East Coast schools - party scene

<p>As we try to narrow down the college list, one of the criteria I have is that the school should have less alchohol/liquor usage. Of the following schools, which schools do you think should I worry about or re-evaluate?</p>

<p>Georgetown
Tufts
Boston College
Barnard
Villanova
The college of New Jersey
Virginia Commonweath University
George Washington
Boston Univ
Univ of Miami
Brown
Univ. of Rochester
Northwestern</p>

<p>The colleges are all over (some reaches, some super reaches, some matches, some safeties).
If there are some other schools that I should consider I would really love to hear.
(SAT I: 2210, SAT II Math 790, Physics 800, Chem 700, AP Physics -5, AP Chem - 5, taking AP Calc BC, AP Bio, AP Econ tests this week)</p>

<p>hypermom</p>

<p>Watch out for [url=<a href="http://i51.tinypic.com/2dvr8jo.jpg%5DHarvard%5B/url"&gt;http://i51.tinypic.com/2dvr8jo.jpg]Harvard[/url&lt;/a&gt;].&lt;/p>

<p>Whoa, BC, what a bunch of party kids!</p>

<p>Only comment I can offer on the party scene is that since these are mostly urban or near urban schools, there will be lots to do in addition to what is offered on campus. Even at schools that are supposedly known as "party schools", there are always a group of people your D can find who will have common interests that don't include partying.</p>

<p>None of your schools appear to be on the P-tonreview top 20 party schools, if that is a criteria.</p>

<p>Be careful what you ask for. A school will tend to have less alcohol usage if it is non-residential (i.e., many students live with their parents, there is relatively little campus-centered social life, and students do their drinking elsewhere), if the student body is less affluent (which means, almost all the time, a lower average level of SAT scores), if the intoxicant of choice is something else (say, opiates or cannabis), and if it is more urban (often meaning "more expensive to go out" and "more ways to get into trouble easily"). The classic non-party school will be UMass-Boston or CUNY-Queens, not the colleges you have listed.</p>

<p>That said, the colleges you listed mostly seem like decent compromises between drinking culture and academic orientation. But anyone who wants an alcohol-centric social life will find it easily at any of them, I'm sure. I don't know exactly how Villanova made the list. Maybe it's enough of a suitcase school to damp things down a bit, but its demographics are party demographics, and this is the first time I've seen anyone suggest it was sedate. And UMiami? Unless a lot has changed, it is only a non-party school by contrast with Tulane.</p>

<p>You might check to see which schools offer substance free dorms to freshman if the issue is alcohol more than partying.</p>

<p>Is this your request or your childs? This is something your child will need to learn to deal with and either you trust him/her or you don't.</p>

<p>I know it's illegal to drink under 21 (which I think is a huge mistake, bring back 18) but my daughter was laughing with me recently about how we both drink the same drink because neither of us really like the taste of alcohol or nor do we like beer. Does she drink until she's drunk, probably, incoherently drunk, probably not.</p>

<p>It is a collective decision. All of our family are teetotallers.
As D and I sit to review the colleges, she didn't like anything that mentioned alcohol as a big thing on campus. To quote her words 'What is with these up-state NY schools... lots of alcohol'.</p>

<p>From what I am gathering from the responses here, BC, UMiami and Villanova needs to be watched out for alcohol usage. BC and Villanova being catholic schools I only hoped there would be less alchohol. However D has a concern with those schools that she will have to take theology courses there and wonders how she will fit in there as a Hindu.
Any take on Brandies?</p>

<p>-hypermom</p>

<p>Your D might want to look at women's colleges. Mount Holyoke, for example. It is certainly not dry, but of all the schools D visited it had the atmosphere with the least amount of "partying" implied. Beautiful campus and good academics, too. She was admitted, but with no merit aid, so made another choice. But if the money had been there, I think she would have attended.</p>

<p>Many colleges have healthy living choice type dorms. Maybe you guys can look into ghat?</p>

<p>I would put Brandeis on the less-alcohol side of the list, closer to places like Barnard and farther from places like Miami and 'Nova.</p>

<p>When we were at Georgetown the school newspaper had a whole (somewhat joking) article about how to drink in public without getting caught. There's plenty of partying going on there, but also plenty of solid academics and if you are interested in politics or IR it should be on your list. I believe mini has said that women's colleges also tend to be less heavy drinking while the rural campuses tend to have the most drinking.</p>

<p>My younger son is not a drinker (though happy to hang out with imbibers) and he's perfectly happy at Tufts, but of course there is a certain amount of drinking going on. I drank like a fish at Harvard.</p>

<p>This is kind of a delicate thing, because I don't want to trade in stereotypes in any direction, but the phrase "BC and Villanova being catholic schools I only hoped there would be less alcohol" indicates that the OP's view of mainstream collegiate culture is not nuanced and not very accurate.</p>

<p>OP, judging a college by the average volume of alcohol consumption per student is probably not a great idea. The colleges that are really alcohol-free are going to tend to be colleges where being a Hindu will be difficult at best. That won't be a problem at the colleges you listed, because none of them is remotely close to being alcohol-free.</p>

