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The Billy Penn party school power ranking: Which area college has the most bars and booze arrests?

Every year, established and totally well-regarded institutions like Playboy and the Princeton Review release party school rankings that tell us which schools across the country are boozin’ the most on the weekends and in between classes. Some of the colleges have a reputation for being a place where the Natty Light runs free, and others are known for being in a city and having an awesome bar scene.

And while we’re sure these rankings are based in completely sound methodology, Billy Penn wanted to rank the schools ourselves based on a point system that we created. First, we picked 20 schools that people who live in Philly are likely to go to/ have gone to, so that means Philadelphia area schools and some of the biggest schools in the state. (Inevitably that means we left some schools out; hit us up at tips@billypenn.com or tweet @billy_penn with suggestions; we’re happy to think up ways to include your school…)

Each school was given points based on a variety of factors:

  • 1 point for every percent of the student body that’s Greek (because frat parties). Those percentages are based on information provided by the College Board.
  • 1 point for every percent of the student body that was cited by campus police for a drug or alcohol violation last year. That information was gathered based on each school’s annual crime report and only reflects arrests made and citations issued that were recorded by the school.
  • 1 point for every beer distributor within a mile of campus, as determined by Yelp.
  • 3 points for having a nationally-recognized annual party
  • 3 points for being recognized before on a national scale for party school status
  • The following points for bar scene: 1-20 bars got 1 point, 21 to 50 bars got 3 points, 50+ bars got five points. We figured out the bar situation based on Yelp.

Disclaimer: We at Billy Penn absolutely do not endorse getting cited or arrested for alcohol and drug violations. But citations are a good way to determine who’s partying most.

And without further ado, here’s Billy Penn‘s inaugural party school power ranking:

20. Lincoln University

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Congrats to Lincoln which is the worst party school in the area and might be better off because of it. There’s a very small Greek population on this campus outside Philly, not very many bars in walking distance and like no one got cited last year for alcohol or drug violations. But just maybe Lincoln students are better at hiding it…

  • Number of students: 1,820
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 2 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 64
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 8
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 2

19. Cabrini College

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This small, Catholic school is a liberal arts college located in Radnor that doesn’t officially recognize any fraternities or sororities and there’s basically nowhere in walking distance to grab a beer. Sigh.

  • Number of students: 2,203
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: No Greek life
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 238
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 4
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 1

18. Rowan University

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This New Jersey college has a small Greek population and not very many bars and beer distributors close to the campus. There were a pretty significant amount of drug and alcohol violations made by campus police last year, though. Maybe next time, Rowan.

  • Number of students: 14,778
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 5 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 435
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 12
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

17. Princeton University

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If anyone at this prestigious Ivy League ever parties, they do an *awesome* job of hiding it. There was a shockingly low number of students cited for alcohol and drug violations, and there is literally no Greek life. The university doesn’t officially recognize any fraternities or sororities, and freshmen who rush underground groups actually face suspension. There are these things called Eating Clubs that look like frats but it’s where people just… eat and sometimes live. HOWEVER, there are apparently these cool lawn parties in which the clubs bring in bands to perform outside.

  • Number of students: 8,088
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: No fraternities or sororities
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 77
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 45
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 1

16. Philadelphia University

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This small school in East Falls is a private school located in a cool, wooded area. There are basically no bars in the immediate vicinity, AKA walking distance, and its Greek population is negligible. There were a significant amount of alcohol and drug violations last year though, which usually means some serious drank is happening in the on-campus dorms. Woot.

  • Number of students: 3,757
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 1 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 289
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 5
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 4

15. Kutztown University

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Um, so this exists, and what it tells me is that KU students may like to smoke the pot. But in all seriousness, Kutztown has a party scene like any other state school might, but this college town doesn’t have a huge bar scene. Good thing they have weed to pass the time, I guess?

  • Number of students: 9,218
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 6 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 283
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 18
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

14. Swarthmore College

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Only 70 drug and alcohol violations in a whole year? Bravo, Swarthmore. This school in the Philadelphia ‘burbs has a relatively small Greek population and a small number of bars and beer distributors in the area. If students are boozin’ in the dorms, they’re doing an A+ job of hiding it.

  • Number of students: 1,542
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 9 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 70
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 14
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 2

13. La Salle University

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This North Philly school that’s apparently the safest in the region has basically no bars in the area. What gives? HOW DO PEOPLE DRINK BEER? Our astute intern Anthony Fleet, a current La Salle student, tells me that most people make the trek to Manayunk to drink on the weekends. Makes sense.

  • Number of students: 6,255
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 10 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 215
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 4
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 4

12. Temple University

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We were slightly surprised to see Temple fall as low on this list as it did, mostly because we’ve all seen this, um, interesting Twitter account that makes it seem like Temple students just get drunk and make out with each other at all hours of the day. And while the school goes nuts when the basketball team performs well, it lost points for a small Greek population and a very few good bars in the immediate vicinity of campus.

