Penn State fell two spots from the top Princeton Review party school ranking, but some student leaders say the rankings never had any merit in the first place.
After climbing its way up the party school rankings over the past several years, Penn State is slowly moving down the list.
The university is not thrilled with the rankings but feels no need to get hung up on the results, university spokesman Geoff Rushton said.
"How do you scientifically gauge something like this?" Rushton said. "I don't think you do."
But Rob Franek, author of The Princeton Review's "The Best 373 Colleges," said the rankings have merit because they are the results of thousands of students' opinions and are true to what university life is like at each campus.
Some student leaders said they were not surprised by the results.
Interfraternity Council President Max Wendkos said the third place ranking was what he expected. But he said the importance of the ranking is overplayed.
He said that while he was happy Penn State greek life got a shout-out in the lists as the No. 10 Major Sorority and Frat Scene, he said he hopes the rankings reflect the quality of the Greek community rather than just the social aspect.
But in the end, he said the survey holds no real merit.
"Thank you random anonymous survey takers for considering the Penn State fraternity and sorority community to be a vital part of your experience at this school," Wendkos (senior-marketing and psychology) said.
For Rushton, the rankings not only hold no real legitimacy -- they also have zero purpose.
The ranking is not representative of all students, he said, as many students drink responsibly.
"It's kind of insulting to our students, who are very bright, hard-working and dedicated to their studies," he said.
Franek said there is often criticism from administrations over the rankings -- especially from those schools that are on the Party School list.
It is not the intention of the rankings to give a school a certain image, Franek said. Rather, the lists are compiled to provide the most information possible to college-bound students.
University Park Undergraduate Association President Christian Ragland said last year's No. 1 ranking was one of the catalysts for the university and administration to push for more safety initiatives.
And a No. 3 ranking is only going to make them work harder to achieve a safer campus, he said.
"Regardless of the outcome, my goal is still going to be student safety," Ragland (senior-political science) said.
The Princeton Review releases 62 different Top 20 lists -- and this year, Penn State made an appearance on 13 of the lists.
University of Georgia and Ohio University took the first two slots on the top 20 party schools list.
The party school ranking is determined by the students' answers to questions about students' consumption of beer, hard liquor and drugs, hours students spend studying outside of the classroom and the popularity of fraternities and sororities, Franek said.
The average number of students per campus who complete the survey -- which can be completed once a year at survey.review.com -- was 325, Franek said. 122,000 college students took the survey nationwide, he said. The 80-question survey has students fill out questions on four different categories: themselves, academics and administration, student life and other students.
Penn State received some No. 2 nods for Best Career Services, Financial Aid Not So Great, Jock Schools and Lots of Beer.
The university also was ranked in the top twenty for several other categories: No. 4 for best athletic facilities, No. 6 for Best College Newspaper, No. 6 for Everyone Plays Intramural Sports, No. 10 for Major Sorority and Frat Scene, No. 12 for Lots of Hard Liquor, No. 17 for Happiest Students and No. 20 for Students Study the Least.