree from one of the Seven Sisters. The school’s focus has and always will be on partying and football. It’s cultural, it’s been that way forever and until the emphasis goes away from those two things and starts emphasizing academic accomplishment and breakthrough the University of Georgia will just remain a nice, solid school without heavy weight. And no, I will not send my child to UGA for those reasons.

motherjanegoose

August 3rd, 2010
8:44 am

Thanks Photius, at this point I am simply trying to send my kids to college where they can achieve a degree that will get them a career they enjoy and a paycheck. You have loftier goals for your children.

My son is covered and will have a job but the jury is still out for my daughter.

I have never been one who is caught up in the things you mentioned. I know others certainly may weed out choices based on those very valid points. I meet folks every day, who are quite happy and successful in their careers. They graduated from colleges that are not even well known. They are making contributions to society, as we speak.

There are kids out there who have huge student loans and went to esteemed colleges but they do not have a job yet. All things to consider, in my book.

Not all kids who go to UGA will have a job when they graduate…I know this first hand. My son will
( he is already employed in his field) and my daughter is in a field that ( right now) has a good employment rate. We will see.

BG

August 3rd, 2010
8:46 am

The AJC is now just like TMZ. Why is this news??

Curious George

August 3rd, 2010
8:48 am

Do you think Courtney Fuhrmann’s parents are proud of her and the “education” she got at UGA in order to make good decisions in life?

Is “Bar Skank 101″ a requisite freshman course at UGA?

TechMom

August 3rd, 2010
8:51 am

I have yet to talk to anyone who went to a 4-year university who didn’t think their school was a ‘party’ school.

EP

August 3rd, 2010
8:54 am

Curious George- The girl that you mentioned in your post that was seen with Damon Evans the night he was pulled over and arrested went to Georgia Southern. Get your facts straight.

YUKI

August 3rd, 2010
8:55 am

I was just shocked that LSU wasn’t on the list!

Chi Town

August 3rd, 2010
8:57 am

Athens is a cess pool.

Dont understand why all the mutt fans think its so great.

TS

August 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

Successful people graduate from UGA every year. If you think serious partying does not go on at any big state school, or ivy league, or private school, you need to take off the blinders. My brother went to Yale and they had a funnel that hung down four stories at one of the parties I attended.

This won’t be a black eye on the school. People aren’t ignorant and most understand if you get 40,000 18-23 year olds in the same 8 mile radius there is going to be some partying.

Oh, hail no...

August 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

…but Mr. Evans did go to UGA…

And, atl mom, it has been my kid’s experience that a 3 on an AP exam did NOT get the course waived – you had to have a 1 or 2 on the exam before credit was given for the AP as a college credit, but that was back in 2004, so things may have changed, dang it, but the kid graduated in 4 years anyway, always with HOPE, so all is good…

And< Photius, back when my son graduated in 2008 UGA was the ONLY university in the nation (including all of the Ivy League and Stanford, Wellesly, Smith, Vassar, MIT, etc) to have Rhodes, Truman and Fulbright Scholars all in the same class.. so stick that in your ear and smoke it…

Oh, hail no...

August 3rd, 2010
9:06 am

..GT has never had a Rhodes Scholar…

SKB

August 3rd, 2010
9:07 am

I want to state that this was chosen by a VOLUNTARY response, there is no research done to come up with the results. The one event that triggered UGA to be number 1, is DUI of Damon Evans, since it was such big news. There is partying at every flagship school. UT was 1 a while back, florida was number 2 back then, so who cares? people will just forget about it next year, and we will have a new party scool.

SKB

August 3rd, 2010
9:10 am

btw taking this list seriously is idiotic, please do some research, rather than basing your decision by a voluntery survey.

ugag is irrelevant

August 3rd, 2010
9:12 am

finally beat uf and bama in something other than hubris

Ben

August 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

This list is also predicated on the “opportunity” to party and bars per student body population vs kids actually drinking. It’s a silly list that changes every year. UGA has been on it for years.

The administration probably shouldn’t endorse this but they also don’t need to distance themselves. For me, I don’t think academics and a student’s social life (ie- partying) need to be mutually exclusive.

