Best Value Party Schools

Students who attend the party schools on PayScale's College ROI Report Party School rankings prove that you can balance all night cram sessions with keggers and still get a good value for the cost of a college education.  Read More

Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid


1Lehigh University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$593,800
Total 4 Year Cost$219,200
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,320
2Bucknell University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$580,500
Total 4 Year Cost$232,500
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,440
3University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$551,200
Total 4 Year Cost$111,800
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,840
4University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$494,400
Total 4 Year Cost$168,600
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,840
5University of Delaware(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$466,600
Total 4 Year Cost$96,400
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,320
6University of Florida (UF)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$456,800
Total 4 Year Cost$76,200
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,720
7Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$446,900
Total 4 Year Cost$126,100
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$35,080
8University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$444,900
Total 4 Year Cost$128,200
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,120
9Miami University - Oxford, OH(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$412,800
Total 4 Year Cost$120,200
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,280
10University of Delaware(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$400,200
Total 4 Year Cost$162,800
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,320
11Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$398,000
Total 4 Year Cost$175,000
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$35,080
12University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$381,600
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
13West Virginia University (WVU) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$373,500
Total 4 Year Cost$69,500
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,040
14University of Florida (UF)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$367,600
Total 4 Year Cost$165,400
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,720
15University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$353,300
Total 4 Year Cost$219,700
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,120

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

While people ostensibly choose to attend college to obtain higher educations, many also enjoy spending their downtime engaging in all kinds of revelry. For this list, we used The Princeton Review's list of the top 20 party schools in the country. If you would like to attend a school that has a reputation for partying, consider using PayScale's data to zero in on the best value party schools before you submit a single application.

Ranked 59th on our national 20 Year Net ROI list, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, easily tops our list of party schools offering the best value for students. This private school is situated on 445 acres in an area that is largely rural and also happens to be the largest private liberal arts university in the country. Its three schools and colleges offer degrees spanning a wide range of fields, including engineering, the arts, the humanities, social science, music, education and management. Bucknell alumni report a median return of investment of $520,500; that figure skyrockets to $691,000 with financial aid. Ranked ninth in Princeton Review's 2014 list of the top party schools, Bucknell offers nearly 50 majors, more than 60 minors and more than 200 student clubs and organizations. Famous alumni include novelist Philip Roth and CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, so the school clearly offers far more than a partying environment.

Located about 70 miles from Philadelphia and about 85 miles from New York City, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania happens to be one of the top partying schools in the country. It's also ranked 52nd on our 20 Year Net ROI list, so it's among the top party schools return on investment students can attend. Indeed, Lehigh alumni report a median return on investment of $593,800 in the 20 years after they graduate, and that figure increases to $706,900 when financial aid is included. The campus stretches across more than 2,300 acres, and the school is affiliated with Nobel laureates, Fulbright scholars and Pulitzer Prize winners. Ranked sixth on Princeton Review's list of the top party schools, Lehigh University delivers exceptional ROI for students who like mixing business with pleasure.

Due largely in part to its annual Unofficial Saint Patrick's Day festivities, which involve copious amounts of drinking and partying, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign appears third in the Princeton Review's list of top party schools. It also enjoys a 72nd-place ranking for 20 Year Net ROI, which equals $531,200 without financial aid and $601,200 with it. A founding member of the Big 10 Conference, U of I, or UIUC, sprawls across a 4,552-acre campus and boasts a student population of more than 44,500 students. Its 17 colleges offer more than 150 programs of study, and one of its best-known alumni, Fazlor Rahman Kahn -- the "Einstein of Structural Engineering" -- designed both the John Hancock Tower and the Sears Tower in Chicago.

The University of Delaware is ranked 135th nationally for 20 Year Net ROI, but it's also ranked 20th on the Princeton Review's list of top party schools. The private university, which is located in Newark, New Jersey, is considered to be a "Public Ivy." The 20 Year Net ROI of UD is $466,600 without financial aid and $499,700 with it. Without a doubt, its best-known living alumnus is Vice President Joe Biden.