College students consider the University of Iowa the nation’s best party school, even though Iowa City has tried to make its famous bar scene less hospitable to underage drinkers. The Princeton Review bestowed Iowa with the top ranking Monday on a list determined by 126,000 students in a nationwide survey.

The Review also released its “stone-cold sober schools” list — led again this year by Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Officials in Iowa City aren’t celebrating the ranking, which comes after they’ve made recent strides in the battle against binge drinking.

The No. 3 party school, the University of Illinois, sprawls across parts of two cities — Urbana and Champaign — and in both, students younger than 21 can legally enter bars.

At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, No. 8 on this year’s list, university officials and the city have worked to address the drinking problem, including passing an ordinance in 2012 designed to crack down on large house parties and trying to provide more entertainment options for students who aren’t of legal drinking age.

Starting this fall, all incoming UW students will be expected to complete an online education program about alcohol abuse.


The top 20

1. University of Iowa, Iowa City

2. University of California, Santa Barbara

3. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

4. West Virginia University, Morgantown

5. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

6. University of Florida, Gainesville

7. Ohio University, Athens

8. University of Wisconsin-Madison

9. Penn State University, University Park.

10. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

11. University of Georgia, Athens.

12. Florida State University, Tallahassee.

13. DePauw University, Greencastle

14. University of Mississippi, University, Miss.

15. University of Texas at Austin

16. Miami University of Ohio, Oxford

17. University of Maryland, College Park.

18. Tulane University, New Orleans

19. University of Vermont, Burlington

20. University of Oregon, Eugene

Associated Press