The age old choice for every high school senior- go to a great school, or go to a party school? Payscale.com has answered that question with a resounding “why not both?” The party school with good academics is something many people once thought to be a legend, like unicorns or enjoyable parties hosted by GDIs. This year’s list of top party schools by 20-year ROI has a pretty solid selection of big names and a couple dark horse private schools, as you’ll see below:
Lehigh University — Cost: $219,200, ROI: $526,900
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Cost: $172,600, ROI: $482,200
University of Maryland, College Park — Cost: $167,700, ROI: $429,200
University of Texas at Austin — Cost: $202,800, ROI: $400,400
Pennsylvania State University — Cost: $179,000, ROI: $369,400
University of California, Santa Barbara — Cost: $222,100, ROI: $364,500
University of Florida — Cost: $168,500, ROI: $357,700
Miami University — Cost: $186,400, ROI: $337,700
Syracuse University — Cost: $220,100, ROI: $324,700
DePauw University — Cost: $192,600, ROI: $312,800
That’s a top 10 that may not include party school juggernauts like WVU, but you’ll come out with a degree that’s actually worth the paper it was printed on, instead of one that certifies you went to school in the state most likely to host the real life “The Hills Have Eyes.”
Most of the top 10 are bigger schools, but DePauw and Lehigh managed to sneak on there with what must be a pretty solid party scene. Obviously this means further field research is required. No one thinks of Lehigh or DePauw as big time party schools, but maybe we’re sorely underestimating them, and underestimating dark horse schools can be costly. Just ask Duke fans about Mercer. We could be missing out on some serious top notch partying here.
Being a Maryland alum, I can confirm that schools like these really are the best of both worlds. You get the Greek scene with attractive girls as far as the eye can see, the booze that flows freely like a majestic and highly intoxicated Niagara Falls, the lax “ID standards” at your local college bars, and all the while you end up earning a degree that will get you a good job in a field you actually want to work in. Another big positive: they won’t set you back 65 grand a year like the Ivies will. Thirty thousand dollars in savings buys a lot of gratitude from your parents, as well as a fuckton of booze. That’s something you’ll need a lot of if you choose one of these schools. You can check out the full list of rankings HERE.