Colleges and universities are a place to study and learn, but they are also among the most well-resourced places for having fun. From large party schools to world class recreation centers to beautiful vistas and thriving college towns, here are the top 50 Most Fun Colleges in America. You will find a wide geographic spectrum, and while sports dominate a lot of the atmosphere in the high charged NCAA scene, there are also places for loves of nature and art and more. Parties range from Greek to geeks, but every place on this listed will be a good time to spend four years or a fun weekend.

The United States of America has the largest and most complex collegiate system in the world, with large research universities the size of a small city and tiny niche colleges the size of a neighbourhood. Each scale brings its own brand of fun, aided by its location and the growing investments being made for student success in the realm of holistic learning and quality of life. For many returning alumni or local fans, the fun of US college lifestyle is a cultural institution and an economic mainstay. The same places we depend on for research innovation, scholarship, and academic prowess happen to be among the most stable places for an inimitable type of fun for everyone.

Enjoy taking this tour through the most fun colleges in America!

Methdology

The selection process for this list of the 50 Most Fun Colleges in America was based on triangulated data from Niche, University Primetime, Lendedu, College Ranks, and Best College Reviews along the following criteria:

(1) Party factor (party atmosphere ratings from Niche.com and UniversityPrimetime.com)

(2) Outdoor factor (outdoor adventure ratings from Lend Edu)

(3) Town factor (college town rating from Best College Reviews)

(4) Rec factor (recreation center and facilities rating CollegeRanks.net).

Each rating is calculated on a 5-point Likert scale with a total Rave Meter assigned on a cumulative 20 point scale and each criteria is weighted from 1 to 4, along with their own respective ratings on the lists. With a strong party factor measurement and lots of attention to the surroundings, the selected schools are a blast from on to off campus. Find the best place for you to get a degree or go see a game!

 

1. University of Colorado Boulder

 

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Nestled in Boulder, Colorado is the University of Colorado-Boulder also commonly referred to as CU. A public, flagship, and space grant university, CU was founded in 1876. The mantra “Let Your Light Shine” applies to the nine colleges and 150 academic programs offered. Over 33,000 students attend CU. The sandstone used in the construction of campus buildings combined with the unique architectural work of Charles Klauder have earned CU recognition for campus beauty. Black, Gold and Silver are the school’s colors and Ralphie the Bison and Chip are the mascots for the Buffalos.  The University of Colorado Boulder competes in the NCAA Division 1 Pac 12 conference.

Known as one of the brainiest cities and a top destination for artists, Boulder has also been deemed one of America’s foodie destinations. All of this makes it an fantastic choice for the top spot as the Best College Town in America. Nearby trails to the Rockies, Boulder Creek, and Arapahoe National Forest lend naturally to backpacking, skiing, camping, snowboarding galore for students. On campus, Greek life and active engagement in campus clubs make CU a truly fun place to study and play.

University of Colorado at Boulder is ranked as the #40 party school on Niche.com and holds the #16 party school space on Universityprimetime.com. Boulder reigns supreme as the #1 spot on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. UC Boulder is the #8 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation on Lendedu. Ratings like these make this the most fun college in America!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 5
Town – 5
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 20

 

2. University of Texas

 

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Founded in 1881, the University of Texas is located in the heart of Austin, a few miles from the city center.  It draws an enrollment of 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students and employs 24,000 faculty and staff. UT is a major public research institution and the flagship of the University of Texas system and also a space grant institution. It competes athletically in the NCAA Division 1 Big 12 Conference and is spurred on by its mascot the Bevo the Longhorn. The University of Texas is the only university to have its own television network, the Longhorn Network.

Greek life appeals to many Longhorn students and more than 65 national chapters are active on campus, making it one of the nation’s largest Hellenic systems. UT’s location in the city of Austin lends a energetic environment for students to engage in. Austin has a passion for live music, eclectic eateries and shops. It is also a host for major music festivals which fuel a fun atmosphere. Students are drawn to nearby Sixth Street, the city’s entertainment haven. Sporting events are a pivotal part of UT culture with many legendary rivalries, making game days into incredible memories.

The University of Texas is ranked as the #6 party school on Niche.com. It is the #13 party school on Universityprimetime.com. It is the #5 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com and is ranked #30 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation on Lendedu. Plenty of Texas-sized fun to be had at UT!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4.75
Town – 5
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 19.75

 

3. University of Iowa

 

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The University of Iowa is a flagship, space-grant, public university on the banks of the Iowa River in Iowa City. Founded in 1847, it attracts a population of over 33,000 students and is the oldest university in the state. The University of Iowa competes in the NCAA Division 1 Big 10 Conference. The University of Iowa has Herky the Hawk as their black and gold hawkeye mascot. A well established book town, the University of Iowa operates the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a world famous literary convocation and also has the honor of developing the first Master of Fine Arts degree.

The University of Iowa’s has maintained a steady showing as a top party school. Students are drawn to Iowa City’s “ped mall” for nightlife. High participation in campus student organizations, theatre and literary functions provide well rounded options for student life. University of Iowa students enjoy some of the finest recreation and aquatic facilities, featuring a climbing wall, diving well, and inflatable races. Athletic events are a major part of university culture and Hawkeye pride is at its peak in the student sections.

The University of Iowa is ranked as the #7 party school on Niche.com. It is the #13 party school on Universityprimetime.com and has the #7 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. Iowa City holds the #9 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. From literary aficionados to party animals, University of Iowa is an assured good time!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4.5
Town – 5
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 19.5

 

4. University of Missouri

 

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The University of Missouri is a public, flagship, land-grant state university that was founded in 1839. Located in Columbia, it is the largest university in the state of Missouri with over 32,000 students and over 15,000 faculty and staff. NCAA Division 1 athletes compete in the Southeastern Conference.  Truman the Tiger is the mascot for the University of Missouri or ‘Mizzou’ as it is commonly referred to as. Signature colors of black and MU gold paint the town. The University of Missouri is the creator of the homecoming tradition, which is now celebrated at almost every college and university in the nation, and even many high schools.

Students at the University of Missouri enjoy an unparalleled recreation center, featuring innovative fitness classes and top-end equipment. The Mizzou Aquatic center provides some of the finest training and competition facilities in the nation to student athletes and also provides lots of water fun with waterfalls, a vortex and a lazy river. The University of Missouri has one of the country’s oldest and most expansive Greek systems, with active participation of over 70 chapters. An electric atmosphere is created on Mizzou game days, whether competing on the courts or field.

The University of Missouri is currently holding the #1 space for Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center from Collegerank.net. Mizzou is #29 on Bestcollegereviews.org’s Best College Town for the lifestyle Columbia provides. It is the #37 party school on Niche.com and the #45 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Everyone wants to have a homecoming to a place like Mizzou!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4.25
Town – 5
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 19.25

5. University of Wisconsin

 

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As Wisconsin’s oldest and largest public university, the University of Wisconsin is one of the highlights of Madison. A flagship land-grant and sea-grant university, UW was founded in 1848 and is one of America’s Public Ivy universities. With an enrollment of over 40,000 students and 21,000 faculty and staff, the University of Wisconsin is also noted as a Highest Research Activity institution. The school is organized into 20 different colleges. Bucky the Badger motivates student athletes in cardinal red and white. At the University of Wisconsin, there are 25 intercollegiate sports competing in the NCAA Division 1 Big Ten conference.

The University of Wisconsin provides a great social scene for students, whether tailgating at a big rivalry game or getting involved in one of the Greek student organizations. Badger students enjoy living in Madison, surrounded by lakes for fishing and boating and with access to trails and plenty of scenic beauty and charm. State Street draws students for its mix of nightlife, great dining options and trendy shops. As the only university in the nation with two daily student published newspapers, UW students are able to keep a good pulse on what is happening on and around campus.

