News flash! There is no Animal House at Brigham Young University.
According to a survey with an astute flair for the obvious, BYU tops the list of "stone cold sober campuses" in The Princeton Review's annual publication, "The Best 311 Colleges."The LDS Church-owned school - which doesn't even serve caffeinated drinks, let alone tolerate booze - inexplicably dropped out of the publication's rankings last year but was second the year before.
Among the areas covered by the survey of 56,000 students were drug and alcohol use, academics and quality of campus life.
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the Provo school considers it an honor to be found the driest in the land but is happier to finish 11th in overall quality of life.
"What it means is, yes, there's a lack of drinking, but there's not a lack of social life," Jenkins said.
The school's quality of life received a rating of 92 out of 100 from the BYU students surveyed.
"People (here) know how to have fun without getting wasted," wrote one respondent in the anonymous survey.
But some disagreed.
"Life at BYU outside class is all about getting married," one student wrote.
Ed Custard, lead author of the book, was not surprised BYU was the driest campus.
"Certainly schools with a clear-cut religious affiliation do end up on (the stone-cold sober) list," as well as women's colleges and some demanding technical schools, he said. "At BYU you have a more mature student body. We know they have more married students and more students who have made a commitment to community service."
But, he said, boozing depends on the student, not just attending a bone-dry campus. "I don't think that (former BYU quarterback) Jim McMahon was any less of a party hound."
The nearly 30,000 students at BYU must comply with a strict Honor Code, drafted to conform with the abstemious doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They also must live in campus-approved housing, which bars drinking, smoking or drug use.
"(Students) come to BYU and they are very focused and they come knowing who they are and what they want out of life," Jenkins said.
The survey found that BYU has the lowest rate of liquor and marijuana use and the highest rate of students who pray on a regular basis.
It was also had the second-highest rate of students with conservative political leanings and had the second-best relations between the students and the community.
And BYU was second in a category called "Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution," based on combined results from questions on drug and alcohol use, conservative politics, prevalence of religion and popularity of student government.
The U.S. Naval Academy edged out BYU for first in that category.
Academically, the guide said the school has a demanding course load, which is made more demanding since students are required to take seven religion courses to graduate.
"All I have time for is work and study," said one respondent. "No life, no fun, no nothing."
The study made no mention of criticism leveled against the school by a national professors' group. The American Association of University Professors voted in June to censure BYU for what it called a "distressingly poor" climate for academic freedom.
The Princeton Review gave BYU's academics an above-average rating of 81 out of 100.
The Review provides study courses to help students prepare for college entrance exams. The study used a group of consultants to determine the 311 best schools in the country and polled students based on that list. BYU was the only Utah school in the survey.
State University of New York at Albany was the top party school, followed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Golden Gate University in San Francisco was second to BYU as the most sobersided. The Naval Academy was third.