Brigham Young University is the nation’s most sober party school, according to a survey of 100,000 college students nationwide.
The title of No. 1 party school typically garners the most attention in the Princeton Review’s annual ranking of America’s best colleges. The dubious honor this year goes to the University of Colorado at Boulder, last year’s No. 8, which supplants Indiana University, now third.
In contrast, Mormon-affiliated Brigham Young topped a listing of “Stone-Cold Sober” schools, based on survey questions about the use of alcohol and drugs, hours of study each day and popularity of the Greek system.
Wheaton College came in second in sobriety, followed by the United States Naval and Air Force academies, at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Grove City College, a Christian school in Pennsylvania, was fifth. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were Calvin, Bryn Mawr, Simmons, Mount Holyhoke and Wellesley colleges.
Baptist-affiliated Samford University ranked 20th in the Stone-Cold-Sober list. The Birmingham school was fourth from last in use of hard liquor, sixth from last in marijuana use and seventh from the bottom in consumption of beer. Samford students were seventh most likely to pray on a regular basis and fifth in a ranking of “students most nostalgic for Ronald Reagan.”
Passing Samford in the prayer category was another Baptist school, Baylor University, ranked No. 5. Furman University, a historically Baptist school that no longer has ties with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, was 10th on the prayer list. William Jewell College, a Baptist school in Missouri, ranked 19th.
Baylor, in Waco, Texas, also ranked 11th in having a reputation for discrimination against homosexuals, in a category titled “Alternative Lifestyles Not An Alternative.”
William Jewell, in Liberty, Mo., ranked No. 4 in students’ overall happiness and was No. 1 in good relations between students and the local community.
Academically, Yale, Princeton and Duke were ranked the top three best overall academic experiences for undergraduates. The U.S. Military Academy, Princeton and Harvard were ranked the hardest to get into.
The “Best 351 Colleges” survey, which has no connection to Princeton University, has been conducted annually since 1992.
The least favorite ranking for administrators is the top schools at which to party. They dismiss the survey as being based on perception and not any scientific evidence
The American Medical Association has criticized the party school ranking, saying it portrays alcohol abuse as a vital part of campus life.
After Colorado, this year’s top-five party schools are the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington and Lee University.
One historically Baptist school, Wake Forest University, earned mention in one “party school” category, by ranking ninth in the popularity of fraternities and sororities. Wake Forest was fourth in a demographic category as having the most homogeneous student body, and was No. 2 among schools with “little interaction” among students of differing race and class.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.