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University of Illinois tops list as nation's No.1 party school

By Amy R. Connolly
University of Illinois tops list as nation's No.1 party school
A campus entrance marker for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, located at the intersection of Wright Street and University Avenue in Urbana, Illinois. The school was named the top party school in the nation by the Princeton Review. Photo by Beyond My Ken/Shutterstock

CHICAGO, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took top honors Tuesday as the best party school in the nation in the highly anticipated Princeton Review Best Colleges guide.

The university joins 61 other schools leading the nation in categories that include the nation's top Stone-Cold Sober Schools (Brigham Young University in Utah), Best College Dorms (Bennington College in Vermont) and Most Beautiful Campus (Rollins College in Florida).

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Since 1992, Princeton Review has been publishing its annual rankings that categorizes schools based on campus culture. Robert Franek, publisher for the Princeton Review, said all 380 colleges that made the 2016 cut have "outstanding academics."

"While our purpose is not to crown one college academically 'best' overall or to rank the schools one to 380 on any single topic, our lists provide direct student feedback on the schools' campus culture, program offerings and cost," Franek said in a written statement. "Our goal is to help applicants choose and get into their dream college—the college best for them."

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University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise seems unamused by the ranking, saying the school's graduation rates and alumni achievements underscore the emphasis its students place on academic success.

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"It's disappointing that, once again, Princeton Review is promoting this pseudo-ranking as though it were meaningful," Wise said in a statement to CNN. "It's insulting to all of our students, since they are here to prepare to become leaders of their generation."

The Princeton Review creates the ranking based on surveys of 136,000 students at the 380 colleges. The survey asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body and themselves.

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Other top Princeton Review rankings: Students Most Engaged in Community Service – Brandeis University, Mass. Best College Library – Yale University, Conn. Best Health Services – University of California—Davis Happiest Students – Vanderbilt University, Tenn. Most Conservative Students – Thomas Aquinas College, Calif. LGBTQ-Friendliest – Emerson College, Mass. Students Pack the Stadiums – Clemson University, S.C. Best Athletic Facilities – Kenyon College, Ohio

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