Living The Good Life: Top 6 US Universities For Partying

The American college experience, often portrayed in movies and books, attracts students from around the world. Some travel great distances to live their own American dream during their university years.

The University Experience

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While partying is never the main focus of a university experience, getting a degree may only be one of the priorities when a future student is shortlisting locations for their postsecondary education. 

Where Do These Students Go?

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So where is a student to go if their sights are set on the vibrant nightlife that can accompany time at university?

In 2021, there were over 3,000 American universities available to choose from, including the famous Ivy League institutions like Brown and Harvard. 

What Makes For A Good Party School?

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There is a collection of options for students who care less about long lectures and more about the colorful social life.

Researchers at Niche collated a list of the 2024 ‘Top Party Schools,’ determined by factors such as surveys and universities’ proximity to bars and restaurants.

Top Rated Party Schools

woman in college graduation gown

Here are just a selection of those ranked to be among the most attractive for the social-seeking student:

1. University Of California – Santa Barbara 

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VDB Photos /

With an A plus for the party scene and an equally high overall score, Niche users have determined UC Santa Barbara as being one of the greatest colleges for student social life. 

1. University Of California – Santa Barbara 

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Almost 200 students said that the phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ aptly described life at UC Santa Barbara, and the university has almost 5000 positive reviews to back up that statement. 

1. University Of California – Santa Barbara 

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While one review says, “There was way too much partying for me,” the overall consensus is that while the university offers excellent academics, the social life is a burgeoning positive that cannot be ignored.

2. Florida State University

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Located in Tallahassee Florida, Niche has rated Florida State as being number one when it comes to Greek Life in college. So, if you’re dreaming of joining a fraternity or sorority, this may be the university for you.

2. Florida State University

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One of the over 7000 reviews declared that the university’s “social life was great,” saying, “Every week, there are so many events and club meetings to attend.” 

2. Florida State University

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Admissions to Florida State are competitive, with only 37 percent granting acceptance, but for those desperate for a lively social life, this would be a great university to apply to.

3. Tulane University

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Considered the best university in New Orleans, Tulane University was founded in 1834 and now has a student base of over 14,000.

As a city, New Orleans has over 150 festivals each year, contributing to the healthy social environment at the university. 

3. Tulane University

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95 percent of the freshmen live on campus, and one review says plainly, “The party scene? Unparalleled.”

4. University Of Alabama

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University of College /

With the second highest ranking in the country for Greek Life, the University of Alabama is also deemed to have some of the best college athletics overall.

Students describe the institute as friendly and energetic, and with a 79 percent acceptance rate, it’s unsurprising in its popularity. 

4. University Of Alabama

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Thousands of reviews detail the fantastic campus life, with one even saying, “There is never a boring day.”

5. Syracuse University

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Gary Riegel /

The regal private university in New York has a competitive admissions program, with popular majors being Information Science and Psychology.

However, they have been rated an A plus for their party scene, for a few reasons. 

5. Syracuse University

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A total of 84 percent of freshmen live on campus, soaking up the surrounding areas for entertainment and enjoyment. Syracuse is known for its lively entertainment scene, as well as for hosting the annual Great New York Fair.

5. Syracuse University

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With access to so many restaurants, parks, shops, and venues, it appears that Syracuse University is high on the list for a prospective student with a penchant for partying.

6. University Of Southern California

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Ganna Tokolova /

Another private university, the University of Southern California, is nestled by downtown Los Angeles.

With Hollywood nearby and access to some of the country’s best eateries for students who like to party, this location is a dream.

6. University Of Southern California

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The University of Southern California is deemed the best communications college in America by Niche and has over 20,000 students, many living on campus.

One student said fervently in a review, “It changed my life.”

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Partying Can Provide Balance

high school students

For some, partying is what makes the American college experience.

High academics and ambitious pursuits may not be for everybody, and for the students hoping for a little reprieve from their lectures, it appears that many options are available.

As one student attending the University of California – Santa Barbara said, “We can enjoy our life and study at the same time.”

This article has been produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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