Sammy Nickalls
August 03, 2015 6:29 pm

University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign — home of 23 official Nobel Prize winners and several tech-savvy geniuses who eventually led to the creation of YouTube and Yelp — might not seem like the number one destination for movie-level, epic college parties. But guess what? IT TOTALLY IS.

According to the Princeton Review‘s annual list, the University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign, which has approximately 31,000 undergraduate students snagged the spot for number one party school in the nation, with the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin in Madison right behind. The title is one of 62 categories, but probably the one that some incoming and current students anticipate most of all, as CNN points out.

“Our 62 ranking lists provide students with a way to see the types of colleges that could help them achieve their future goals and dreams,” Robert Franek, publisher of Princeton Review said in a news release.

According to the school’s students, the number one ranking isn’t terribly surprising. “Drinking culture is huge here,” said an anonymous student in the Princeton Review‘s 2016 edition of “The Best 360 Colleges.”

But some, such as the university’s spokeswoman Robin Kaler, are not all too thrilled about the ranking. “They are serious, they are hard-working, and to try to present them as being somehow irresponsible is insulting,” Kaler said of University of Illinois students, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Another person who’s bothered by the ranking: the university’s chancellor, Phyllis Wise. “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.”

At the university, the party to top all parties is so big that it doesn’t even have an official name. OK, it does: it’s called “Unofficial.” Started by a local bar in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Unofficial can get pretty wild — too wild, some years. In 2001 and 2006, the event lead to fatalities, which is why the university now tries to keep the event under control through security and even asking parents to help.

However, the reasoning behind Princeton Review‘s decision to include party stats seems to be less malicious and disrespectful, and more about giving prospective students a good idea of what campus life is like. The Princeton Review — not affiliated with Princeton University — draws its results from a survey of 80 questions filled out by students about partying, alcohol, life in the dorms, athletics, religion, and much more.

“We have such a high regard for each of the 380 schools,” said Franek, according to The Chicago Tribune. “The University of Illinois. . . is an exceptional school.”

There you go: for those who are interested in the party scene, The University of Illinois may be the place to go. But it’s important to remember that partying isn’t the only thing Princeton Review covers. If you’re looking for the best food ever (because come on, who ISN’T constantly on the quest for some good eats), Bowdoin College in Maine is the way to go. For those who want job security, head on over to Clemson University in South Carolina, which Princeton Review claims is where students feel that they’re part of an instant network.

Personally, I’d have my eye on Bowdoin for some fabulous food. Oh, to be college-aged again.

(Image via Warnes Bros.)

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