Posted 4/19/13 by Miles Young in Lifestyle

Party vs. Study- 5 Schools that Get the Best of Both Worlds

college party
college party

Where is the Best College Party?

It’s a common misconception that any university labeled a party school is automatically low on the education scale. While that might hold true from some of the colleges that frequently top the lists of the biggest party schools, some institutions have reputations for excellent academics as well. Don’t judge a book by its cover or a college by its wild reputation. Here are five schools that get the best of both worlds:

Wild on at Washington & Lee University

Washington & Lee University

Image via Flickr by J. Stephen Conn

Rankings: #14 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Many schools in Virginia are well-known for their academic excellence; many schools in Virginia are also well-known for their party-happy atmospheres. Stately Washington & Lee University, in picturesque Lexington, specializes in both. One advantage of attending this historic university is the widely understood importance of studying hard. Students spend upwards of 50 hours a week hitting the books, plus they take their extracurricular activities very seriously. You might think that leaves no room for play, but students go out several times a week and the weekends are always alive with parties. Just don’t count on getting any sleep.

Everything’s Bigger at the University of Texas

University of Texas

Image via Flickr by Frank Jaquier

Rankings: #46 in National Universities with top ten ranked scores in various Undergrad business programs

It’s no secret that Austin has a crazy nightlife, to say nothing of all the festivals and celebrations that take place there. Those fetes impact students at the University of Texas, especially when they correspond with game days. Between sports and location, UT has definitely earned its reputation as a huge party school. However, the professors take pleasure in keeping students grounded and ride them hard to do a good job. The workload is as packed as the parties, so have your priorities straight.

Party Hard at Penn State

Pennsylvania State University

Image via Flickr by caminti

Rankings: #46 in National Universities and #28 in Best Education Schools

Pennsylvania State University is a great school. Its students also party a lot. The campus as a whole loves to celebrate, whether it’s a football game, a holiday, or a Monday. During football season, students don’t get a lot of sleep and their all-nighters have more to do with kegs than study groups. It’s not only considered a top party school, but also a big jock school, which sometimes makes studying a lower priority.

Mix It Up at Ole Miss

University of Mississippi

Image via Flickr by Ken Lund

Rankings: #80 in Top Public Schools and #24 in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The University of Mississippi is a genteel, beautiful Southern institution, but those Southern belles and boys love to have a good time. This is another spot where sports are hugely important, but academics also take center stage. Students there enjoy top marks for quality of life, the newspaper is one of the best in the nation, and the kids who attend are happy, well-rounded, and able to balance fun with education. Check out GARD to learn the importance of achieving that balance when attending college.

Win Big at West Virginia University

West Virginia University

Image via Flickr by happy via

Rankings: #90 in Top Public Schools

WVU often makes it to the top spot on party school lists. They don’t call it “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” for nothing. Morgantown knows how to excel, but the comparably small, charming city also knows how to party. The students might party every night, but studying isn’t a low priority. While the university may take sports a little too seriously, especially when it comes to rival Marshall University, WVU is one of the top Southeastern colleges.

Party schools regularly give fantastic educations as well.

Question: Would you prefer a straight-laced school or a university that provides an excellent balance?

Miles Young

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Miles Young is a freelance writer with a passion for sports, music, and pop culture. When he's not working on his latest feature story, he's out walking his dog or catching up on Game of Thrones.