Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NO LONGER #1

Florida no longer the No. 1 party school


The University of Florida's reign as the country's top party school was short-lived.


Click to enlarge
Estimated at 25,000, Florida Gator fans flood University Avenue in Gainesville, Florida after the Florida Gators defeat the Oklahoma Sooners to win the FedEx BCS National Championship on Thursday, January 8, 2009.
Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun


UF dropped from last year's No. 1 showing to second place in the latest Princeton Review rankings, released Monday. Penn State University, previously ranked 3rd, took the top spot.

"It goes to show a lot of our efforts working on student behavior are going towards the positive," Jeanna Mastrodicasa, UF's assistant vice president for student affairs, said Monday in offering rare praise for an occasion in which Florida lost its No. 1 ranking. "We are seeing a trend of students being more responsible."

UF administrators will be happy their university instead received a top ranking in another category: best career services. Wayne Wallace, director of UF's Career Services Center, said the university benefits from having a network of successful alumni, students sought by employers and a centrally located center with good technology.

"When you add all of those things together, it makes the institution appealing to employers across the United States," he said.

The rankings appear in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review's annual college guide, "The Best 371 Colleges," which goes on sale today.

The guide includes 62 rankings based on survey results from about 122,000 students.

UF was ranked No. 2 in several other categories including best athletic facilities, which was won by the University of Maryland at College Park. UF also placed second in "jock schools," a category based on the popularity of intramural sports and fraternities, and "students pack the stadium," based on the popularity of intercollegiate sports.

The Princeton Review is a New York-based test preparation company unaffiliated with Princeton University.

Students with a valid university e-mail address can complete the survey on the review's Web site once in an academic year.

The surveys for schools on the party-school list indicated high usage of alcohol and drugs on campus, low daily study hours and high popularity of fraternities and sororities, according to the Princeton Review.

Two Southeastern Conference schools placed just behind UF on the list: the University of Mississippi at No. 3 and the University of Georgia at No. 4. Florida State University was ranked ninth, the only other Florida school in the top 20.

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