The University of Wisconsin is ranked as the #10 party school on Niche.com. It is the #10 party school on Universityprimetime.com. The city of Madison is #3 on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. UW is smart but it is never boring!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4.5
Town – 5
Rec – 4.5
Rave Meter: 19

 

6. University of Arizona

 

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Chanting the motto “Bear Down, Arizona” is the University of Arizona. Created in 1885, the U of A is a public, flagship research institution. Located Northeast of the Tucson downtown city center, the University of Arizona campus maintains a distinct red brick facade on each of its buildings. With over 43,000 students enrolled, UA Red and Blue are visible around the city of Tucson and campus. 334 fields of study are offered to students. Wibur and Wilma Wildcat represent as the U of A’s Wildcat mascots at events, sporting activities and festivities on campus. The Cats are a Division 1 Pac-12 competitor.

Student life in Tuscon gives students ample options on campus and off. U of A has a solid recreation center with state of the art equipment, diverse league play and interesting class offerings. It also offers excursions for students who want to explore the National Parks and surrounding desert landscape through its Outdoor Adventure Program. On campus highlights are UA’s active Greek life, social outreach programs and plenty of niche student organizations keep students plugged into Wildcat culture.

The University of Arizona is ranked as the #57 party school on niche.com, the #20 party school on Universityprimetime.com, #19 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com, and is ranked #13 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation on Lendedu. Bearing down has never been so much fun!

Party – 4.75
Outdoor – 5
Town – 4
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 18.75

 

7. West Virginia University

 

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West Virginia University, or WVU, is located in Morgantown, WV. A public, flagship, land grant, and space grant university, WVU was founded in 1867. Housed on multiple campuses, West Virginia University enrolls over 29,000 students and has an academic and auxiliary staff of over 9,000. 191 degree programs are offered and span 15 different colleges. The school’s colors are Blue and Old Gold and The Mountaineer is the mascot. A NCAA Division 1 member of the Big 12, the University of West Virginia Mountaineers take their mountain pride to every event. “To Faith Virtue, and to Virtue Knowledge” is the WVU school motto.

Campus life for West Virginia University students provides ample activities. From Mountaineer Week to Greek Week to the “Up All Night” initiative, WVU maintains an active campus. The Mountain Adventure Program offered through the specific Outdoor Recreation Center is another way for students to get out face challenges and experience the beauty of the area as students camp, bike, whitewater raft and fish their way through. Morgantown is a great small college town with a friendly, neighbourly feel.

West Virginia University is ranked as the #4 party school on Niche.com and is the #9 party school on Universityprimetime.com. The city of Morgantown holds the #20 spot on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. Being a Mountaineer is a guaranteed blast!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 5
Rec – 4.5
Rave Meter: 18.5

8. Penn State University

 

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Established in 1855, the Pennsylvania State University lives by the mantra “Making Life Better.” A public, flagship, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant institution, the Pennsylvania State University is located in State College. It is one of the Public Ivy institutions. Commonly referred to as Penn State, over 99,000 of its students are affiliated with the twenty four campuses and online enrollment options. This high population makes Penn State one of the largest universities in the United States. Blue and White are the Penn State’s school colors and the Nittany Lion is its mascot. Penn State plays in NCAA Division 1’s Big Ten Conference.

“We are: Penn State!” Penn State students know how to have a great time, whether creating a White Out in support of the Nittany Lions in sports or engaging in student life. One of the big events of the year is the Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) which is an incredible non-stop philanthropic dance party lasting over 40 hours, all to raise money for cancer research. State College embraces Penn State culture and cheers along with students creating a welcoming neighborhood feel.

Penn State is ranked as the #13 party school on Niche.com.  It is the #3 party school on Universityprimetime.com. State College holds the #8 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. From campus to town, there is a party for your somewhere at Penn State!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4.25
Town – 5
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 18.25

9. Florida State University

 

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Florida State University is located in Tallahassee, Florida. Established in 1851, it carries the designation of a research university and is a sea-grant and space-grant university. It is located on the oldest site in Florida of continuing education. Enrolling over 40,000 students and maintaining over 14,000 academic and staff positions, FSU’s signature garnet and gold is well represented. The university’s mascot is the Seminole and is often seen during NCAA Division 1 events in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Strength, Skill and Character are the attributes the school takes its motto from. Florida State is home to the state’s only National Laboratory and is lauded for its breakthrough research. An active Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) program also is a highlight of FSU culture.

There is no denying, Florida State has a great social scene. It rides high on the lists for Top Party school, has a robust Greek system, and takes tradition seriously. 700 student organizations are available to students from the majorettes to quidditch club. Athletic events bring out Seminole school spirit. The highlight of football home games is when Chief Osceola the mascot rides into the stadium on his horse Renegade and plants a burning spear in the turf. Tallahassee is a great mid-size college town, with a steady array of festivals, entertainment attractions and a deep support of university athletics and campus events.

Florida State University is ranked as the #5 party school on Niche.com and carries the coveted #1 party school space on Universityprimetime.com. Tallahassee contends at #18 on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. FSU shows that partying in Florida last well beyond Miami Beach and Spring Break.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 5
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 18

10. The Ohio State University

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The Ohio State University is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university located along the Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio. It was established in 1870 with the mantra “Education for Citizenship.” With almost 60,000 students and over 25,000 faculty and staff is the third largest campus in the United States. Scarlet and Gray are the university colors and are worn with pride. The Buckeye, lead by Brutus the Buckeye, is the mascot of the school. The Ohio State University, or OSU, is a Division 1 member of the Big 10 Conference. With over 1,000 student organizations and 3 student government systems, OSU maintains high visibility and truly has something for everyone.

The Ohio State University likes to play hard whether in the Shoe on game day or as a student tackling the challenging rock climbing wall in the highly lauded recreation center, complete with its cliffs and caves. OSU’s recreation offerings also include a natatorium with a slide and bubbled seats. High Street runs through campus and is the entertainment and nightlife hub, providing a vein for students directly into the downtown of Columbus. The annual football matchup against rival Michigan is one of the most coveted tickets in the entire country with the Best Damn Band in the Land, OSU’s famed marching band, motivating the crowd.

The Ohio State University is ranked as the #28 party school on Niche.com, #4 party school on Universityprimetime.com, lands high on the Collegerank.com’s list as the #2 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center. Being a Buckeye is guaranteed fun!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 3.75
Town – 4
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 17.75

11. University of Michigan

 

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Located in Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan is a public, flagship, sea-grant, and space-grant university. Established in 1817, the University of Michigan enrolls over 44,000 students and has an academic faculty and staff of over 24,000. The University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university and has an extensive campus, encompassing over 500 major buildings. Its alumni base is one of the strongest in the world. A leading research institution, UMich also competes in the Division 1 Big Ten Conference. The Wolverine is the mascot of the University of Michigan and its school colors are maize and blue.

Student life at the University of Michigan offers over 1,400 different clubs and organizations for Wolverines to participate in. This gives students easy access into UMich’s social and special interest groups and a stronger connection to university culture. A highlight for students is Michigan and Ohio State’s annual football matchup, which is commonly deemed as one of the greatest rivalry games in college sports. Ann Arbor provides a great college town environment with a high student to resident ratio and a welcoming ambiance with trails, parks, restaurants, and strong industry.

The University of Michigan is listed as #25 party school on Niche.com and #18 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Ann Arbor leads the top of the chart as the #2 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation The 50 Best College Towns in America. The Wolverines know how to have a good time!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 3.5
Town – 5
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 17.5

 

12. Indiana University

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Indiana University, also known as IU, is a multi-campus and public university. Established in 1820, its Bloomington campus has over 48,000 students and is the largest university in Indiana. IU is one of America’s Public Ivy universities. A rich architectural palate is created with campus buildings spanning many styles and being maintained on the National Register of Historic Places. The cream and crimson clad Hoosiers mascot is emblematic for Indiana University. The Hoosiers represent themselves strongly in NCAA Division 1 Big Ten competitions and their signature red and white candy striped gear gives even more distinction. With more than 650 student organizations and 5,000 students involved in Greek life, participation in campus life paramount.

