The 8 Best Universities That Also Have Great Party Scenes

College is one of the best times in a young person's life. Picking a school can be one of the most taxing decisions. With so many choices and with the cost of education being so high, it is extremely difficult to decide where to go to college.

But once the decision is made, it's easier to relax. College life is a combination of studying and leisure. Here is a list of eight colleges where students study and play equally hard.

1. The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia strikes a definite balance between work and play. It is ranked number 36 nationally in terms of academic prowess, and number 22 in partying nationally. How exactly they get these numbers is subjective. But in terms of striking the most delicate balance, UVA in Charlottesville is number one.

2. The University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC is a beautiful city. The University of North Carolina is a top notch college with a great academic reputation. It is ranked number 47 nationally in scholastic standards, and number 25 in its leisurely pursuits. UNC proves college is not all work and no play.

3. Colgate University

Colgate University is a smaller school with less than 3,000 undergrads. It is located in Hamilton, NY, and its admission standards are very difficult. But once you are admitted, the fun begins. Nationally, it is ranked 48 in terms of academics, and number 31 for its party atmosphere.

4. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia in Athens has developed quite a reputation as a party school. In 2011, it was tied 18th on U.S. News and World Report's list of top 50 public universities in the U.S. And for the past 16 years, the school has developed much tougher admissions standards, proving that there is a balance between work and play.

5. University of California-Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara is has a student population of less than 20,000. It is ranked number 41 nationally in terms of academic prowess. Its location is picturesque and perfect for a party like atmosphere. Obviously, the school has managed to strike a nice balance between the two. 

6. The University of Texas at Austin

UT is one of the premiere universities in Texas. It has an undergraduate student population of almost 36,000. It is ranked number 46 nationally. Austin is a party city and UT, though a strong academic school, embraces the bohemian, chill Austin vibe.

7. Rutgers University

Rutgers is ranked number 68 nationally in all around academics. It is located in New Brunswick, N.J., and is well known for its active nightlife. But this does not take away from its stellar academic reputation, as many professors are renown in their fields of study. All in all, it's a great place to learn and play.

8. The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign is ranked number 46 in national universities. I put Rutgers ahead of this school because it has a large urban night life, while UI-Urbana's location is less populated. UI's party reputation is well established, but it does offer supportive academic community.