Survey: UT awash in beer, liquor

John Egan
Austin Business Journal Staff
August 18, 2003

Austin's beer and liquor distributors must happy.

The University of Texas ranks second for beer and liquor consumption among 351 North American colleges and universities, according to The Princeton Review Inc.'s annual survey of 106,000 students. Survey results were released Monday.

No. 1 in the beer and liquor categories is the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

The alcohol rankings tie into UT's No. 6 ranking for party atmosphere and No. 12 for marijuana use. First for party atmosphere is the University of Colorado in Boulder, according to the survey, and first for marijuana use is Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Elsewhere in the top 20, UT ranked 14th for being in a great college town and for the rarity of class discussions; 16th for the popularity of collegiate sports; and 19th for the best "academic bang for your buck."

Teresa Brett, dean of students at UT, says the university doesn't pay much attention to such rankings.

"We kind of take them with a grain of salt," Brett says. "We tend to pay more attention to what we hear from our students through our various programs and services ... ."

With about 50,000 students, UT is the country's largest university.

For alcohol and drug use prevention and intervention, UT provides training during student orientation, training of advisers in campus residence halls, information and counseling through the health education office, and peer counseling, Brett says.

Brett says UT focuses much of its energy on sponsoring activities such as sports, clubs and leadership training to create a "positive environment" for students.

The Princeton Review survey asks students 70 questions about their schools' academics, campus life and student body, as well as their study hours, politics and opinions. The surveys are conducted on paper and on the Internet.

"All of the colleges in this book are academically outstanding," says Robert Franek, the lead author of "The Best 351 Colleges: 2004 Edition" at The Princeton Review.

"We present ranking lists in multiple categories for one reason -- to help college applicants and their parents decide which of these great colleges is best for them, given their personal priorities and interests."

The book features 63 lists of rankings. St. Edward's University, Southwestern University and Southwest Texas State University didn't appear on any of the lists.

New York-based The Princeton Review [Nasdaq: REVU] is known for its books, test preparation courses, and admission and education services.

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© 2003 American City Business Journals Inc.