Hoosier nation likes to party. Competing high on Top Party school lists, Indiana’s robust Greek system and quirky traditions keep school spirit strong. The Little 500 or ‘Little Five’ is a bike race held each Spring term that brings out a fierce competition amongst the student body. With a philanthropic aim of raising money for scholarships, it also is a great service to the University.

High on the list as the #5 party school on Niche.com, Indiana University is also the #18 party school on Universityprimetime.com. The city of Bloomington holds the #36 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4.25
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 17.25

13. University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama is a public flagship university located in Tuscaloosa. It is a sea-grant and space-grant university and was established in 1820. A student population of over 27,000 makes it the largest public university in Alabama. UA, as it is commonly referred to as, was central location in significant historical events, spanning the American Civil War, to the Civil Rights Movement. Its motto “Roll Tide” and crimson and white school colors help foster an active student life. Competing in the NCAA Division 1 Southeastern Conference, the University of Alabama has one of the top 10 winningest football programs in US history.

“Yea Alabama, Crimson Tide!” The University of Alabama has an active association of Greek fraternities and sororities and a slew of campus organizations for students to participate in. From the Million Dollar Band, the university’s official marching band, to the Crimson White newspaper, University of Alabama seeks to engage students in campus life. Tuscaloosa provides the campus with one of the best sports bars in the nation, The Houndstooth Sports Bar, and a lively night scene, geared towards young people.

The University of Alabama is listed as the  #14 party school on Niche.com and is the #23 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Tuscaloosa is #48 on the Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. When the tide rolls, it is a fun time!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 17

14. University of Georgia

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Established in 1785, the University of Georgia is known as the beginning of the American public education system. Located in Athens, its entire North Campus is registered as a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of America’s Public Ivies and is a land-grant, sun-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. With over 36,000 students and 140 degree programs, the University of Georgia or UGA also boasts one of the most extensive university research libraries. Its school colors are red and black and they are represented as the Bulldogs or Lady Bulldogs with ‘Uga’ the English bulldog as their live mascot. The University of Georgia is a member of the NCAA Division 1 and a founding member of the Southeastern Conference.

Whether intramural or varsity, spectator or simply tailgater, athletics play a significant role in University of Georgia campus life. The Bulldogs love to celebrate in anticipation of a big match or after, which is one of the reasons they have a strong showing on Top Party school lists. The town of Athens provides a supportive network for students during their time at UGA and stellar opportunities after graduation.

The University Georgia is at the highpoint of the list as the #2 party school on Niche.com and #7 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Athens leads the top of the chart as the #39 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. Bulldogs know how to party!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4
Rec – 3.75
Rave Meter: 16.75

 

15. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Under the mantra Learning and Labor is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is a public, flagship, land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university founded in 1867. Located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, UIUC has the second largest university library system. It also maintains a supercomputer that is the fastest on any campus. With over 44,000 students and over 10,000 academic faculty and staff, UIUC has need for its 17 colleges and 150 academic programs. With the nickname the Fighting Illini and color scheme of Illinois blue and orange, UIUC is a founding member of the Big 10 where it is a NCAA Division 1 competitor.

Fighting Illini students can jump right into campus life at UIUC. With over 1000 Registered Student Organizations, there is an opportunity for everyone from Glee Club to cultural clubs. Athletic contests are another big draw for students and create an atmosphere where school spirit soars. Champaign and Urbana represent a midsize town with unbeatable arts and culture, festivals and intellectual offerings.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is listed as #11 party school on Niche.com and #50 party school on Universityprimetime.com. The Champaign and Urbana area leads the top of the chart as the #13 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 3
Town – 5
Rec – 3.5
Rave Meter: 16.5

 

16. Syracuse University

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Syracuse University is a private research university established in 1870. With the mantra “Knowledge Crowns Those Who Seek Her,” it is located in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse. Initially a small liberal arts college, it is now grown into a major comprehensive university.  Its unique and eclectic architectural variations make the campus stand out. Enrolling over 21,000 students and employing a faculty and staff of over 2,000, the university offers over 200 majors of study. Its nickname and school color are identical orange and Otto the Orange represents ‘Cuse, as it is commonly referred as. NCAA Division 1 athletics are played in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Getting involved in Syracuse student life is easy with a diverse student body and many campus organizations. Students can enjoy cheering on the Orangemen or Orangewomen at athletic contests, participating in the Greek System or attending Orange Central events. Syracuse as a city has the amenities and cultural offerings of a large city, but with an accessible and welcoming vibe for students. Be it a theatre, festival, eclectic eatery or shop, Syracuse knows how to have a good time.

Syracuse University is the #17 party school on Niche.com and the #11 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Syracuse makes the chart as the #30th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4.25
Rec – 3
Rave Meter: 16.25

 

17. Purdue University

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With the motto of “Education, Research, Service,” Purdue University in West Lafayette was established in 1869 along the Wabash River by Lafayette businessman John Purdue and is now the second largest university in Indiana. Purdue is a public, flagship, land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. With an enrollment of 40,000 students and boasting 200 majors and 900 student organizations, the Purdue Boilermakers, lead by Purdue Pete dominate. Purdue is a NCAA Division 1 Big Ten competitor and has the school colors of gold and black. The Purdue Boilermakers also boasts the fourth largest international enrollment anywhere in the United States.

Boilermakers enjoy ample opportunities for top notch recreation and a strong social life in the Lafayette area. An extensive Greek System and over 900 student organizations ensure that there is plenty of activity. Highlights include Spring Fest and the Purdue Grand Prix, an impressive go-kart race each Spring. Purdue athletic events are campus mainstays with tailgating an integral part of the festivities.

Purdue University is the #93 party school on Niche.com and the #57 party school on Universityprimetime.com. West Lafayette and its sister city Lafayette make the chart as the #33 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. Purdue is the #21 space for Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center.

Party – 4
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 16

 

18. Colorado State University

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Colorado State University was founded in 1870 and is a public flagship, land-grant university in highly lauded Fort Collins, Colorado. With over 32,000 students and 5,500 faculty and staff, Colorado State houses 8 colleges and 55 academic departments. Blazing green, gold, and white color the Colorado State Rams, represented by mascot Cam the Ram. A NCAA Division 1 Mountain West member, Colorado State’s location near the front range of the Rocky Mountain National Park and near many ski resorts and mountain trails provides an idyllic ambiance for student life. Colorado State University has 325 student organizations and 34 different honor societies.

Colorado State University’s location easily leads students to fantastic engagement with the natural world. The town of Fort Collins attracts the university population with its nucleus of microbreweries, quality restaurants and strong community feel. Colorado State University has a leading recreation center featuring even provides “Rec Cams” allowing students to gauge how busy the facilities are. It also features a battery of unique classes from ballet to outdoor awareness. There are extensive basketball and tennis courts, sand volleyball courts and an inline hockey rink to name a few of its many features.

Fort Collins holds #14 on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. Colorado State University is #5 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation on Lendedu and is the #4 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. Colorado State is mountains of fun!

Party – 3.75
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 15.75

 

19. University of Minnesota

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Rah! Rah! Rah! for Ski-U-Mah! The University of Minnesota is located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The two campuses are separated by three miles. A public, research flagship university that is land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant, the “U” was established in 1851. With over 48,000 students and organized into nineteen colleges and schools, the U of M is also one of America’s Public Ivy League institutions. Maroon and Gold are the school colors and Goldy the Gopher leads as the mascot of the Golden Gophers. The University of Minnesota is a NCAA Division 1 Big Ten competitor.

