Higher education is certainly an opportunity to study and learn, but college can also be the most fun four years in someone’s life. There’s good reason for this — college is a time of seemingly endless parties, a constant supply of alcohol, and cherished sports teams to cheer on with fellow students.
In order to find the most fun colleges in the country, we looked at 12 categories from The Princeton Review’s 2015 college rankings, combining the rankings to determine the most overall fun schools in the country.
Many of the schools that made our list share common traits. The typical “fun” school, based on our results, is a large public university with a strong Greek life and competitive athletics.
This is not to say that these colleges are all play and no work. Many of these schools were nationally ranked for their academics as well.
Clemson University was our number one most fun college, but only appeared on five of the 12 Princeton Review lists we considered. However, while not the number one school in any category, Clemson placed in the top three on every list it was included on, including Students Love These Colleges, Happiest Students, and Students Pack The Stadiums.
Miami houses the founding chapters of several now-national fraternities and still maintains a large and active Greek life.
One of Princeton Review's top Party Schools, Miami students always have somewhere to party, either at a frat house or a local bar.
The Princeton Review's top Jock School, Auburn Tiger football games are packed with students shouting 'War Eagle' -- the school's battle cry -- especially during the annual Iron Bowl against rival the University of Alabama.
The most recent matchup between the two SEC powerhouses was named 'Game of the Year' by ESPN following an unbelievable last minute upset by Auburn.
A small school with a large Greek scene, more than half of Bucknell's students are in a fraternity or sorority.
With not much else to do in the surrounding area, students' social lives are pretty much restricted to campus -- where there is always a lot of alcohol and someone throwing a party.
Lawrence has been hailed as one of the great college towns, with the city's bars supplementing KU's Greek and unaffiliated communities.
KU's co-eds gained some notoriety last year for a Twitter account featuring revealing pictures of Kansas fans' cleavage, yet another way students support the Jayhawks.
Almost half of Lehigh undergraduates are part of a fraternity or sorority, and the Greek scene definitely sets the social tone for the campus.
The school takes part in one of the most revered traditions in college sports -- 'The Rivalry' -- an annual football game against nearby Lafayette College that will see its 150th game this year.
There's a lot of alcohol at the University of Wisconsin -- both beer and hard liquor -- and students take advantage of a small, but active Greek scene, as well as other social opportunities in Madison.
The school has historically participated in two massive annual parties -- the State Street Halloween Party in October and Mifflin Street Block Party at the end of the academic year.
A large Greek scene sets the tone for social life at SMU for most students, with fraternities often renting out spaces around the city for 18+ parties.
As students get older, they will often start exploring off campus bars and nightlife, both around SMU and the greater Dallas area.
With one of the largest Greek systems in the country, UF's social scene is dominated by fraternities and sororities, as well as an intense love for Gators athletics.
When students want to party off-campus, they head to Midtown -- a bar-laden area of Gainesville within walking distance of UF.
Santa Barbara, California
UC Santa Barbara has something very special that sets it apart from most other colleges: its own beach.
Whether surfing, sun bathing, or just drinking on the beach, the waterfront only adds to UCSB's social scene -- especially the house parties on ocean-bordering Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista, where students predominate.
Urbana, Illinois and Champaign, Illinois
Greek life may be the main social outlet on campus, but everyone at U of I comes out for 'Unofficial,' a pre-Saint Patrick's Day celebration created because students were always on spring break during the Irish themed holiday.
During the rest of the year, students take advantage of the 19-years-old entry age of the bars, although you still have to be 21 to be served.
Home to the happiest students in the country, according to The Princeton Review, Vanderbilt has a dominant Greek scene and large tailgates for football games.
All students celebrate the end of the academic year at Rites of Spring, a schoolwide concert held towards the end of the Spring semester.
Morgantown, West Virginia
A perennial favourite for the top spot on any party school ranking, WVU ranked in the top ten for the Princeton Review's lists of Students Study the Least and Party Schools.
The school year kicks off with 'FallFest' a massive concert/party on the first week of classes that welcomes students back to campus.
Athletics make up a big part of campus life at FSU, with students flocking to support the Seminoles football team and the Marching Chiefs marching band.
Florida has good weather year round, but when it gets too hot -- or just hot enough -- students cool off with pool parties.
KSU ranked highly in great quality of life, due in large part to the plethora of sports, both intramural and their Wildcat athletic teams.
Students head off campus to take advantage of 'Aggieville' -- a throwback to KSU's original mascot -- which is an area of Manhattan packed with college bars.
Virgina Tech must be doing something right with their combination of an active social scene and well-loved athletics, as The Princeton Review named it one of the top schools for Their Students Love These Colleges.
Students come out in droves to support the Hokies, and Greeks can always be found tailgating on game days.
Iowa City, Iowa
Last year's Princeton Review Top Party School, the University of Iowa also had the honour of again being the number one school for Lots of Hard Liquor.
Although the school is secluded, students make their own fun with an active Greek community, raucous tailgates whenever the Hawkeyes play, and lots of alcohol -- both beer and the stronger stuff.
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse students go crazy for their sports teams -- the Orange -- often pushing the capacity on the Carrier Dome, both the largest on-campus domed stadium and basketball arena in the country.
Greek life sets the tone for the school's social life -- propelling Cuse to the top of this year's Party Schools ranking -- and the school year is topped off with Mayfest, a day-long party and concert.
State College, Pennsylvania
Penn State, last year's number one school on our list, always packed house parties and a thriving bar scene during the year, but the school really heats up on game days, when students come out to support their beloved Nittany Lions.
Although drinking traditions like State Patty's Day -- a student-driven alternative to Saint Patrick's Day -- have come under attack recently, it doesn't change the fact that Penn State still has an awesome mix of sports, Greek life, and a great overall social scene.
Clemson, South Carolina
When the Clemson Tigers football team enters Memorial Stadium, a cannon booms and the players run down 'The Hill' onto the field, past screaming fans shouting along to the Tiger Rag fight song. It's been called the 'The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football.'
Clemson students love their teams and their school, packing the stadium -- popularly known as Death Valley. Sports aren't just for the school's varsity athletes, though, as Clemson also took the second spot in The Princeton Review's lists of Jock Schools, Students Pack the Stadiums, and Everyone Plays Intramural Sports.
Perhaps most revealing about Clemson's overall level of fun are two other categories the school took second and third place in, respectively -- Their Students Love These Colleges and Happiest Students.
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