2024 Top Party Schools in the U.S.

Top Party Schools in the U.S.

Looking for Top Party Schools in the U.S.? College life is often shown as a constant party in movies and TV. But it is not always like that. Some colleges are known for their wild parties, but that does not mean you can’t get a good education there.

You can find a balance between fun and studies at many colleges. In this article, we will share a list of the top party schools in the U.S. where you can enjoy a lively social scene while still focusing on your classes. You could also take a look at our article on Colleges with the hottest girls, where we cover topics such as social life and dynamic communities that go beyond just partying.

What is a Party School?

At a party school, there are lots of parties happening all the time. They are pretty popular among students. These parties often include drinking. There are also many friendships and togetherness on campus.

Why Are Party Schools Important?

When you go to college, it is a chance to try new things and meet new people. If you are at a party school, there are lots of opportunities to do just that, with parties happening often. These schools are usually big and might not be as focused on studying. So, you can spend more time on fun activities like joining a club or social group.

At party schools, you will find plenty of unofficial parties and other events happening all week long. Sometimes, even sports events can feel like part of the party scene. So, if you are looking for excitement, you will probably find something to do every night.

Our Ranking Criteria for the Top Party Schools in the U.S.?

You can find party schools everywhere in the country. But, they vary in class, size, and the types of classes they offer. We analyzed over 100+ colleges in the U.S. and shortlisted the top 15 party schools in the U.S. To gather the information, we used the official website of these schools. We made sure they are accredited and offer degrees that are recognized all over the U.S.

List of the 15 Top Party Schools in the U.S.

When it comes to big party schools, they are known for having lots of options for nighttime fun, both on and off campus. These schools attract students who enjoy partying. They are generally friendly and outgoing. 

Most of these top-party schools are large public universities. You will find a bigger crowd and a lovely social scene. Let’s have a look at some of the top party schools in the U.S.

1. West Virginia University

West Virginia University has over 22,000 undergraduates. The university has a bustling campus life. About half of the students reside on campus. This lively atmosphere in Morgantown means there is always something going on. 

WVU starts the academic year with FallFest. It is a multi-day celebration that features big-name musical acts such as Kanye West and Maroon 5

The party scene here revolves around sports events like football and basketball games, and the university’s traditions, including Mountaineer Week. 

During Mountaineer Week, you can enjoy activities like craft fairs, singing competitions, and square dances.

  • Location: Morgantown, WV
  • Acceptance rate: 89%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1010-1200 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 20-24 ACT

2. The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

At the University of Texas at Austin, you will find a lively music scene. It is a big part of life at UT-Austin. You can join pedestrian-only parties on Sixth Street and enjoy the annual Round Up festival. 

If you are musically inclined, you can perform at open mic nights or cheer on the football team at games. Also, there is plenty of fraternity and sorority activities to get involved in. 

With nearly 50,000 students, UT-Austin offers a fast-paced urban lifestyle on campus with easy access to outdoor fun.

  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Acceptance rate: 39%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1230-1490 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 29-34 ACT

3. University of Georgia

University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

At the University of Georgia in Athens, you will find lots of excitement. Especially during football season when they go head-to-head with the University of Florida. Tailgating parties are a big deal here! 

One of the highlights is the Pajama Jam. It is a charity bash hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha to support the March of Dimes. Even if you are not into sports or Greek life, downtown Athens offers a lovely party environment with live music every single night.

  • Location: Athens, GA
  • Acceptance rate: 36%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1360 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 26-31 ACT

4. University of Dayton

University of Dayton
University of Dayton

At the University of Dayton, there is a wide range of academic programs to choose from. It includes over 80 undergraduate programs and more than 100 minors. If you are looking to continue your studies, they also offer about 50 graduate degrees. 

Outside of your classes, there is plenty to do! You can cheer on your favorite teams at sporting events, join in on house parties, and enjoy comedy nights. You can also participate in various activities organized by student groups. 

One of the biggest celebrations is on St. Patrick’s Day, but there is also an annual Celebration of the Arts where you can explore Dayton’s vibrant cultural scene.

  • Location: Dayton, OH
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1300 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-30 ACT

5. Miami University Ohio

At Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, you have plenty of academic options. It includes an honors program and chances to study abroad. The campus is buzzing with over 23 active fraternity chapters. 

