A party school is usually a party school because it’s big and has a lot of money. Solo-cups aside there are a lot of good reasons to go to a big school with a lot of money.
These schools tend to have good sports teams, good housing, good food, beautiful campuses, great teachers, tons of school pride and a lot of chances to make long lasting professional connections. And a plethora of good friends too, of course.
You can also make a lot of money after graduating from some of these colleges. Behind specifically science, math and technology schools and Ivy League colleges, “party schools” like the University of Florida, Syracuse University and Penn State produce big shot grads that make much more money than average graduates—that is, if they end up graduating.
That’s what gets to a lot of parents. They hear horror stories of non existent attendance rates and last minute study culture, and they genuinely wonder whether their kid will thrive or whether they will crash and burn.
Another less dramatic but equally insidious thought is that you may perform below your potential, balancing B’s with Monday Fundays.
Quite honestly, you should be worried about that too.
While retention rates are actaully pretty good at many of these high performing party schools—87.2% at Penn State, 92% at Syracuse, and 96% at the University of Florida (among the highest in the country)—too many social distractions can limit your potential and leave you without the time nor focus to find and pursue something you're passionate about.
The point here is that you can do just fine at a party school— you just have to check yourself. If you keep your Monday nights under control and leave time to do things besides party, you’ll be one of the many to leave these schools with good grades, good social skills and networks of friends that will help you find quality jobs after graduation. Oh, and not to mention some interesting stories.
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