CU-Boulder out of Princeton Review's party school top 20, but number 1 for reefer madness?

Categories: Education, News

Thumbnail image for boulder 420 crowd.jpg
Big photos below.
The latest edition of the Princeton Review's top colleges tome, released this week, is an irony bonanza for CU-Boulder. The school, which topped Playboy's party school list last year, and finished third in Daily Beast party school rankings two weeks ago, is entirely absent from the Princeton Review top twenty. Yet it rules the "reefer madness" category despite the administration's unprecedented crackdown on the annual 4/20 celebration. Huh?

As we've reported, CU-Boulder's decision to ban campus visitors and close Norlin Quad in an effort to shrink the 4/20 event prompted an unsuccessful court challenge and plenty of controversy. But while a free Wyclef Jean concert was a disaster, failing to siphon off more than a handful of students, the crowd lighting up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 numbered in the hundreds, not the thousands.

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Somehow, though, The Best 377 Colleges, just published by the Review, still puts CU atop the reefer madness list. Here's the top twenty, which also features an appearance by another Colorado school:

1. University of Colorado--Boulder

2. University of California--Santa Cruz

3. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FLA

4. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

5. Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT

6. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

7. Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC

8. New York University, New York, NY

9. State University of New York--Purchase College

10. University of California--Santa Barbara

11. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

12. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

13. Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

14. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

15. University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

16. Guilford College, Greensboro, NC

17. Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

18. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

19. Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA

20. Reed College, Portland, OR

Yet CU and other Colorado institutions are entirely absent from these party schools rankings:

1. West Virginia University, Morgantown

2. University of Iowa, Iowa City

3. Ohio University, Athens

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

5. University of Georgia, Athens

6. University of Florida, Gainesville

7. University of California-Santa Barbara

8. Florida State University, Tallahassee

9. Miami University of Ohio, Oxford

10. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

11. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.

12. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.

13. University of Wisconsin-Madison

14. University of Mississippi

15. University of Texas-Austin

16. University of Maryland, College Park

17. University of South Carolina, Columbia

18. James Madison University, Harrisonburg Va.

19. University of Maine, Orono

20. University of Tennessee, Knoxville

No explanation for why CU places so high on one list and is absent from the other. However, the Princeton Review based its findings on surveys of 122,000 students over the past year. Presumably, the majority of these respondents somehow missed the publicity generated by CU's stop-4/20 efforts and offered opinions based on reputation rather than the current situation.

If CU keeps harshing the vibe every April 20, this situation could change. But it's likely to take a long, long time. Here are photos by Westword's Britt Chester of this year's 4/20 event.

Photo by Britt Chester

Photo by Britt Chester

Photo by Britt Chester

Photo by Britt Chester
More of Britt Chester's photos from 4/20 at CU-Boulder below.

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RobertChase topcommenter

The use of tobacco and alcohol are undoubtedly the school's greatest drug problems, but the upshot of Chancellor DiSteffano and the CU Admnistration's efforts is that the school has fallen off a list of school's where the more traditional vice of drinking oneself to death or dissolution is prominent, and shot to the top of the list of schools for cannabis, i.e. Benson, DiSteffano, and crew have only reinforced the stereotype of attendance by stoners they were so anxious to abate.


Meanwhile, armed soveriegn students will supervise classrooms and professors.  Plagiarists will be shot.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

These rankings of idiocy should be used as a "Do Not Attend" list for any serious student or parent.



Jason Hornyak
Jason Hornyak

weed =/= partying. weed = sitting around watching adult swim and playing mario kart

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase ... and the PATHETIC A64 would EXCLUDE the vast majority of College Students -- all those < 21 -- from ANY protection whatsoever!


Why do you hate college students who smoke pot?


RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay You're the narc here --  I support CU students who choose to use cannabis.  I notice that you do not claim that they oppose Amendment 64 -- who come?  You usually have no problem making self-serving claims completely at  odds with the facts.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase A64 does NOT support college age marijuana users! -- A64 SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES them for ANY protections whatsoever.


"who come" ? ... are you drunk again?

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