The University of Minnesota’s urban location allows students to experience a robust campus life and also engage in the Twin Cities’ thriving arts scene and downtown area. The University’s famed Fraternity Row is the central piece to the Greek System and always full of activity. Whether watching the Gophers battle it out on the ice at Mariucci Arena or taking in a concert at Northrup Auditorium, the University of Minnesota gives students a healthy balance of work, indoor and outdoor recreation and metro life.

The University of Minnesota has the #23 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. Minneapolis takes the #25th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also 52nd on the Universityprimetime.com’s list of party schools and 86th on Niche.com for partiers. Winter may be cold, but the “U” keeps the heat up on fun all year long!

Party – 3.75
Outdoor – 3.5
Town – 4.25
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 15.5   

 

20. University of California Berkeley

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The University of California Berkeley is a flagship, public research, land-grant university in Berkeley. Known as UC Berkeley, Cal or simply Berkeley, its establishment in 1868 makes it the oldest in the California university system. UC Berkeley offers 350 different degree programs and houses many world lauded research labs and institutes, including the famous Berkeley Lab. UC Berkeley played a significant role in the Free Speech Movement and student activism remains a pillar of institutional culture. Over 40,000 students study on its campus, touting their Berkeley Blue and California Gold. The nickname of the Golden Bears is championed by Oski the Bear. UC Berkeley is a member of NCAA Division 1 and the Pac-12 Conference.

Life at UC Berkeley brings together a high quality of living from the city of Berkeley, a lush and beautiful natural environment and active campus engagement options for students. The bay, the ocean, the mountains and the trails are all at the fingertips of UC Berkeley students. Join up one of the many student clubs devoted to outdoor activity such as the garden or hang gliding club,  and recreation at its best is yours.

University of California Berkeley is ranked as the #72 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Berkeley scores high as the #6 spot on Bestcollegereviews.org’s list of The 50 Best College Towns in America. UC Berkeley is also the #14 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation on Lendedu.

Party – 3
Outdoor – 3.25
Town – 5
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 15.25

 

21. University of Oregon

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The University of Oregon is a public, flagship, research university established in 1876. It is home to over 23,000 students. Perched along the Willamette River, is surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and is near the Pacific Ocean. The University of Oregon or U of O is designated as a High Research Activity institution and is structured into 5 colleges, maintains 7 professional schools and has a graduate school. It has over 80 buildings. The University of Oregon’s nickname is the Ducks and they are lead by The Oregon Duck. U of O competes in the NCAA Division 1 Pac 12 conference.

The University of Oregon hosts many popular events, catering to a wide spectrum of interests. The Oregon Bach Festival draws in music lovers internationally and is the only major music festival associated with an American university. The Ducks are lucky to be located in beautiful Eugene, which is lauded not only for is friendly and accessible vibe, but also for is raw natural resources. Students can choose between adventures on the mountains, along the river, in the desert or on the ocean. A true nature lovers treasure chest and perfect for students who want to mix up their outdoor experiences. The U of O is also known for it bike friendly campus.

The University of Oregon is #7 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation from Lendedu. Eugene is the #42 Best College Town in America on Bestcollegereviews.org. It ranks #51 on Niche.com as a party school.

Party – 3
Outdoor – 4
Town – 4
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 15

 

22. University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

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Established in 1919, the University of California Los Angeles, most commonly known as UCLA, is a public, research, land-grant university located in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. With over 44,000 students and 26,000 faculty and staff, UCLA Blue and Gold dominate the landscape. The UCLA goes by the nickname of the Bruins and are lead by their mascots and Joe Bruin and Josephine Bruin. UCLA is a NCAA Division 1 member of the Pac-12. UCLA receives one of the highest numbers of applications for incoming students of any university, showing the high number of students interested in becoming part of the UCLA family.

UCLA works hard to provide students with engagement in the arts, innovative activities and social and philanthropic opportunities. Whether it is participating in the Undie Run, JazzReggae Fest or getting involved in one of the many campus cultural groups, UCLA doesn’t lack variety. Taking full advantage of sunny California, UCLA students have fantastic options for outdoor sports provided through UCLA’s Marine Aquatic Center such as windsurfing, sailing and paddleboarding. It also boasts six state of the art indoor aquatic facilities for the full spectrum of student interest. UCLA’s major football rivalry with USC draws school spirit en masse.

UCLA is ranked as the #61 party school on niche.com and it is the #17 party school on Universityprimetime.com. UCLA has the #12 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. The Bruins know how to have a great time!

Party – 3.75
Outdoor – 3.25
Town – 3.75
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 14.75

 

23. Michigan State

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Michigan State University’s motto is Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives. With over 50,000 students and 12,000 faculty and staff, MSU is a public, land-grant, and sea-grant institution. Located in East Lansing along the banks of the Red Cedar River, it was established in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant universities. MSU was originally founded as an agricultural school, but now is recognized as a leading research institution, spanning all fields and interests. Sparty the Spartan is the energetic, official mascot of the green and white clad MSU Spartans. Michigan State maintains a place as a NCAA Division 1 Big Ten contender.

The Michigan State Spartans have a campus culture that encourages participation and school spirit. With a strong Greek influence, a long standing history of activism for social change and many philanthropic projects, there are always opportunities for students to engage. The annual football matchup with rival University of Michigan for the Paul Bunyan Trophy is highlight for the student body. The town of East Lansing provides cultural offerings and a supportive environment for the MSU community.

Michigan State is the #23 party school on Niche.com and is the #14 party school on Universityprimetime.com. East Lansing makes the chart as the #49th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. Come party with Sparty!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 3
Town – 4
Rec – 2.5
Rave Meter: 14.5

 

24. Auburn University

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Auburn University is a public, flagship, land-grant, space-grant and sea-grant university. Located in Auburn, Alabama the university was established in 1856 and serves over 28,000 students and employs over 8,000 faculty and staff. Originally chartered as an all-male school, serving as a training ground for the Confederate army in the Civil War, and segregated until 1963, Auburn now consists of a varied academic program represented at 13 schools and colleges. Its burnt orange and navy blue colors showcase their mascot, Aubie the Tiger, who is a mainstay at campus events. The Auburn Tigers are a NCAA Division 1 member of the Southeastern Conference.

Wanting to enjoy a few hours on Auburn’s campus? Head over to the award winning Recreation and Wellness Center and try to climb one of the two 50-ft towers or take on one of the innovative fitness classes. Participate in the Healthy Weight Challenge or take a cooking class. A favorite tradition of students and fans is the Tiger Walk, where crowds line the path and cheer on the football team as they enter the stadium for game day. Watch out as the War Eagle flies over crowds on game day and helps motivate the crowd as they sing their fight song of the same name.

Auburn University holds the #3 position for Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. It is also ranked #69 on Universityprimetime.com’s list of top party schools and #53 on Niche.com’s top party school ranking. War Eagle has a military tone, but its lifestyle is all about having a good time.

Party – 4
Outdoor – 3.25
Town – 2
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 14.25

 

25. University of North Dakota

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A public, flagship, and space-grant university, the University of North Dakota is located in agricultural lands of Grand Forks. Surrounded by the Red River, the University of North Dakota or UND is home to over 14,000 students and an academic and support staff of nearly 3,000. Established in 1883, the University of North Dakota has evolved from its liberal arts platform into a well regarded research university. After a controversial mascot name battle, the original nickname of the Fighting Sioux was switched to the Fighting Hawks. Green and white colors represent UND and they compete in NCAA Division 1’s Big Sky Conference.

“In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here” is the main stanza of a polka blasted from the boisterous student section at each UND hockey game. UND knows how to have fun. Hockey culture dominates student life at UND and its fan base is devoted. Also making the long North Dakota winter a bit easier for UND students is participation at the award winning Recreation Center, which features cosmic rock climbing and a cooking demonstration area. A fun tradition for UND is the Annual French Fry Feed, which serves the student population and the tightknit Grand Forks community over 5,000 pounds of potatoes in honor of the Potato Bowl game.