Johnny DangerDawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:26 am

First of all, this list is a joke. The data just depends on which kids complete the survey each year. That’s why a school can be ranked Number Three one year and then be UNRANKED the next year. Does anybody really think the kids at the school just quit partying for a year? Of course not. If you look at the Princeton Review’s academic rankings, they change very little from year-to-year because they can access the GPA, SAT scores, etc. for EVERY student. They just don’t have this wealth of data for the Party School rankings.

Paul in RDU

August 3rd, 2010
9:27 am

I agree that this is an unscientific survey (voting for the Princeton Review), but the adminstration at UGA cannot discount the ranking as a party school and at the same time tout UGA’s high ranking on the Green Honor Roll or the “Best Values” listing. These latter 2 rankings are also from the Princeton Review.
As far as sending my children to UGA is concerned, it depends on the child. I have a son as a rising sophomore at a university that is renowned as a “party school”. I never worried about him – he is mature and focused. With one of my other children, it was different – would not let them go to that one.

JMD

August 3rd, 2010
9:32 am

I hope my daughter reads this article and thinks twice before sending our grandchildren there.

ATHtoATL

August 3rd, 2010
9:32 am

1. Yes, students come to UGA in part because of the “party school” atmosphere

2. No, it wouldn’t dissuade me. UGA is still a good school and employers still recognize the value of a UGA diploma.

3. Anyone who thinks that there is less partying at other schools, especially more academically high brow schools, is fooling themselves.

4. 18 year olds are very much aware of the list. It’s done by Princeton Review a popular site used to research colleges and order test prep materials.

5. UGA can shed the party school image by taking HOPE away from students arrested on alcohol offenses. Levy a fine on any bar/liquor store/restaurant/etc. found to have served alcohol to an underage student… you best believe they’ll be a whole lot more stringent on fake IDs if there’s a monetary incentive.

Johnny DangerDawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:32 am

Theresa,
Yes, teens do know about these rankings. I remember when I was in high school, my classmates would often talk about the Party School Rankings. (However, I think that sometimes kids would be citing rankings from 2 years earlier and not realize it.)

gtatl

August 3rd, 2010
9:35 am

GT alum here. Hate the team, but would love if my kids got into either Tech or UGA. Anyone that thinks that any major university doesnt have serious drinking problems are fooling themselves. All you had to do was go off campus to homepark at GT and you would find rows and rows of houses with mounds of empty kegs from the prior weekend.

Drinking and partying is available everywhere. UGA is no different. It does have *gulp good academic programs. The success of the student at the school depends on the student. I would be an idiot to not send my kid to UGAG (if they had the choice and wanted to go there). Low instate tuition, great state network, good to great academic programs. Being a party school makes no difference to me. they will drink or not drink, no matter what school they go to.

Hey, Paul in RDU...

August 3rd, 2010
9:35 am

…most of the “Best Values” schools are party schools, even the esteemed UVA, UNC, UTexas and Michigan – heck, I went to Davidson and you would not believe some of the parties we had each and every week. The “party” tag is not really an “albatross” or Scarlet Letter, it just means that the kids know how to leave the rigors of academia behind when needed.

So all you parents who “will not allow my child to go to THAT university (whatever university THAT is) need to chill out, cause kids will be kids, teenagers will be teenagers, and college students will be college students, no matter how much you try to, or THINK you can, shelter them…

THWG

August 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Good luck finding a job outside of Georgia. You can always tell and white lie and say graduated from Tech. No one will no the difference but at least you will be taken seriously.

Johnny DangerDawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

ATHtoATL,
The reality is that a lot of the schools have just as much drinking but don’t make the list because they lack SOCIALIZING. I had friends who went to Ga Tech who got wasted in their dorm rooms all the time but never went out because they didn’t have a convenient strip of bars located safe walking distance from campus. So if they had taken the survey and been asked “How many nights a week do you go out,” the answer would be zero. Yet they were binge drinking every week.
Look at MIT. That school has some of the brightest minds, but many of the students there feel miserable and isolated. Instead of going out, they drink alone, abuse drugs, and produce one of the worst college suicide rates.

