Originally Posted by ElizabethN
Originally Posted by intparent
Just saying that if Greek life dominates on campus, then partying also probably dominates. One thing the Fiske Guide tells you is what % of the men & women on campus are in the Greek system. A high percentage is something we personally tried to stay away from. Some colleges have no greek presence (Carleton doesn't, I am thinking maybe Mount Holyoke didn't).

On the other hand, 44% of the students at MIT are in the Greek system.

That value isn't what I'd call "high" however. My DH and I have both seen campuses where the ranges encompass Greek participation from a low of 0% to a high of 90%+.

It is true that there is a rough-- very rough, as it happens-- correlation between Greek system participation and party culture. However, the highest value was NOT at a party school, and one of the two with the lowest participation was a notorious party school. Our personal cut-line (and we're approaching school selection EXACTLY the way that intparent described) is at about 60-70% Greek. Not because of party culture per se, but for the same reason we're seeking schools with on-campus residency less than 80-90%-- because being PG makes you a singularity already, particularly if you're young-for-college. Why make it worse by choosing two OTHER means of making one's self an outlier?

Kids who are likely to want to be a part of the Greek system (which does, by the way, have many opportunities for leadership if that's your kid's thing) would evaluate those criteria differently.

Similarly, Div1 athletics and academic quality. Just looking at the traditional Pac-10 schools, you have UW, UCLA, and Cal in that grouping; all are very good public universities, ranked in the top 100 in the world for certain disciplines. Duke is a basketball powerhouse and has been for decades. Gonzaga. Boston College. UVA.

Personally, having done undergrad at a place with almost no athletic program to speak of, and then grad school at a Div-1 school, it was both interesting and a lot of FUN to attend big-time football and basketball games-- get your face on ESPN in the crowd, laugh at the antics of the crazy undergrads, cheer with the band, all that jazz. It was just fun. We're thinking a bit differently than some parents about this, however-- DD's attendance at an online high school means that she has NOT had a lot of personal experience with this kind of thing, and therefore it's a facet of the college experience that we would like her to have available. She has enjoyed the Div 1 athletics that she's experienced growing up in a Uni town.

It really just depends on such a complex cocktail of factors, I'm afraid.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.