The University of North Dakota is #30 on Collegerank.net’s Most Luxurious Student Recreation Centers. It is also #41 on Bestcollegereviews.org’s Best College Town in America. Long cold winters only create more indoor fun at UND!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 2
Town – 4.5
Rec – 4.5
Rave Meter: 14

 

26. University of Wyoming

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The University of Wyoming is a public, flagship, land-grant university. The University of Wyoming was established in 1886 and has a student body of over 13,000 and an administrative and academic staff of over 2,800. Nestled in the Laramie Plains and near two mountain ranges, the University of Wyoming is in the town of Laramie. Consisting of seven colleges, UW pronounced as “U-Dub” offers 190 different programs. Its nickname is the Cowboys and Cowgirls and Cowboy Joe, which is a live horse and Pistol Pete, a costumed character, greet patrons at events in their signature Brown and Gold attire. The University of Wyoming competes in NCAA Division I’s Mountain West Conference.

Raw, natural wilderness is at the front door of the University of Wyoming’s campus. Student groups take full advantage of the outdoors with clubs for hunting, skiing and hiking and non-credit courses in fly fishing, mountaineering and outdoor awareness. The Outdoor Leadership Development Series provides training and mentoring to become an outdoor educator. During the unrelenting winter months, students can head over to the award winning student recreation center and participate in a full battery of aquatic activities.

University of Wyoming captures the #29 space for Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center from Collegerank.net. It is #3 on the Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation list from Lendedu. Cowboys and Cowgirls have a lot of great stuff to do University of Wyoming!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 5
Town – 2.75
Rec – 3
Rave Meter: 13.75

 

27. Virginia Tech

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is commonly known and referred to as Virginia Tech. It is a public, land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant research university.  Located in Blacksburg, it also has the designation as one of only 6 senior military colleges in the United States. Those in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets reside in cadet barracks on campus. Virginia Tech offers over 225 academic degree programs and carries the motto: “That I May Serve.” Their nickname is the Hokies and mascot is the HokieBird, a turkey like bird dressed in the school colors of maroon and burnt orange. They compete in the NCAA Division 1 Southeastern Conference.

“Hokie Hokie Hokie Hy, Tech Tech V.P.I!” Whether on the intramural fields or at the big Virginia Tech Virginia rival game, Hokie school pride is apparent. A strong social scene is fostered at Virginia Tech through its Greek System and healthy residential life system, which mandates that all freshmen live on campus. Nestled between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains is Blacksburg, oozing with charm and a firm supporter of university life.

Virginia Tech is the #76 party school on Niche.com and the #6 party school on  Universityprimetime.com. The town of Blacksburg makes the chart as the #15th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. V Tech can have fun with the best in the country!

Party – 3.5
Outdoor – 2.5
Town – 5
Rec – 2.5
Rave Meter: 13.5

 

28. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was chartered in 1789 and began enrollment in 1795, giving it the claim as one of the oldest public universities in the United States. Over 29,000 students and 11,000 faculty and staff are part of the University of North Carolina or UNC family. Over 70 academic programs are offered in 14 colleges. A liberal arts foundation is first established for all undergraduates and then students are able to pursue a major in their junior year in one of the professional programs. Carolina blue and white are the colors of UNC who are represented by the Tar Heels. Their mascot Rameses is a hallmark at NCAA Division 1 Atlantic Coast Conference competitions.

UNC Chapel Hill is the location for some amazing basketball. UNC is a perennial powerhouse and Tar Heels basketball is a major part of campus life. The catch phrase of getting things done “The Carolina Way” is applicable to life in the gym or classroom. Highly anticipated is the UNC vs. Duke rivalry where Franklin Street, the school’s entertainment and social corridor is often overwhelmed with fans. Chapel Hill is a lauded college town and embraces Tar Heel life wholeheartedly.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the #52 party school on Niche.com and the #30 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Chapel Hill is at the beginning of the pack as the #7 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America.

Party – 3.25
Outdoor – 2
Town – 5
Rec – 3
Rave Meter: 13.25

 

29. Texas A&M University

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Texas A&M University is a state university located in College Station. It is the only university in Texas to be deemed a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution. Established in 1876, it hosts over 60,000 students and staffs over 4,900. Its main campus is one of the largest in the United States. It is also home to a Senior Military college, one of only 6 public institutions to offer this training. A&M also has an endowment in the top tier of the nation. Its nickname is the Aggies and its mascot is Reveille IX. Maroon and white are the school colors and the Aggies play in NCAA Division 1’s Southeastern Conference.

With over 1,000 campus organizations, a robust Greek System and its unique Corp of Cadets community, Texas A&M gives an impressive array of options for students. Maybe it is participation in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, the world’s largest precision military marching band. One campus institution is the 12th Man, complete with Midnight Yell Practice and being ready to “mug down” and kiss your date when A&M scores.

Texas A&M University takes the #21st position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also 34rd on the Universityprimetime.com’s list for top party schools and #66 on Niche.com’s top party schools. Make sure that while you party with the Aggies, be sure to greet them saying “Howdy Y’all!”

Party – 4
Outdoor – 2
Town – 4
Rec – 3
Rave Meter: 13

 

30. Montana State University

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“Mountains & Minds” is the mantra of of Montana State University. A public, land-grant university, Montana State or MSU was established in 1893. Located in beautiful Bozeman, surrounded by raw natural beauty, MSU serves over 15,000 students and nearly 3,000 faculty and administrative staff. It is the state’s largest university and the main campus of the Montana State University system. Known as “The University of Yellowstone” for its in-depth study of the region, Montana State University takes full advantage of its unique location. MSU’s blue and gold colors are worn with pride by Champ, the mascot of the Bobcats. They compete in the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference.  

Montana State University’s culture and mountainous location lend to providing some unique student opportunities. In addition to Greek life, student clubs and organizations and cultural offerings in friendly Bozeman, MSU students can participate or cheer at the Bobcat Rodeo events. Known for its Outdoor Recreation Center with a fully stocked equipment rental supply, MSU students also can gain skills in logger sports, join a backpacking adventure club or simply have an epic camping experience in their university’s backyard.

Montana State University holds the top bill as the #1 Best College for Outdoor Sports and Recreation from Lendedu and Bozeman is the #46 Best College Town in America on Bestcollegereviews.org. There is nowhere better to experience the raw beauty of nature to compliment your books!

Party – 2
Outdoor – 2.75
Town – 3
Rec – 5
Rave Meter: 12.75

 

31. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University is a public research university established in 1885. Located in Tempe, Arizona State or ASU is one of the largest public universities in the United States with over 72,000 enrolled. Working on the “New American University” model developed by current president Michael Crow, ASU seeks to be innovative and inclusive, operating as a top research institution while also incorporating new ideas about the role of the university. ASU is represented as the Sun Devils with maroon and gold as their colors. Sparky the Sun Devil cheers as students compete in NCAA Division 1 Pac-12 contests.

Arizona State University holds its traditions close. One of the most loved is the Lantern Walk where students walk up “A” mountain to light up Tempe. Fireworks follow. Another is the Victory Bell which is rung after by the ROTC members after game wins. The Sun Devil Marching Band, known as the ‘Pride of the Southwest’ lends school spirit to games and campus events. The Sun Devil Involvement Center provides opportunities for student engagement in extracurricular clubs, student organizations and leadership positions.

Arizona State University is the #55 party school on Niche.com and the #12 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Tempe makes the list as the #45th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. The Sun Devils have fun from sunlight to daybreak!