The university has a strong focus on varsity sports like football and basketball. One of the coolest traditions is Green Beer Day. It has been a tradition since 1952 where you can enjoy a green-dyed beer with friends.

  • Location: Oxford, OH
  • Acceptance rate: 73%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1310 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-30 ACT

6. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts a whopping 37,000 students. It offers a vast selection of over 9,000 courses. It strikes a perfect balance between academic studies and nightlife.  You can catch a movie at the Lakeside Cinema. 

You can also groove to live music at the Memorial Union Terrace or cheer on the Badgers at the hall during games. There is also a lively fraternity and sorority scene, along with annual events like the Mifflin Street Block Party and Brat Fest for you to enjoy.

  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Acceptance rate: 51%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1270-1470 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 31-34 ACT

7. University of California, Santa Barbara

University of California, Santa Barbara has a coastal location and pleasant weather all year round. This makes it a popular choice for many college students. The school is progressive. It has a Community Relations Committee to maintain good relations with residents. 

They also have a Life of the Party organization. It promotes safe partying habits. Since there is no football team. You can expect a laid-back West Coast vibe with activities ranging from house parties to dodgeball tournaments.

  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Acceptance rate: 23%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1330-1530 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 32-35 ACT

8. The University of Alabama

At the University of Alabama, when you start, you will dive into Weeks of Welcome. It gives you a lively introduction to Tuscaloosa life. The university offers a vibrant football scene. 

The university has tailgating parties and pre-game rituals. About a third of students join a fraternity or sorority. Also, if you want to start your club or organize an event, the SOURCE (the Division of Student Life) is there to help you out.

  • Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1290 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 22-27 ACT

9. Pennsylvania State University

At Pennsylvania State University, you have tons of options with over 275 majors and 20 colleges. It is not just about partying. Pennsylvania State University is also known for its top-notch research. The University Park campus is the biggest one. 

The campus hosts around 40,000 undergraduates each year. You will find plenty to do, from frat parties to tailgating events and live music. And when you need a break from the books, you can hit up the local places for pub trivia nights!

  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Acceptance rate: 73%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1320 SAT

10. University of Iowa

At the University of Iowa, you will find a famous Creative Writing program alongside its reputation as one of the top party schools in the country. The campus is buzzing with Big Ten sports teams and lively tailgating events at Kinnick Field. 

Throughout the year, there are tons of fun activities like carnival games, bounce houses, and even free food and music. You can also explore the downtown pedestrian mall and join the annual Taste of Iowa City food festival for a taste of local cuisine!

  • Location: Iowa City, IA
  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1130-1300 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 23-27 ACT

11. Endicott College

Endicott College is situated in Beverly, MA. It is very close to Boston, less than an hour’s drive. Despite its small size compared to other schools, Endicott is buzzing with parties. It has a scenic seaside campus and three private beaches. 

The college focuses on experiential learning. It means you will get hands-on experience through three internships during your degree. Popular majors here include Business, Marketing, and Nursing.

  • Location: Beverly, MA
  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1130-1280 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 26-30 ACT

12. Syracuse University

At Syracuse University, basketball is the star. During March Madness, the parties are legendary! You will have a blast at events like Juice Jam, an outdoor concert, and Mayfest, a spring bash. Also, there are tons of fraternity and sorority parties happening all year round.

  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • Acceptance rate: 26%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1270-1460 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 29-33 ACT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 24-28 ACT

13. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

At the University of Illinois, there is a lively nightlife scene in Champaign and Urbana. You can easily enjoy the nightlife here compared to some other colleges. 

The University of Illinois boasts nearly 100 fraternities and sororities, and a Big Ten football team. It also hosts an annual fair called Quad Day. It is no wonder it is considered one of the top party schools! Also, you can join Illini Pride and support athletes at both home and far away games.

  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Acceptance rate: 62%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1310-1490 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 31-34 ACT

14. Florida State University

Florida State University
Florida State University

Florida State University is famous for its tailgating parties, such as the Garnet & Gold Tailgate. It is organized by the Division of Student Affairs. 

With over 50 fraternities and sororities and a great location in Tallahassee, you can find something fun to do every night of the week. 

Also, FSU is a well-respected research university. So, you can enjoy an active social life without compromising on your academic studies.

