Weak methodology appears to be the the largest concern. Nonetheless, do the included schools reveal anything regarding categories of schools? That is, are patterns related to aspects such as size, location, or academic reputation evident?
Are included schools more likely to have been mischaracterized, or are schools that have not been included more likely to have been overlooked? Along these lines, it seems that PR selects a limited group of schools for its initial surveys.
Do the rankings fall along a spectrum in which only minor differences exist, and therefore exaggerate possibly real, but small, differences beyond their significance?
One can see that there are very few conclusions that one can draw about alcohol consumption and any particular trait — e.g., the size of the school, big university v. liberal arts, or quality of academics, to name a few. You have the whole range right on these lists! And of course, it goes without saying that, while there is probably some justification for the conclusion of these (many very fine) schools on this list, if they had a 21-40 list does anyone think that it would be a noticeable difference. As another poster has pointed out, this silly ranking has all the flaws of the other rankings that people unfortunately over rely on.
What would you like to deduce? Everything is there to confirm or deny all preconceived notions. Want to bash Greek schools? How about football or rural or private or flagships? Rorschach city college click bait kardashian trump xxx hot amish women etc
Do the rankings rely entirely on campus safety reports? If so, then schools where all of the party life is off campus will appear misleadingly clean and sober; while schools where everything happens within the school’s jurisdiction will rank a lot higher.
I used to do network support at a Catholic grade school and I needed a test search that was slightly risky but not too horrible if things weren’t tight. I honestly don’t know if there are bad sites out there that return from that search, but I’m at work now and not going to try to find out.
Don’t want to get into a debate on this topic as it’s really not worth it, but according to the Princeton Review’s methodology page, these two particular lists are assembled based on student answers to two individual questions that are not really asking about personal behavior:
“How widely is beer used at your school?” and “how widely is hard liquor used at your school?”
They use a 5 point Likert scale (we are not privy to the five ranges/spreads used for these questions) and then assign a normalized score regarding consensus of opinion on that topic. Perhaps most importantly, we are never provided the scores themselves, only the numerical ranking, so again we have no idea of the magnitude of differences between scores, outliers, etc. They hide all of the truly useful numbers and just count 1, 2, 3, 4…
While admittedly not entirely hearsay (that was a tongue-in-cheek response…ironically I was somewhat under the influence…don’t drink and post, kids!) it’s really not self-reporting either. If they asked about personal alcohol use in a quantitative way and then aggregated the responses it would be a much more accurate and useful. As it stands, not so much. But as with most surveys of this type, accuracy and validity are not as important to the surveyor as views and publicity.
I agree that these schools are so varied. I will also say that a ranking based on student boasting can be deceptive. Students want to be a top party school in many cases - it’s a bragging right. However, note that a usual suspect on this list, PSU, is missing. I’m sure students there are less willing to brag after tragedy and being placed under a national microscope.
I will say that we did a tour of Lehigh and it had a major party feel - stacks of pizza boxes and beer cans over flowing trash cans, frat boys running around yelling - it wasn’t a great look.
With two exceptions, these schools do not overlap with those in the alcohol categories. This might indicate a degree of validity with respect to the surveys, in that the results seem connected to the characteristics of the colleges themselves, rather than the psychological characteristics of the respondents (i.e., respondents inclined to reply in the affirmative to survey questions of this type irrespective of actual atmospheres do not appear to be concentrated at a limited group of schools).