Party – 4.5
Outdoor – 2.5
Town – 3.5
Rec – 2
Rave Meter: 12.5

 

32. Illinois State University

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Originally founded as a teachers college in 1857, Illinois State University is known as “Illinois’ first public university.” Located in Normal, Illinois, and extending into its twin city of Bloomington, Illinois State or ISU is one of the leading producers of teachers in the United States and places a high value on its teacher education programs. Its official motto is “Gladly We Learn and Teach.” Over 21,000 students are enrolled at ISU. The school nickname is the Redbird, a reference to Illinois’ state bird, the cardinal, and Reggie the Redbird cheers on students at campus events. Illinois State University competes in NCAA Division 1 Missouri Valley Conference.

Illinois State University’s Student Fitness Center is a hub of activity for the campus. It is no wonder why as it is filled with state of the art equipment and plenty of fitness classes to fit a wide array of workout goals. Join in the Adventure program and tackle team building challenges, climbing activities or go on one of the university organized adventure excursions. When your done, enjoy life in Bloomington, where a mixed variety of shops, cultural events and nightlife keep ISU students living there even when their time at the university is over.

Illinois State University has the #6 Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center on Collegerank.com. Normal and its sister city Bloomington take the #38th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also 77th on the Universityprimetime.com’s list of top party schools. Recreation is in no short supply at Illinois State!

Party – 2.25
Outdoor – 2.25
Town – 3
Rec – 4.75
Rave Meter: 12.25

 

33. University of Pennsylvania

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The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League institution and research university. Located in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania or Penn, as it is commonly referred to, was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740 and is one of the nine original colonial colleges. It was one of the first colleges to promote a multidisciplinary course of study. Enrolling over 24,000 students and with an administrative and faculty size of over 7,000, Penn also established the first school of business, the first school of medicine and the first ‘student union.’  Its school colors are red and blue and it goes by the nickname the Quakers. Athletes compete in the NCAA Division 1 Ivy League.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Pottruck Health and Fitness Center is actually 4 fitness centers for students to take advantage of. Offering a golf simulator, Olympic sized pool, co-ed sauna and weight room as a few of its features, there is also a juice bar for after workouts and full massage therapy available. The University of Pennsylvania also offers a robust Greek System, offering opportunities on the Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council.

The University of Pennsylvania is #33 on the list of the Most Luxurious Student Recreation Centers on Collegerank.com. It is also ranked #26 on Universityprimetime.com’s list of top party schools.

Party – 3.5
Outdoor – 2.5
Town – 2.5
Rec – 3.5
Rave Meter: 12

 

34. Hampshire College

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Hampshire College is located in Amherst and was begun in 1965 as a private, liberal arts college. It is home to 1400 undergraduates and employs an academic and administrative staff of over 200. Hampshire College’s motto is “To Know is Not Enough.” It is a member of the Five Colleges, a unique conglomerative of institutions that Hampshire was established with. Hampshire is an innovator in curriculum, research expectations, course of study. It is highly encouraging of project work, curiosity based learning and close mentoring from faculty. It is also known for its social activism and dedication to freedom of speech.

Hampshire’s location in Amherst reaps benefits for its students. It is a haven for artists, writers and an overall bookish town. Students are welcomed into this fold and a unique atmosphere is created. Fully embracing the region’s outdoor options, the school’s Outdoor Programs, Recreation, and Athletics (OPRA) program has an extensive equipment lending system. Epic trips on close by mountain bike or cross country running trails are planned and even more elaborate international recreation trips are available to Hampshire students. Whether it is yoga, skiing, martial arts or whitewater rafting, Hampshire College helps build an adventure best suited to your interests.

Hampshire College leads as the #2 Best College for Outdoor Sports. Amherst is in the #26th slot on Bestcollegereviews.org’s 50 Best College Towns in America. Get outdoors and enjoy the natural wonders of Hampshire College!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 5
Town – 5
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 11.75

 

35. Kansas State University

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Kansas State University is a public, flagship, land-grant, space-grant university located in Manhattan. It is commonly referred to as K-State or simply Kansas State. It has the highest research classification and is comprised of nine different colleges. Kansas State was also the first public higher education institution to be in Kansas. Now enrolling over 22,000 students, when it was established in 1863 was recognized as only the second school to allow equal admittance to women. Kansas State is a competitor in NCAA Division 1’s Big 12 Conference. Willie the Wildcat cheers students on and represents as the Wildcat mascot in Royal Purple.

Student life at Kansas State is filled with opportunity. Ample clubs and organizations appeal to students’ varying interests from the Electronics Design Club to the Parachute Club to Powerlifting. It also offers a strong Greek System and Panhellenic Council Its location in the small community of Manhattan gives students a familiar and welcoming atmosphere. From the local brewery to student centered nightlife, life in the “Little Apple” of Manhattan earns it recognition for college town honors. Konza Prairie is the perfect stop for a walk in the Kansas wildgrass.

Kansas State University takes the #32nd position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also #38 on Niche.com’s top party schools. It may not be New York city, but Manhattan, Kansas, gives Kansas State a great setting for its fun!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 2
Town – 4
Rec – 2.5
Rave Meter: 11.5

 

36. University of Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska is a flagship, public, land-grant institution. Established in 1869, the University of Nebraska, commonly referred to as Nebraska or UNL, is located in charming Lincoln and is Nebraska’s oldest university. It grew from its leadership in agricultural sciences and theoretical ecology. The University of Nebraska has over 100 campus buildings and 8 colleges split among two nearby campuses. The University of Nebraska carries the nickname of the Cornhuskers and its mascot is Herbie Husker and Lil’ Red. The Cornhuskers compete in NCAA Division 1’s Big Ten Conference with signature Scarlet and Cream as the school colors.

Cornhuskers like to have a good time. With over 400 student clubs and groups offered to students ranging from the Husker Bass Anglers to the Breakdance Organization, students interested in getting involved in campus life should find something to suit themselves. Whether singing the school song Hail Varsity or cheering on the Cornhuskers to victory school spirit and Nebraska pride is strong. It is easy to have fun at the University of Nebraska by getting involved in one of the 46 Greek fraternities and sororities. The city of Lincoln Cornhuskers a welcoming environment, committed to building diversity.

University of Nebraska Lincoln takes the #27 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also #91 on Niche.com’s top party schools and #98 on the Universityprimetime.com’s top party schools. Cornhuskers know how to play!

Party – 3.25
Outdoor – 2
Town – 4
Rec – 2
Rave Meter: 11.25

 

37. University of Kentucky

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The University of Kentucky’s motto is “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” It is a flagship, public, land-grant university and was established in 1865. Originally founded as an agricultural and mechanical college, the University of Kentucky now offers a diverse range of academic programs spanning 16 colleges and with 15 libraries on campus. The University of Kentucky or UK has the highest enrollment in the state with over 30,000 students. Located in bustling Lexington, the school colors of blue and white show Wildcat pride. UK’s mascots Wildcat and Scratch cheer on NCAA Division 1 competitions in the Southeastern Conference.

“On, On U of K!” Recognized for is legendary horse farms and southern charm, the University of Kentucky’s home city of Lexington provides complimentary tone to university culture. Whether students are looking for a home on campus among the university’s Greek fraternities and sororities, residential options or in its many niche clubs, there are plenty of opportunities, from Formula Cars to Bollywood dancing. A favorite tradition for UK fans is the Cat Walk on game day, where crowds cheer the team as they enter the stadium.

Lexington holds the #19 position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s record of the 50 Best College Towns in America. The University of Kentucky is #94 on Niche.com’s top party schools and is listed as #39 on the Universityprimetime.com’s top party school. Get wild with the Wildcats!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 2
Town – 4
Rec – 2
Rave Meter: 11

 

38. University of Virginia

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The University of Virginia is a public, flagship research university.  The University of Virginia or UVA was established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson and is located on internationally protected grounds in Charlottesville. A World Heritage Site, UVA has historical heavy-hitters names like James Madison and James Monroe written all over its campus’ founding. The Grounds, or campus, is a model in Jeffersonian-styled architecture and planning. UVA has a Very High Research designation and offers 121 majors to its over 22,000 students. A NCAA Division 1 Atlantic Coast Conference competitor, UVA wears orange and blue and goes by the nickname of the Cavaliers.