<p>Start by thinking about what's really important. Is it how much the kid in the next room is drinking? Probably not. If I were choosing for my kid, I would say I wanted her to be somewhere that made her feel comfortable but expanded her horizons, where she could get the education she wants (and more than she wants!), do the things she wants to do, and find friends and peers. None of those things is actually inconsistent with a "party school". </p>

<p>Penn State, for example, is a huge party school, but it's also a huge everything school. There are probably more non-drinkers (and more Hindus) at Penn State than at any five of the colleges you named combined. If Penn State is the right place academically, the fact that it's relatively awash in alcohol doesn't mean that it's not a perfectly good place for a nondrinker. (I'm not pushing Penn State, by the way, just using it as an example.) It would be much easier to find a satisfying set of nondrinking friends at Penn State, and nondrinking things to do there, than it would be to find great engineering faculty and research opportunities at, say, Earlham (a "dry" Quaker LAC in Indiana that you ought to check out if you are attracted to LACs, although I suspect it's a little wet around the edges).</p>

<p>What you really want is a place where people accept not drinking as a reasonable choice, and where social relationships don't depend on drinking. A lot of the time, that DOES mean urban (or quasi-urban) colleges, because there is more stuff to do there. "What's with all of these upstate colleges" is that you can't necessarily go to the art museum, or to a concert, whenever you choose, and playing board games and watching TV doesn't make people feel like they are having enough fun if they do it every night.</p>

<p>The college where my kids went, the University of Chicago, did a great job of that. There was plenty of drinking, but there was plenty of nondrinking, too, and as far as I can tell very few students thought that drinking or non drinking was a really important division in the world. I would guess that Rochester, which has modeled itself on Chicago in many ways, is fairly similar. Brown would be fine, but I don't think there's any big difference between Brown and any other of the Ivies besides Dartmouth (which you may want to avoid, although I know teetotalers who adored it). I don't know why Johns Hopkins isn't on your list. I would also think about the University of Toronto and McGill. Because the drinking age there is 19/18, kids get it out of their system faster, and it isn't some illicit, transgressive thrill. Social life revolves around the great cities they are in, not getting hammered.</p>

<p>My son is just finishing up his freshman year at George Washington. I know plenty of drinking occurs there, but he's always been a non-drinker and loves the school and has found plenty of other activities there.</p>

<p>Fwiw, we've tried taking a look at Greek life on campuses to get a sense of schools' drinking cultures. College ******* is a source for this information, however accurate. DS has eliminated schools from his list where Greek life dominates the campus scene. And Greek life combined with a remote/rural setting was definitely a red flag. Before I'm bashed :-), I understand completely how ymmv and the exception proves the rule, etc. I'm just saying it's a start.</p>

<p>I also think women's colleges are a great idea. Add Smith, Mt Holyoke and Wellesley to your list.</p>

<p>I am not really in agreement with JHS' philosophy about schools like Penn State. Sure, your daughter may find a non-drinking cohort at a school with a big drinking culture, but she would be swimming against the tide. I suspect she would feel much more at home at a school which was NOT featured on "This American Life" as the "#1 Party School."</p>

<p>Rule of thumb is that schools with big Greek and sports cultures also have heavier drinking cultures.</p>

<p>Mom of a Barnard alum here. I would definitely say that Barnard has the least liquor usage. There are no parties in dorms. If student likes to party, she can go over to Columbia where they are frats, but most of the Barnard women found there social life i varied pursuits that didn't involve alcohol as a rule.</p>

<p>I'm not saying that there is no drinking at all, but drinking was one cocktail only.</p>

<p>My D adored everything about her time at Barnard. She spent a lot of time visiting in Columbia dorms and could have had a party scene it she chose.</p>

<p>For her and her friends social life often meant a movie, a trip to the Met (museum) which is free for Barnard/Columbia students. One Sunday excursion was way uptown to the Cloisters. Another might have been downtown to the Seaport. Or walking around Chinatown. Or just a long walk though the Park.</p>

<p>Very few things involved alcohol.</p>

<p>She loved life there so much she is in law school in NYC and still lives on the Upper West Side although the law school is a considerable commute.</p>

<p>Now my D went to London for her study abroad. She <em>did</em> drink there. The pub scene is lively. She came home with a love of oatmeal cookie shooters, which I must say, are delicious. But she went back to Barnard and to her more normal way of life.</p>

<p>^^what is an oatmeal cookie shooter pray tell???</p>

<p>Saying villanova is somewhat of a suitcase/commuter school is not close to true...None of the schools would be even remotely be considered 'party schools' from my knowledge of them...fwiw,PSU is a party school, though alcohol consumption goes on at EVERY college,none withstanding..and even those mentioned in OP have binge drinking every weekend</p>

<p>Oatmeal</a> Cookie Shooter Recipe</p>

<p>I have not, you understand, ever tried one. But I was also curious! (hopefully this does not violate any CC rules, please just delete post if it does...)</p>