Playboy magazine released their annual “Top Party School” list on Wednesday, ranking USC No. 4, a drop from the school’s No. 2 ranking on last year’s list.
West Virginia University was ranked first, while University of Virginia, last year’s top school, failed to make the top 10 this year. University of Wisconsin and University of Colorado were ranked second and third respectively.
According to Playboy editors, the schools were ranked based on data from the NCAA, the U.S. Economic Census, the National Center for Education Statistics and social media.
Students had mixed reactions to the rankings.
“I think it’s a good thing in the sense that USC caters to the students who like to party, but still go to a top academic university. It keeps the balance between how much tougher USC is becoming to get into, but it still draws kids that are interested in the party aspect and the social scene,” said Drew Eller, a junior majoring in business and cinematic arts. “’SC has a name and image to it that Playboy is probably playing into, being in L.A., and the idea of us being a party school. But I don’t think we’re necessarily top four or that it means anything, really.”
Annie Passan, a sophomore majoring in international relations (global business), agreed with Eller that the rankings are not that significant.
“It doesn’t really matter to me because I know the context of the statistics do not apply to the school as a whole. Not everyone at ’SC parties all the time.” Passan said.
The credibility of this list in terms of its ranking criteria was also a concern for some students.
“How legitimate is the Playboy rating? That’s an important question — who comes up with these ratings? And if it is legitimate, it speaks of that fact that we work hard and play hard.” said Kiersten Stanley, a sophomore majoring in writing for screen and television. “Plus, we have a really big Greek culture, and by parties do they mean ragers or house parties? There are no clear categories.”
Like Eller, however, she thought that ’SC is a big name in the party school scene.
“It’s definitely not hard to find parties here.” Stanley said. “We also have a very relaxed culture about partying — we aren’t super religious — and probably because it is so relaxed, you don’t hear of huge problems connected to the partying — other than the few hospital transports of people overdoing it.”
Earlier this year, BroBible, a news website that describes itself as the “ultimate destination for Bros,” ranked USC No. 20 on its top party school list.
Vidal Woods, a junior majoring in cinematic arts and international relations felt concerned about the academic implications this ranking would have for USC in the future.
“If we continue to boast and promote this, there might be certain parents that would be hesitant to let their kids come here,” Woods said. “We’re trying to promote USC as a top academic institution, and if we want to attract the top kids, in terms of academics, their parents, who pay the tuition, are not going to want to send their kids to the No. 4 party school in the nation.”
USC is also the only private school and the only Southern California school featured on the list.