Some interesting traditions make student life a bit more unique at UVA and add to the fun of the university atmosphere. Students are called either first, second, third or fourth years as a nod to Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that learning was a never ending process. UVA is also known for its secret societies such as the Z Society, the Seven Society and the Eli Banana. These societies add to the mystique of UVA culture. A student-run honor code exists with three marks: a student must not lie, cheat, or steal. If accused, a student lead trial is administered. Some highlights of UVA life are the annual Springfest and the Foxfield races.

Charlottesville reserves the #16th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s record of the 50 Best College Towns in America. It is #29 on the Niche.com’s top party school list. This American classic has been having fun for centuries.

Party – 2
Outdoor – 2
Town – 5
Rec – 1.75
Rave Meter: 10.75

 

39. University of Connecticut

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Established in 1881, the University of Connecticut is located in Storrs, Connecticut. It is a public, flagship, land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university. It is designated as a High Research Activity university. The University of Connecticut, commonly called UConn is also listed as one of the Public Ivies. It is also part of Universitas 21, an international cohort of academic institutions that were chosen to collaboratively foster global citizenship. With over 32,000 students and over 9,000 faculty and staff, UConn navy blue, white and gray dominate the landscape. UConn competes in NCAA Division 1’s Atlantic Coast Conference with their mascot Jonathan the Husky.

UConn student life is filled with traditions. From painting (and repainting) ‘The Rock’ on campus to advertise events or promote a cause or entering into the OOzeball mud volleyball tournament. Spring Weekend features a concert with a well known nation act, from Kanye West to Kendrick Lamar. Don’t miss the campus LipSync competition which is a part of Homecoming festivities. These well attended and celebrated events do much to foster a strong university culture. The UConn school song “The Husky Fight Song” is considered to be one of the most well recognized in the country. Whether you are a student looking for a full on spirited campus or a school with a strong ethos and energy, UConn has both.

The University of Connecticut is #41 on the Universityprimetime.com’s top party school list. Huskies are smart and fun loving!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 2
Town – 2.5
Rec – 3
Rave Meter: 10.5

 

40. University of Florida

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The University of Florida is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant research university. It was established in 1853 and maintains an enrollment of over 54,000 students with an academic staff of 30,000. Students have 16 academic colleges to choose from and 150 research centers. Located in Gainesville, the University of Florida, commonly known simply as Florida, has the designation of Very High Research productivity. Known by the nickname of the Florida Gator’s and lead by mascots Albert and Alberta, Florida’s orange and blue color scheme parades through campus. The Florida Gators are a perennial NCAA Division 1 Southeastern Conference powerhouse.

Life at the University of Florida is full-on. Whether at a sporting event, serving in student government, or playing with the Pride of the Sunshine marching band, students enjoy a robust campus life. Gainesville is noted as a great college town environment because of its active nightlife, tropical climate, organic Florida landscapes and plenty of cultural offerings. A hard to accomplish trifecta of a strong social scene, academic prowess, and champion athletic programs is all found in the University of Florida. “In all kinds of weather … we’ll all stick together for F-L-O-R-I-D-A!”

Gainseville is the #11 Best College Town in America according to Bestcollegereviews.org.  It made the list for top party school at #85 Niche.com. The Gators can really get down!

Party – 2
Outdoor – 1.25
Town – 5
Rec – 2
Rave Meter: 10.25

 

41. University of Massachusetts Amherst

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University of Massachusetts Amherst was established in 1863 and is a flagship, public, and land-grant institution. A member of the Five College Consortium, it is New England’s biggest public university with more than 29,000 students and 1,200 faculty and staff. Between 9 colleges the University of Massachusetts Amherst or UMass offers degrees in over 200 programs. UMass offers NCAA Division 1 competition for its student athletes and is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The nicknames for UMass are the Minutemen and Minutewomen and Sam the Minuteman is the school mascot. Colors of maroon, black and white represent UMass.

UMass students have an amazing resource in their Campus Recreation Center. A state of the art facility with areas dedicated to cardio, weight training and ample class offerings, this rec center is a campus hotspot. An aquatics center, intramurals and sport clubs are all available to the campus community. The city of Amherst proper is another amazing resource to university students. With a strong literary tradition and dedication to fostering the arts, it is a natural complement to university life. Cultural events, strong social and political sensibilities and community engagement create plenty of opportunity to converse, learn and share with your neighbors.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst takes the #9 space for Most Luxurious Student Recreation Center from Collegerank.net. Amherst is listed as the #26 Best College Town on Bestcollegereviews.org. Enjoy the facilities and town at this great college!

Party – 1
Outdoor – 1
Town – 4
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 10

 

 42. Tulane University

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Tulane University is a private research university. Founded in 1834 as a medical college, Tulane is in Uptown New Orleans on iconic St. Charles Avenue. A diverse student body of over 13,000 meets the motto “Not For Oneself, but For One’s Own.” Tulane is the 9th oldest private university in the nation. Campus architecture consists of an eclectic mix and represents Romanesque to Mid-Century Modern. Olive green and sky blue are the Tulane school colors and it has the nickname of the Green Wave. Riptide the Pelican is the mascot, cheering for NCAA Division 1 American Athletic Conference competition.

New Orleans doesn’t shy away from its reputation as a party environment and Tulane follows suit, being given the #1 spot on Top Party school list.  Whether partaking in social events on campus or off, the area surrounding the university, the Garden District, is filled with restaurants, bars and live music. Freshmen and Sophomore students are required to live on campus, which gives a stable social component to campus life and active Greek chapters add to the overall campus community. Whether you go Greek or just go to Tulane, a lively social scene is easy to find on campus and in the surrounding streets.

Tulane University is the #1 party school according to Niche.com’s list of over 1500 schools and the #35 party school on Universityprimetime.com. This is worth a plane ticket for a world class party school.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 1
Town – 2.75
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 9.75

 

43. Ohio University

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Ohio University is a public, research and space-grant university. Located in rural Athens along the Hocking River, it was chartered in 1787 and approved in 1804. One of America’s oldest institutions and the oldest in Ohio, Ohio University was part of President Thomas Jefferson’s westward expansion campaign. Known for its beautiful campus and small town atmosphere,  Ohio University serves over 29,000 students on its main campus. Many early Americana Federalist-themed architecture is mixed in with modern buildings, creating a unique campus feel. Ohio Green and White are the school colors and Rufus the Bobcat represents the Bobcat nickname. Ohio University competes as a NCAA Division 1 Mid-American Conference opponent.

Ohio University maintains a consistent reputation for having a strong social scene. Court Street hails as the entertainment and eatery hotspot, catering to Ohio University students. The #Fest is a student run event considered to be the largest college music festival in the country. While not official to the University, it plays a significant role in students’ social calendars and draws over 20,000 participants for a national act concert festival experience at a very reasonable ticket price. Past performers have been Fetty Wap, the Chainsmokers and Diplo.

Ohio University is the #16 party school on Niche.com and it is the #5 party school on Universityprimetime.com. The Bobcats know how to party with the biggest and best colleges in the country.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 2
Town – 1.25
Rec – 1.25
Rave Meter: 9.5

 

44. East Carolina University

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East Carolina has a simple motto: “To Serve.” It is a public, sea-grant, research university located in urban Greenville. Typically referred to as ECU, it was established in 1917 for the purpose of teacher education. Now categorized in 3 campuses, East Carolina serves over 28,000 students and employs over 5,000 faculty and staff. There are over 300 clubs on campus for students to participate in. East Carolina’s school colors are purple and gold and it is a NCAA Division 1 competitor in the American Athletic Conference. ECU’s nickname is the Pirates and PeeDee the Pirate serves as the mascot.