THWG

August 3rd, 2010
9:47 am

UVA, UNC, UTexas and Michigan – heck. Only a hillbilly could come up with something as original as this. Damn Dawg fans.

John

August 3rd, 2010
9:55 am

The Princeton Review (which is affilitiated in no way to Princeton University) is a load bull, but they did get this one right. Parties do happen at every school (except maybe BYU), but not EVERY night like at UGA. When I was at Georgia Tech, partying on the week nights was very uncommon, we just didn’t have enough people with the time to make that stuff happen. My friends at UGA said they rarely had to study, so partying on the week nights was common.

UGA raising admission standards is actually making the problem worse. The students are smarter but the classes are just as easy. If you don’t have to study or do schoolwork at night, of course you are going to party. If you want to change the school’s image, just make sure students don’t have as much time to party during the week, make the classes harder, and the degrees worth a flip. Plain and simple.

BTW, “Oh, Hail, no”: Look up you stats before you embarrass yourself; It took me two seconds to find out that Georgia Tech has had 3 Rhode’s Scholars.

Joyce

August 3rd, 2010
9:59 am

No, this list wouldn’t affect my enthusiasm for my son to go to UGA if we were at that point. I think that most things, college included, are what you make of them, to a great extent.

My alma mater (Michigan State) was ranked as #20this time out. It’s also made this list many times. However, my experience was that it was as much of a “party” as you made it. East Lansing, another small college town, had plenty of bars and liquor stores close to campus and the “student slums” so it wasn’t really hard to find a party if you wanted one. (CedarFest anyone?) At the same time, with over 40,000 students attending, you could also pretty easily find places to study or have more low-key fun. I imagine UGA is not much different.

motherjanegoose

August 3rd, 2010
9:59 am

THWG…there are stupid people all across the nation…some of them even vote…look what we got.

FYI…I believe Alton Brown went to UGA and he seems to be doing just fine for himself, with a job outside of GA.

motherjanegoose

August 3rd, 2010
10:03 am

@ John…who are these kids who do not need to study and what are their majors? I am a parent of two college aged kids and know lots of other college aged kids. I do not know what you are talking about. I know some pretty bright kids and they are studying at UGA or find out they are failing.
Are we talking about NOW or when you were in school? I knew all sorts of kids, who did not study, when I was in school…in the dark ages.

Curious George

August 3rd, 2010
10:05 am

Do you think Courtney Fuhrmann’s parents are proud of her and the “education” she got at Georgia Southern in order to make good decisions in life and defile herself with married, UGA Affirmative Action trash?

Is “Bar Skank 101″ a requisite freshman course at Georgia Southern as well as at UGA?

Ben

August 3rd, 2010
10:13 am

gtatl, as a UGA alum, I appreciate the reasoned response.

Joe

August 3rd, 2010
10:19 am

“…we all know UGA is now an excellent academic institution ”
ha.. that’s the best joke I’ve heard all day. UGA is not even in the top 50. You’re setting your bar kind of low, don’t you think?

BlondeHoney

August 3rd, 2010
10:22 am

Agree with other posters that partying goes om at all colleges; my youngest graduated from FSU(which also made the list) and the same ingredients are at work there as in Athens. Small town (despite being the state capitol), TWO universities (FAMU and FSU) plus TONS of bars. Heck, FSU was even featured on the TruTV show Campus Police. My son engaged in his share of partying, mostly his freshman and sophmore years; after that, it got old for him and tapered off. Lots of good schools on the list as others have pointed out, so no, wouldn’t let that affect the decision.

VinnyD

August 3rd, 2010
10:25 am

Every college is a party school, Athens just has a better bar scene. IF you poll the right students, Georgia College and State University would be ranked number 1. (actually a fun place, ask Big Ben) Its all about the students polled but yes, the bar scene in Athens is superior to most others. These rankings are really about the students polled, thats it.

