The top 10 party school frills for 2010

Colleges know that if they want to attract students these days they need to come up with cooler perks than the next school. So, here we present the top ten student-catching frills at American college campuses for 2010:

 1. Concierge desk, valet parking and a roving ice cream truck with free ice cream – High Point University, North Carolina.

 2. Largest Jacuzzi on the West Coast (seats 53) – Washington State University.

3. Water slides, hot tubs and a five-story climbing wall – University of Houston.

 4. Room-sized golf simulator with real clubs and balls – Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

5. A 200-gallon tropical ecosystem with newts and salamanders and a separate 550-gallon salt-water aquarium with a live coral reef. – Penn State.

6. The “Taj Mahal” – a $140 million entertainment center with kayaks, batting cages and 50-student climbing wall – The Ohio State University.

 7.  A $70 million student center with a pub, theater and artificial pond for ice skating – University of Vermont.

 8. A $54 million sports complex with luxury boxes and a skating rink – University of Rhode Island.

 9. A $200 million artificial “Main Street” including outdoor cafes – University of Cincinnati .

10. Massages, pedicures and manicures — University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh.

 Compiled from the new book The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child and What You Can Do About It. By Craig Brandon and published by BenBella Books.

20 comments to The top 10 party school frills for 2010

  • Thomas Hagedorn

    Terrific website. And more importantly, a great book. I will definitely “chat up” your book whenever it makes sense. If only 1/4 of what you say about higher ed is true, we are in big trouble. I am working right now with a 34 year old man who almost killed himself with alcohol. He has told me he got his start during his freshman year in a fraternity at Ohio U., which is usually near the top of the party school list. Sad. I am nearing completion of a manuscript on the origins of the public schools and would like to talk to you sometime about your website. Also, try to get on 55KRC (Radio) in Cincinnati on Brian Thomas’ show (Joe Strecker is the producer). I think he would have you on as a guest. (And the timing is perfect with classes starting back at the University of Cincinnati in a week or two)

  • Craig Brandon


    Thanks you for your thoughtful comments. As you might expect, I am taking a lot of heat from college administrators around rhe country and suspect that my photo is on quite a few dart boards!

    I suspect that a lot of alcoholics got their start in college. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on students to drink and nothing at all pushing back the other way. Passing out from alcohol overdosing and having your fellow students write on you with Magic Markers ia considered “normal” behavior!

    Thanks with your suggestions about radio stations. My publisher’s publicist is a very competent person who has managed to get me booked on radio atations around the country — New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia etc. And while it is difficult to explain an entire book in 15 minutes, it does help get the word out!

    Good luck on your book..I would be glad to help in any way I can!

  • Olivia

    I go to HPU and really looking at all the other perks these schools have, HPU isn’t all that fancy of a school. I would really love to visit these schools to see the differences in educational emphasis. Because even though we have these things, we still are growing on emphasizing our educational growth. It is just nice to see that we are not the only “party” school out there.

  • HPU student

    I am a High Point University student and we do not have valet parking.

  • Hpu student

    All that high point university focuses on is aesthetics and that’s all your tuition goes to. We are in fact the anti-partying school and can’t even sneeze without an “officer” breathing down your neck. PS there has never been a person at the valet to take your car. Ever.

  • HPU

    I also go to HPU and contrary to what the other comments say, we have a lot of the same things that these other schools have-a climbing wall, ropes course,theater, sports bar etc. We don’t have parking but security did used to park your car for you at night if you didn’t want to walk along to your dorm. It probably changed when they completely gated the campus.

  • hpu student

    I go to HPU and high point is a very fancy school, it has so much to offer. High Point goes out of its way to spoil their students. If you think other wise you are living under a rock. I have 3 older brothers that went to other schools, they had to actually spend money to do things we have for free. If you complain about it, try and find a nicer place…. You won’t.


    HPU is not “anti-party”. If an officer is breathing down your neck, you probably did something idiotic.

  • Ex-HPU realist

    I am an ex-HPU student, and I’m more than glad that I left. Academics at the school were very standard. Sports were very much what you’d expect from a small school. The president of the school would spend millions of dollars on flashy aesthetic things that you’ll never need, but over looks the HUGE problem about parking. HPU was so lax that I was able to smoke a blunt in the parking lot, but turn around and fine me 50 dollars for smoking a cigarette on their “smoke-free” campus. If you want your kids to go to school with a bunch of snobby greek life drones or obnoxious assholes from new jersey while never learning a single life lesson due to being so damn sheltered.. well then High Point University is the place for you

  • HPU!

    Here’s to HPU students blowing up a comment board more than a year old!!!!

  • West Coast Skeptic

    My best friend goes to HPU and she is beginning to hate the place for all of the same reasons that have been listed so far.

  • HiPoint

    F**K Security… they take the “fun” out of fun

  • HPU Graduate

    I can say that I am proud to call HPU my alma mater. To the casual eye these things may seem frivolous, yet everything on our campus is there for a reason. I loved my four years at HPU. You may not agree with values based, hollistic education but the 60,000 plus inquiries recieved by High Point last year were intrigued by this model. I am sure that if Craig Brandon were to visit our campus he would feel differently about HPU.

  • hpjew

    I am a student at HPU. I am insulted they left out the Steakhouse.

  • HighPointHighU

    Harris Walker….party animal.

  • Some people will always take the best day, best time, and best place, and find SOMETHING wrong with it. Fact. Sad.

  • Bob Marley

    I am a student at the university of Vermont and would like to know where that pond is for ice-skating? Because.. I am pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

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