East Carolina University has a diverse and thriving social scene. With 27 fraternities and sororities and the National Pan-Hellenic Council on campus, Greek life is only gaining momentum. With campus activities in film, music, noted lecturers and an annual trip to New York City, East Carolina works hard to give students a wide variation of opportunities. East Carolina is a school with a strong social scene and takes one of the peak spots for Top Party school. East Carolina students push back from the idea that weekend parties are one of the biggest aspects of student life and counter that students work hard and play hard.

East Carolina University is the #31 party school according to Niche.com and the #2 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Party like a Pirate!

Party – 5
Outdoor – 1.25
Town – 1.5
Rec – 1.5
Rave Meter: 9.25

 

45. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati’s motto is “Strength in Unity.” The University of Cincinnati is a public, research, and space-grant university and was established in 1819. It also offers students a high caliber liberal arts foundation. The University of Cincinnati or UC has an academic and administrative staff of over 10,000 and a 44,000 person student population. After extensive upgrades as a part of the Master Plan project, the UC campus is now seen as one of the most distinguished collegiate settings, featuring a campus forest. The black and red emblazoned Bearcats compete in the NCAA Division 1 American Athletic Conference.

UC gives students ample recreation opportunities in its campus facilities. From technical martial arts training and a battery of fitness classes, to a leading aquatic center and personal training sessions, Campus Recreation can meet the needs of even the most discerning student. Rock climbing is another draw for participants. In terms of campus engagement, the University of Cincinnati also maintains 43 fraternities and sororities which work hard to provide philanthropic and leadership opportunities. 550 student organizations draw in participants and service learning community service events give students a positive experience.

The University of Cincinnati is #24 on the list of the Most Luxurious Student Recreation Centers on Collegerank.com. It is also ranked #54 on Universityprimetime.com’s list of top party schools. Bearcats like to boast that they are the #hottestcollege for good reason!

Party – 3
Outdoor – 1
Town – 1
Rec – 4
Rave Meter: 9

 

46. Miami University

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Miami University, also known as Miami of Ohio, is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. It was founded in 1809 and is noted as the 10th oldest public university in the United States. It is well esteemed for its campus beauty. Miami of Ohio also receives designation as a High Research Activity university, in addition to earning recognition for its liberal arts offerings. There are 8 schools and colleges housed within Miami University and it is noted as a Public Ivy. Miami University competes in Division 1 NCAA Mid-American Conference as the RedHawks. Its school colors are red and white and Swoop the RedHawk is the school mascot.

Known as the “Mother of Fraternities” because of the creation of 5 Greek organizations on campus, Miami University has an active Greek life to the present day. Now numbering over 50 chapters, the university embraces Greek culture as an important part of Miami’s roots. A well known party destination school, Miami University’s social side will leave no weekend without something to do. With over 400 student organizations from Glee Club to Quidditch and a lively entertainment Uptown area, Miami University dishes out options in a small town environment. The main draw in the athletics department is the men’s hockey team, which provides an electric atmosphere in the arena from student cheering.

Niche.com ranks Miami University as the #3 party school in the country. It is a boutique party school.

Party – 5
Outdoor – 1.25
Town – 1.5
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 8.75

 

47. New York University

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Centered in the heart of Manhattan is New York University, commonly referred to as NYU, a private, not-for-profit research institution. Established in 1831, NYU is an integral part of the life and vibrancy of New York City. With an enrollment of over 50,000 students and an academic and support staff of over 11,000, NYU’s purple and white markers are all throughout the city. A rich heritage of scholars have engaged NYU’s campuses. NYU is a NCAA Division III competitor in the University Athletic Association conference. NYU takes the nickname of Violets and the bobcat as their mascot.

A university campus in the center of one of the busiest cities in the nation creates an interesting atmosphere. While many schools create college towns out of the cities they are established in, NYU has much more of a collaborative merge with its Greenwich Village neighborhood. A bohemian, academic feel surrounds the somewhat scattered campus. Being in an unparallelled urban environment like New York City also has some amazing pros for students. From music to literature to the arts to comedy, students free time can be filled with the highest caliber of talent. And it often is.

New York University is the #62 party school according to Niche.com and the #58 party school on Universityprimetime.com. Smart as they come, NYU students can party with the top public schools.

Party – 4
Outdoor – 1.5
Town – 2
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 8.5

 

48. Ithaca College

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Ithaca College is a private, liberal arts college in the South Hill of Ithaca. Near waterfalls and gorges, Ithaca was founded as a music conservatory in 1892. The arts and communications are major draws for prospective students to Ithaca, with its School of Communications drawing international recognition and noted alumni working successfully in the entertainment industry. Over 100 degree programs are offered at Ithaca, spanning 5 schools. Ithaca Collage has a student population of around 6,700 and faculty and staff of over 1,700. Its school colors are blue and gold and its nickname is the Bombers. It is a NCAA Division III competitor in the Empire 8 Conference.

Ithaca has a small town feel, and is one hour from nearest city. Half of population is students, and the school of music draws and creates a diverse and thriving music scene. Its musical bona fides make its school song “Ithaca Forever” a special anthem to hear and sing. Its alumni is a long list of influential names in the media and entertainment industry and it also boasts strong programmatic and extra curricular arts programs. Of course, these artists know how to party, too, with live bands and free spirits galore.

Ithaca College takes the #4th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also 33rd on the Universityprimetime.com’s list for top party schools. This is the place to be for an artsy fun lover!

Party – 1
Outdoor – 1
Town – 5
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 8

 

49. University of Pittsburgh

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The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research institution located in the historic Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Established in 1787 and sustaining itself through several moves and fires, Pitt’s urban backdrop and eclectic neo-Gothic to modern architecture span provides a unique campus feel. The mammoth Cathedral of Learning is noted as the second tallest campus structure in the United States. The University of Pittsburgh enrolls over 28,000 students and wears school colors of blue and gold. It is in the NCAA Division I – Atlantic Coast Conference. Roc the Panther represents the Pitt panthers as their official mascot.

Students can avail themselves to Pittsburgh’s strong arts institutions through the university’s Arts Encounters initiative and can also enjoy over 400 student clubs and organizations. The Pitt student body has a number of traditions including “Lantern Night,” a rite of initiation for freshmen, and may others. The Heinz Hall music and Division I and professional sports of Pittsburgh are second to none.

Pittsburgh claims the spot of being #12 Best College Town in America according to Bestcollegereviews.org.  It made both lists for top party school with the University of Pittsburgh being at #85 Niche.com and as #62 on Universityprimetime.com. Party hard at Pitt!

Party – 1.75
Outdoor – 1
Town – 4
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 7.75

 

50. Iowa State University

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Iowa State University of Science and Technology, simply referred to as Iowa state is a public, flagship, land-grant, and space-grant university. Located in Ames, it is the largest institution in Iowa and is rated as a university with Very High Research Activity. Within 8 colleges are nearly 300 academic programs to choose from. Iowa State is lauded as one of the most beautiful campuses because of its park-like landscape. Iowa State’s colors are cardinal and gold and its nickname is the Cyclone. Cy the Cyclone cheers on student athletes as they compete in the NCAA Division I Big 12 events.

The town of Ames is a booming place for millennials and boasts high standard of living in a small town with low unemployment. Iowa State was named a “medallion site” by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1999, and is one of three campuses designated with this honor. An active Greek life and a national wrestling powerhouse are a part of its mainstays, along with a town that has recently come alive with a thriving and easy to access economy.

Iowa State University takes the #5th position on Bestcollegereviews.org’s compilation of The 50 Best College Towns in America. It is also 94th on the Universityprimetime.com’s list for top party schools. The Cyclones are full of good cheer.

Party – 1
Outdoor – 1
Town – 4.75
Rec – 1
Rave Meter: 7.5