Wake Up

August 3rd, 2010
10:25 am

A culture of boozing and drugs exists in the city of Athens and at the university. Every other building in the slimy downtown of Athens is a bar, and many of them serve alcohol to minors. The peer pressure to join in this so-called “partying” is pervasive, and even local high school students are lured into it. If you don’t believe it you haven’t actually lived in Athens (as I have)and observed what goes on there. It only gets worse on football weekends when the older drunks show up to mingle with the student drunks. I know a great many uga grads, and when the subject of college comes up the two things they always talk about are how much they drank, and the football team. You can call this the “flagship” university, but academically there are at least 3 and peehaps 4 other universities in the state that provide a better and more respected education.

RJ

August 3rd, 2010
10:27 am

At the end of the day, where you went to school is not nearly as important as your skill set. It may matter for that first job but after that it’s not important. I would send mine to UGA in a heartbeat.

g

August 3rd, 2010
10:32 am

I graduated from UGA.

This title doesn’t mean anything to me, because I know what its like to live in Athens. My son is only 7 now. When he is finished with Highschool, we will make an informed decision on where he will matriculate. However, I will not send him away to UGA for his Freshman year. If he has exceptionally good grades, test scores, and a desire to learn at one of the highest academic providers in the country, I would help him with that.

If he is merely a higher than average student with decent test scores, he will attend a local community college. If he does well enough after two years, I would help him attend a State University like UGA.

As a parent, you always hope for the best. I would love to see my child excel and attend one of the best colleges in the country, but if he can’t do that, I see no reason to attend a state university over a community college while taking “core” classes.

Jim Davis

August 3rd, 2010
10:33 am

As president of executive recruiting and consulting firm, the problem from our standpoint is not the recruitment of potential students by UGA, but in the fact that a degree from the #1 party school is not exactly a resume enhancement to potential employers. Not arguing the relative value of UGA degree versus one from AU, UA, Vandy, etc., but it is too easy for employees to relegate UGA grad to lower position without further thought.

Ben

August 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

Wake Up, you must be a blast at parties. Also, I’d be interested to hear these “3 or perhaps 4 other universities” that provide a better and more respected education. Please don’t say Tech. If my son or daughter has no interest in engineering why would they go there? It’s a great school for that but if their interests lie in English, Business, Journalism, Fine Arts, Education, Management, History, Law, etc etc etc, I’d be crazy to not send them there.

Your statement is based on nothing.

Ashley

August 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

UGA is a fine school to go to. Any college in the United States has parties. Even Alumni’s from all colleges come back and party at the University they graduated from. I have went to other colleges and partied with them as well Like Clemson etc…Yes, I went to UGA with a Full Scholarship from fastpitch softball, I had HOPE, Plus help from parents. I had every college in the U.S. wanting me to play ball for there team. Each one I viewed Partied like there was no tomm. YES I partied all the time and had the best time of my life doing it. YOU KNOW WHAT? I made Deans list every year and graduated with honors. I am OK with UGA being the #1 party school. Yes I have a family now and I go to the football games and PARTY ON! After I graduated I got a job one week later. Yes my children will be going to UGA they have no option. My parents went to UGA and I followed there foot prints. Damon Evans is HUMAN like we all are. Yes he made a mistake and isnt a good role model for our young generation at UGA. Thats why he isnt UGA atheletic director anymore. He knew he was going to get fired by Michael Adams. UGA is a very hard college to get in but once your in…….Once a dawg, Always a dawg……How sweet it is. I hope UGA continues there success even if it is #1 partying school. I had to juggle academics, events, partying, job and softball field everyday. I cant wait til 2010 football season starts. I will be in the stands screaming go dawgs sec em woo hoo woo hoo. To have UGA football tickets you have to pay a lot of money to the Atheletic Association. You will have the time of your life at UGA. I love my Bulldog Nation and love Sanford Stadium. The best time YOU will ever have with 92,746 of your closest friends. GO DAWGS! Don’t Dawg other Universities around the United States its not professional and also ALL Universities PARTY! How ‘Bout Them Dawgs!!

Joe

August 3rd, 2010
10:44 am

Ben,
Tech is a late comer to the B-school scene but Georgia Tech’s College of Management ranks higher than Terry now.
I’m sure that Tech will excel if the state allows it to add liberal art majors.