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Acceptance rate: 44%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1160-1340 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 24-29 ACT

15. Tulane University

Tulane University is a private school in New Orleans. It hosts fun events like Crawfest and Mardi Gras every year. 

With many students involved in Greek life, there is always a party to attend. However, classes are challenging. Many students pursue multiple majors. So, you will still need to hit the books.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Acceptance rate: 12%
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1500 SAT
  • Middle 50% ACT: 31-35 ACT

Can Party Schools Provide Good Education?

You can get a great education at a party school. Not everyone at those colleges is into partying. Even if it is a top-party school, many students don’t party. 

If you are not into partying, you will likely find others who feel the same way in your dorm or through campus groups. 

Especially at big public schools, there are tons of students. So, you will meet people who are not big on partying.

How To Get a Good Education at a Party School?

When you are in college, you will find parties and temptations everywhere. At party schools, there are even more parties and more students who like to party. But that does not mean you can’t have a good balance between fun and studies.

  1. Manage your time well. Set up a routine that includes study time, leisure time, and other activities. This will help you stay on track with your academics while still having fun.
  2. You need to remember why you are in college. You are there to get an education and prepare for your future. Don’t let parties take over your priorities and waste the investment you are making in your education.
  3. Choose your classes wisely. Pick the ones that interest you and align with your major. Don’t let your partying preferences influence your class schedule.
  4. You need to maintain balance. College is about juggling responsibilities, including parties. Make sure to enjoy yourself, but don’t let partying interfere with your other commitments. It is all about finding the right balance between work and play.

College is a time to make memories and build friendships. While parties can be fun, make sure they enhance your experience rather than detract from it.

How To Know If You Can Attend A Party School?

Party schools might not suit everyone. Balancing academics with social life can be tough. If you are more introverted, campus life might feel overwhelming, especially if you are in a demanding program like pre-med. If you join a fraternity or sorority, it could eat into your study time.

However, if you are keen to make the most of college and can stay focused on your studies, a party school could be a great fit. It is a chance to boost your social skills, form new connections, and mingle with people from all walks of life.

Just remember that you need to set boundaries. Keep an eye on your spending, and make sure the party scene does not interfere with your well-being and academics.

Advantages of Attending A Party School

Attending a party school comes with its perks beyond just the parties. You get to enjoy a vibrant social scene and build strong bonds with other students. Here are some other advantages:

  1. Party schools usually have lively athletics programs and spirited game day traditions like tailgating.
  2. These schools are often located in bustling areas. So, you will meet plenty of people connected to the college. This makes you feel less alone.
  3. If you are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, party schools offer more options compared to others.
  4. While you still need to attend classes, you might find yourself with more free time since studying might not be as demanding as at other schools.

Disadvantages of Attending A Party School

Going to a party school might take you away from focusing on your studies. This can affect your grades and future job opportunities. While socializing is a key part of college life, partying can take a toll on your health and your finances.

At party schools, there is often pressure to drink alcohol and socialize. However, not all students go along with this culture. If you live on campus at a party school, it might be tough to get enough sleep, especially if you are in a fraternity or sorority. Also, party schools tend to have high rates of substance use.

Ultimately, how much you party is your decision. If you feel that a party school could be too distracting for you, it might not be the right fit. Many other colleges offer a lively social scene where you can still enjoy occasional parties without feeling guilty.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often do most college students party?

If you chose a party school, you probably hit the party scene about twice a week. Public and social services students were the top party animals.

2. What day are most college parties?

Parties usually start after 10 p.m., no matter which day it is. Thursday nights are especially famous for starting the weekend. 

3. How do you look good at a school party?

Make sure you wear clothes that fit well and are not too tight. So, you don’t have to adjust them all night. Choose outfits that balance out your style and make you feel confident. Avoid picking anything with stains or tears in the fabric.


Parties are a big part of college life, no matter where you go. Even if you are not at a big party school, you can still have a great time. But you have to be careful not to let the parties take over your life.

The thing is, whether you are at the top party schools in the U.S. or not, partying too hard can mess things up for you. It can affect your grades, get you in trouble with the law, or even hurt your health.

So, it is really up to you to make smart choices. If you manage your time well and focus on your studies, you can still have a great college experience without letting the parties get out of control.

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