ALBANY, N.Y. – The State University of New York at Albany (search) returned to No. 1 on the list of party schools, while Brigham Young University (search) kept its title as top "stone-cold sober" school in an annual survey of American college life.
The Princeton Review's (search) report ranked Albany seventh in the use of hard liquor and marijuana, ninth in beer drinking and first in "students (almost) never study."
The annual "Best 357 Colleges" survey, conducted since 1992, is based on responses from more than 110,000 students at campuses around the country. The review has no affiliation with Princeton University.
It is the ninth time the University at Albany — a state-run school with an undergraduate enrollment of 12,000 students — has been on the party school list. It was No. 1 in 1998 and No. 14 last year. The University of Colorado at Boulder ranked No. 1 last year.
University officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
"It's pretty crazy," said Matt Kazimir, 21, a recent Albany graduate from Danbury, Conn. "There's always a party."
Still, some students say Albany's ranking isn't deserved.
"I wouldn't agree it's No. 1," said junior Brian Fessler, 20. "There are certainly a lot of opportunities to party, but it's also a great institution with some top programs. There are great academic opportunities, as well."
Brigham Young was ranked the top "stone-cold sober" school, the survey found. Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the toughest to get into. The happiest students overall were at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
Students most likely to vote for President Bush are in the Republican's home state at Texas A&M University; those most likely to vote for Democratic challenger John Kerry attend Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C.
The "party school" category is based on questions focusing on the amount of alcohol and drug consumption, the amount of time students spend studying, and the popularity of fraternities and sororities.
The American Medical Association (search) has criticized party school listings, saying they legitimize high-risk drinking and portray alcohol as an essential part of student life.
Robert Franek, lead author for the survey, disagrees and says the survey accurately reflects college life — for better or worse — and can be a vehicle for change.
"I think we do a great service for college-bound students, being in a very unique position to get onto the 357 best college campuses and ask students tough questions," Franek said.
Other top 10 party schools were Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; West Virginia University, Morgantown; Ohio University, Athens; Florida State University, Tallahassee; University of Texas-Austin; University of Georgia, Athens; University of Colorado; University of Mississippi.