Survey: Penn State drinks, Main Line thinks

Posted: August 03, 2010

The annual Princeton Review ranking of colleges hits bookstores today, and The Best 373 Colleges gives high marks to lots of schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Some rankings ascend to "Paradise," like Bryn Mawr College's No. 1 bragging rights for "Dorms Like Palaces."

Others fall under "Purgatory," like New Jersey Institute of Technology finishing No. 1 for "Least Beautiful Campus," with Drexel University listed ninth and Rutgers-New Brunswick 11th. NJIT, in Newark, was also 11th for "Dorms Like Dungeons" - four spots ahead of Temple University.

Penn State was toppled from the top spot this year as the nation's top party school, finishing third behind the University of Georgia and Ohio University.

But PSU was No. 1 for "Students Pack the Stadiums," and No. 2 for "Lots of Beer," "Best Career Services," "Jock Schools," and, not so great, "Financial Aid Not So Great."

Penn State also finished No. 20 for "Students Study the Least," but finishing high for hitting the books were three Main Line schools. Swarthmore (which previously topped a Princeton Review list as best private-school value) was No. 7 for "Students Study the Most," accompanied by neighbors Bryn Mawr at No. 17 and Haverford at 20, while Princeton finished 10th.

Another No. 1 was the "LGBT-Unfriendly" voted for Grove City College, a Christian school north of Pittsburgh with a rep the opposite of a party school. It finished sixth for "Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch," seventh for "Got Milk?," eighth for "Most Conserative Students," ninth for "Most Religious Students," 11th for "Stone-Cold Sober Schools," and 14th for "Don't Inhale."

But it did finish second for "Everybody Plays Intramural Sports" - four spots ahead of Penn State.

Seems like Grove City may have also lead the nation in number of rankings - or at least in students who like to vote in surveys.

The opinions of more than 122,000 students were used to create rankings in 62 categories, which supposedly help prospective students decide on colleges and universities.

Despite all those lists, however, somehow the University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph's University and LaSalle University failed to crack any Top 20, according to results published at (Click "College" to find the rankings.)

Here are a variety of categories where other Pennsylvana and New Jersey schools ranked high:

Best Campus Food. Bryn Mawr 8.

Is It Food? Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh 9.

Happiest Students. University of Pittsburgh 8, Penn State 17.

Best Quality of Life. University of Pittsburgh 11, Bryn Mawr 16.

Least Happy Students: NJIT 5; Marywood University, in Scranton, Pa., 9; Rider University 19.

Major Frat and Sorority Scene. Lehigh University 6, Penn State 10.

Great Financial Aid. Princeton 3, Swarthmore 11.

Financial Aid Not So Great. Penn State 2, Rutgers-New Brunswick 3, Villanova 5, Haverford 9.

Professors Get High Marks. Swarthmore 20.

Professors Get Low Marks. Stevens Institute of Technology 5, NJIT 7, Rutgers-New Brunswick 9.

Top Entrepreneurial Programs, Undergraduate: Temple University 5, Drexel 6.

Best Classroom Experience: Princeton 10.

Least Accessible Professors. Rutgers-New Brunswick 2, NJIT 8, Drexel 13, Stevens Institute of Technology 15.

Election? What Election? University of Scranton 5, Monmouth University 15, Rider University 19.

LGBT-Friendly. Swarthmore 13.

College Town Not So Great. NJIT in Newark, N.J., 3.

Best College Town. Stevens University of Technology in Hoboken, 12.

Lots of Beer. Penn State 2, Lehigh University 16.

Town-Gown Relations Are Strained. Lehigh University 2, NJIT 16.

Lots of Hard Liquor. Penn State 12.

Best Athletic Facilities. Penn State 4.

Jock Schools. Penn State 2, Villanova 16.

Nobody Plays Intramural Sports. Bryn Mawr 8.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or

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