48 Work Hard and Play Hard Colleges

Where Students Balance Learning and Letting Loose

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Hard work and dedicated study is surely an important part of succeeding in college, but as the proverb goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Many of the best schools throughout the nation understand the importance of balancing a rigorous curriculum with a fun and lively campus environment and put great effort into creating a space for students to relax, make friends, explore their interests and let loose a little.

The schools that follow are in the top 25 percent when it comes to graduation and freshman retention rates, and produce some of the highest-earning graduates. They also provide students with enriching campus lives, including sororities, fraternities and athletic programs. Students looking for a premium education and exciting campus culture: Read on.

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Top 10 Colleges That Work Hard and Play Hard

Spotlight: 48 Colleges That Work Hard and Play Hard


  • METHODOLOGY

    Our rankings are a combination of academic data available from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the Department of Education, a Greek chapter list from GreekPages.com and crime statistics from Campus Safety and Security (CSS), which is also a Department of Education service.

    Minimum requirements to be considered as a school that Works Hard:

    • Be in the top 25 percent for graduation rates
    • Have a top 25 percent Freshmen retention rate
    • Report within the top 50 percent on student earnings after graduation

    What is considered when measuring the Play Hard component?

    • Schools have a large college athletic program presence in at least three major sports
    • Active chapters of a nationally recognized Greek Organization
    • Campus alcohol-related incident reports


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