  • Number of students: 37,788
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 6 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 494
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 35
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 4

11. Drexel University

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Even though it’s geographically close to Penn, Drexel never had the same type of party reputation. There are obviously tons of bars in close vicinity to University City, but the school never garnered national attention and really doesn’t have a famous, massive, annual party like its Ivy League counterpart.

  • Number of students: 26,359
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 12 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 528
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 132
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

10. St. Joseph’s University

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St. Joseph’s University, located near Wynnefield, had far more liquor and drug violations over a three-year span than any other school in the Philadlephia area. The school lost points though for not having very many bars in walking distance of the area, but gets props for its evident dorm-room party scene.

  • Number of students: 8,974
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 14 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 862
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 15
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 1

9. Bloomsburg University

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Bloomsburg University is set in a college town where pretty much everything that goes down has to do with the school. Its 10,000 students party hard all year ’round, but the school is most famous for its annual Block Party. There are riot vehicles involved to control the massive crowds from across the state that descend on the small town for a weekend every spring that basically turns into a ratchet mess. 

  • Number of students: 9,998
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 10 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 190
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 28
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 7

8. West Chester University

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This state school isn’t small by any stretch of the imagination, it boasts a pretty good percentage of students involved in Greek life and apparently has a robust day drinking scene once the nice-ish weather rolls around. (And they’re not too far from everything Philly has to offer, if I do say so myself.)

  • Number of students: 16,086
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 14 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 498
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 61
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 4

7. University of Pittsburgh

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This school in Oakland had very few alcohol and drug violations reported last year which leads us to believe either A. They don’t party as much as other state schools, or B. They’re really much better at getting away with it. With it being smack in the heart of Pittsburgh, the school is surrounded by so. many. bars. They also lose their shit when Pittsburgh sportsball teams win.

  • Number of students: 28,617
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 10 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 123
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 205
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 15

6. Rutgers University

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Rutgers was ranked No. 5 on Business Insider‘s Work Hard, Party Hard List, and the thousands of students at this New Jersey school know how to do it up. There were nearly 1,000 alcohol and drug violations noted by campus police alone last year, and there are dozens of bars just a short walk or bus ride away from campus. Oh yeah, and enough beer distributors to keep even the thirstiest dudes (like that guy above) happy. Now that this school has entered the Big 10, the celebrations have blown up, and its tailgating scene will only get better from here.

  • Number of students: 48,378
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 10 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 993
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 175
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 10

5. University of Delaware

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Students at the University of Delaware say it’s the place to be once it starts getting warm out. Day drinking outside is commonplace here, according to the journalistic-ly sound BroBible.com, and the school sits in a college town that’s ripe with bars and solid drinking establishments.

  • Number of students: 21,870
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 18 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 1,228
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 48
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

4. University of Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia’s University City Ivy League has been recognized over and over again for its work hard, party hard scene. Playboy actually ranked the school the No. 1 party school in the country last year, and even though everyone was kinda like “wut,” we can see why the school gets some serious party attention. It has a legit Greek life scene, dozens of bars within walking distance of campus and a massive annual party called Spring Fling that earned this school extra points.

  • Number of students: 21,358
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 29 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 277
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 134
  • No. of beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

Here’s what Spring Fling looks like:

3. Villanova University

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Ya know, ‘Nova doesn’t get a whole lot of national street cred for its party scene, but especially in years when the basketball team is good, you can expect these students to be getting cray. Last year there were 900 drug and alcohol violations cited from campus police alone, and almost a third of students are Greek. Party on, ‘Nova.

  • Number of students: 10,735
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 30 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 901
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 30
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 1

Their Halloween parties are apparently so legit that they have their own promo videos:

2. Lehigh University

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Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA is basically a bro heaven that boasts a ridiculously large percentage of Greek students and a bunch of places to grab a beer right in the vicinity of campus. And though it’s not the most statistically vetted system, the Princeton Review ranked Lehigh the No. 6 party in the country last year based on surveys given to a bunch of college students. And every year when Lehigh preps to face its rival Lafayette on the gridiron, what’s called “Rivalry Week” on campus basically turns into a week-long binge-drinking extravaganza.

  • Number of students: 7,119
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 42 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 556
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 53
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 3

1. Penn State University

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Full disclosure: 2/5 of our full-time staff are Penn State graduates. But that doesn’t even matter because Penn State’s point count completely blew every other school out of the water. Penn State has a massive Greek system, dozens of places to get a beer that are close to campus and enough places to buy Natty Light to supply hundreds of people at daylong drinking fests. They’ve been recognized nationally for their party scene and everyone in Pennsylvania has heard of State Patty’s Day, the annual daylong drinking shitshow that takes place every year before spring break. Last year, the Princeton Review ranked Penn State the No. 7 party school in this great nation, and this college in the middle of nowhere gets an extra nod for being recognized for Arts Fest and its ballin’ tailgating scene.

  • Number of students: 47,040
  • Percent of students involved in Greek life: 19 percent
  • Alcohol/ drug violations in 2013: 1,568
  • Bars within a mile of campus: 74
  • Beer distributors within a mile of campus: 8

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