University of Iowa Ranked #1 Party School in the Nation

By Diane Heldt, Reporter

Incoming UI freshman watch as the UI Dance Team perfroms at the President's Block Party on Sunday, August 19, 2012. Members of the Class of 2016 celebrated the end of On Iowa!, a three-day welcome and orientation event and the start of the fall semester with the event on Church St. in Iowa City. (Justin Torner/Freelance)


By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa ranks as the No. 1 "party school" in the nation, according to an annual guide that ranks things such as academics, campus life and extracurricular involvement.

The Princeton Review puts the UI first on the party school list in its 2014 edition, which was announced Monday. The UI was the No. 2 party school on last year's list, and No. 4 the year before that.

In the latest guide, the UI also ranked No. 1 in "lots of hard liquor," No. 4 in "students study the least," No. 4 in "lots of beer," No. 7 in "students pack the stadiums," and No. 18 in "lots of Greek life."

"We are continuing to work to change the culture on our campus by educating students to only consume alcohol in a legal, safe and responsible manner, and those efforts are achieving results," UI Spokesman Tom Moore said in a written response to the ranking.

The university has implemented research-based strategies on campus in collaboration with community partners, Moore said. Those efforts are having measurable success, he said, noting the proportion of students engaging in high-risk drinking in the two weeks preceding a national health survey was down 17 percent since 2009, and that the average number of drinks consumed per occasion is down 20 percent since 2009. Also since 2009, the proportion of students who report drinking in the 30 days prior to the survey is down about 12 percent. That data comes from the National College Health Assessment survey.

Other data shows decreases in alcohol-related crime and alcohol-related visits to the ER, Moore said.

"In each of the last four years, alcohol harm to our students has decreased," he said in a statement. "It is, frankly, still too high. We are heartened, though, by the steady progress we have made, and are committed to continuing this progress."

The guide includes 62 ranking lists, all based on The Princeton Review's surveys of students at the 378 schools in the book, according to a news release. On the 80-question survey, students rate their own colleges on a range of topics and report on their campus experiences, the statement says. The "party school" list is based on student answers to survey questions about the use of alcohol and drugs on their campus; the popularity of the fraternity/sorority scene at their school; and the number of hours they report studying each day outside of class.

UI officials did tout other, more positive aspects of the Princeton Review rankings, noting the guide says the UI manages to pull off the "amazing feat" of being a Big Ten university full of opportunities that retains a small-college feel.

"You only have to go on to read the comments that our students make in that profile to see that they are saying great things about their educational experience here," the UI statement from Moore said.

See more about the rankings and the lists in other categories at The 2014 edition of the "Best 378 Colleges" from the Princeton Review publishes Tuesday.

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