Ivy League institutions are best known for their next-to-impossible admissions process, lacrosse teams, alumni networks, and pretentiousness, but for some reason no one has ever given them the credit they deserve for the parties they throw. That ends today. Today, we shine the light on our nation’s brightest students who have successfully convinced their proud parents that they’re spending all their hours in the library, not at the bar or in urine-soaked basements like the rest of us.
We got our inspiration from Playboy‘s declaration that UPenn is the #1 Party School in the nation. I think we can all admit that’s a little crazy (they’re not even #1 on this list), but the fact of the matter is that the Ivy Leagues do deserve a party school ranking.
Apologies to all future politicians and CEOs whose pristine reputations we’ve put on blast, but you guys deserve at least some street credit.
#8: Yale | New Haven, CT
Number of undergraduate students: 5,379
Notable parties: Harvard vs. Yale (aka “The Game”), Spring Fling
What COED Says About Yale:
While there’s never been a more appropriate time to drop a very popular American Psycho line in a post, we’re going to take the high road here.
Yale does many things very well, they just don’t have the whole partying thing down very well. New Haven as a town isn’t very fond of Yalies, so there’s definitely a pull to stay on campus. There’s definitely been a positive change in that regard over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that things are where they should be yet. As one Yalie put it, “Most of what you do at Yale actually happens AT Yale.”
Greek life at Yale is (and this is putting it strongly) limited. Unless you’re in a secret society, a la The Skull and Bones.
#7: Harvard | Cambridge, MA
Number of undergraduate students: 10,564
Notable parties: Harvard vs. Yale aka “The Game,” Yardfest
What COED Says About Harvard:
Harvard students can hang out at stein clubs on Thursday and then head out to party at a Finals Club (those fraternities you saw in The Social Network) or The Queenshead Pub (a bar directly affiliated with Harvard), or Tommy Doyle’s over the weekends.
The campus really goes wild for big sports games (most notably Harvard v. Yale in pretty much everything), but if you look for house parties, you’re likely able to find them. Of course, if all else fails, you’re a short cab ride away from Boston proper where there are plenty of places to get hammered. The fact of the matter is that, while there’s a large drinking culture at Harvard, Harvard can’t be the “best” at everything in Boston… it’s just a little sad that they let the brainiacs at MIT go harder than them.
Bottom line is that besides the bars, Finals clubs and other social clubs really run the party scene at Harvard.
#6: Brown | Providence, RI
Number of undergraduate students: 6,455
Notable parties: SexPowerGod (suspended this year)
What COED Says About Brown:
Brown University is well-known among Americans as the most “forward-thinking Ivy” League school. It’s the home to SexPowerGod–the LGBT-friendly party that Bill O’Reilly once famously crashed and whose invite you see in the photo above (it’s not like COED would just gratuitously post photos of women hooking up)–and there are no core requirements in terms of class. As a result, you get a lot of people who are looking to experiment and have a good time. While their definition of “partying” might be a little bit weirder than what you’d expect to see at a place like USC or Duke, make no mistake about it–Brown gets down.
#5: Columbia | New York, NY
Number of undergraduate students: 7,814
Notable parties: Bachanal (possibly canceled this year), anything big that’s happening in NYC
What COED Says About Columbia:
You’d think that a university based in New York City would at least be in the lower (“crazier”) half of this Ivy League party school list, but the fact that it’s not is more of a testament to the other schools’ rowdiness, rather than Columbia’s constraint. Columbia is located in uptown Manhattan. Yes, it’s close to Harlem but if we’re being honest with ourselves Columbia pretty much has it’s own stake of land in Manhattan. There are bars specifically for Columbia students (RIP Havana Central), restaurants, etc.
If nothing’s going on around campus, it’s ridiculously easy to head downtown to someplace that’s popping off.
Yes, there are fraternities with a relatively active party scene but they’re limited by the types of buildings/apartments they live in. It’s kind of difficult to throw ragers in a brownstone. “Traditional college parties” are a hard thing to have in NYC.
#4: Cornell | Ithaca, NY
Number of undergraduate students: 14,393
Notable parties: Slope Fest
What COED Says About Cornell:
Despite Ithaca’s rural location and small size, it’s actually a better-than-average college town. In addition to the bars and fraternities, there a million other social scenes headed up by the different schools and student organizations.
<p style=”text-align: left;”?You have the greek scene that is at bars and their houses, you have architects and art students having private rages in some sketchy ass basement, you have the asians in the highlands doing god knows what (but if you’re not asian, you’re not invited… seriously), you have the alternative hipster kids at Level B, the hotel kids like to be classy and stick the restaurant scene. Then there are the sports kids having their own parties in their own houses.
The variety of opportunities is a very good thing, especially when you consider the number of bars that have closed recently and the crackdown on Greek Life.
Their end-of-the-year party, Slope Day, is epic. It doesn’t get much better than day drinking in upstate New York in the spring when you’ve got rowdy seniors celebrating their last days of college.
#3: UPenn | Philadelphia, PA
Number of undergraduate students: 10,319
Notable parties: Spring Fling
What COED Says About UPenn:
UPenn got serious props this year from Playboy when they wound up as the #1 Party School in America, a distinguished honor that used to be reserved for schools like Boulder, UT-Austin, ASU, etc. Not to take anything away from their victory this year, it’s just we think we speak for everyone when we say that we were a little bit surprised.
In UPenn’s defense, though, they are located in the heart of Philadelphia, one of the biggest and hardest drinking cities on the East Coast. There are plenty of bars and clubs to party at, in addition to professional and college teams to support.
#2 : Princeton University | Princeton, NJ
Number of undergraduate students: 5,173
Notable parties: Lawnparties
What COED Says About Princeton:
Princeton’s party scene is probably most notable for their social/eating clubs–their answer to Greek Life. Some of these clubs are coed but don’t for one second think that puts a hold on the partying–apparently it actually takes it up a notch. This drinking culture is further enhanced by the fact that these clubs answer to alumni, not the school administration. The Tiger Inn (pictured above) is probably the most notorious of these institutions.
The only downside of these eating clubs is that membership is reserved for juniors and seniors only (plus alumni). So if you’re not 21, most likely you’re hitting up The Street (Nassau Street) which has house parties, theme parties etc.
Finally, if you’re getting a little antsy, Princeton offers easy transportation to both Philadelphia and New York City.
#1: Dartmouth College | Hanover, NH
Number of undergraduate students: 4,276
Notable parties: Green Key, Winter Carnival
What COED Says About Dartmouth:
Hanover as a town is pretty sleepy, most businesses close around 10 P.M. but that hasn’t ever stopped Dartmouth from being a party school.
Located way up north in New Hampshire, wine and beers are sold in convenience stores (something students in PA are very jealous of) and liquor in state-owned stores. Bars and restaurant choices are limited (as in there are no bars), but if you’re visiting or looking to party more than likely you’ll be going to one of the fraternity houses which have a pretty lax door policy.
Unlike every other Ivy League school on this list, Greek Life is the be-all and end-all of social life on campus–the good news is that it’s absolutely nuts.
The lack of options does cause a little bit of cabin fever among students but that just makes for harder drinking and partying.
Hanover is 100% worth the trip if you’ve got a friend who goes there. After all, it’s the #1 Party School in the Ivy Leagues.