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Originally published August 21, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified August 21, 2007 at 2:05 AM

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Top party school: West Virginia

To the disappointment of school administrators ...d the pride of some students — West Virginia University is No. 1 on The Princeton's...

The Associated Press

Party, or not

The top party schools and "stone-cold sober" schools as they appear in The Princeton Review's 2008 edition of "The Best 366 Colleges."

Top 10 Party Schools

1. West Virginia University

2. University of Mississippi

3. University of Texas, Austin

4. University of Florida

5. University of Georgia

6. Penn State University

7. University of New Hampshire

8. Indiana University, Bloomington

9. Ohio University, Athens

10. University of California, Santa Barbara

Top 10 "Stone Cold Sober" Schools

1. Brigham Young University

2. Wheaton College (Ill.)

3. Thomas Aquinas College (Calif.)

4. College of the Ozarks (Mo.)

5. Grove City College (Pa.)

6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

7. U.S. Air Force Academy

8. U.S. Naval Academy

9. City University of New York, Queens College

10. Webb Institute (N.Y.)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — To the disappointment of school administrators — and the pride of some students — West Virginia University is No. 1 on The Princeton's Review's annual list of the top party schools.

The school has made the list seven times in the past 15 years, despite efforts to curb underage drinking and rowdy behavior.

But not since 1997 have the Mountaineers taken the top spot. Last year, WVU was No. 3, bested by the University of Texas at Austin and Penn State, both of which remain in the top 10 this year.

Senior Katie O'Hara, 22, said WVU is No. 1 because "no matter what kind of party you want it's here — bars, fraternities, house parties. ... If you want to take shots all night, there's a bar; no matter what you want to do, it's there."

Still, O'Hara said her friends "know how to manage their time. They know when to party and when not to," which wouldn't explain the school's No. 1 ranking in the category of Their Students (Almost) Never Study.

The rankings are contained in the 2008 edition of "The Best 366 Colleges," which is going on sale today and is based on a survey of 120,000 students at those schools.

Incoming WVU President Mike Garrison focused on the positive rather than the rankings, saying the students he met over the weekend and on the first day of classes Monday are more concerned with their futures "and with the great year we have ahead" than with partying.

"I'm focused on the way this university changes people's lives, the research that we do and the service we provide to the state of West Virginia," Garrison said.

Brigham Young University claimed the top spot in the "Stone Cold Sober" category for the 10th straight year.

The book has 62 categories, including: Best Campus Food, Virginia Tech; Most Beautiful Campus, Sweet Briar (Va.); Dorms Like Palaces, Smith College (Mass.); and Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians, Hampshire College (Mass).

The Princeton Review, which is not affiliated with Princeton University, is a New York company known for test-preparation courses, educational services and books.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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