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Preparing for College Needs to Start Early, Say Publishers

Princeton, N.J. ( — Already vilified for its collegiate Top 10 party school rankings, which some claim glorify drinking on campus, The Princeton Review today found itself once again under fire for releasing a list of the nation's Top 10 party preschools.

Top 10 party preschools

Like the college list released Tuesday, the preschool rankings have been criticized by the American Medical Association as a reckless attempt by The Review to gain attention for its new preschool academic guides. The publishers deny that charge, arguing that social life is integral to the university experience, and that preparing for college is like saving for college: you need to start early.

"The Review neither condones nor encourages partying at any level, whether university or preschool," said spokeswoman Dana Wilkes. "But if your child can tap a keg at age five, they'll have a much better chance for success at, say, the University of Indiana or Florida State."

Topping this year's preschool list is L'il Snorts Pre-K in suburban Detroit, followed by Mr. Wobbly's Day Care in Colorado Springs, and the Fee Fi Fo Fried Child Development Center in Miramar, Fla.

Educators, as well as the AMA, consider making the list a black eye. But Wilkes pointed out The Review also indexes preschools in numerous academic areas, and even counters the party rankings with a list of Top 10 "Stone-Cold Sober Preschools," which this year includes Little 12 Steps Day Care in Bristol, Conn., and the AA BC Learning Center in Lancaster, Calif.

But the sober list has done little to quell anger in some states, which have called the rankings irresponsible and threatened to shut down preschools that make The Review's party index.

"I'll tell you right now, I don't want some day care pervert teaching my little girl to roll a joint or funnel a beer," said Florida Department of Education director Gillian Fisch. "What if it's different from the way I teach it? Partying should begin at home."

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Reaction from students at top party preschools, meanwhile, has been mixed.

"Since I enrolled at Capt. Morgan's Pre-K, I've already been rushed by six fraternities at Penn State," said 4-year-old Josh Bendorf of Uniontown, Pa. "Plus, Capt. Morgan's is really really fun. I like Thursdays, when Mr. Spliff visits."

In contrast, the future appeared dim to 5-year-old Kaleen Kirby of the sixth-ranked Drew Barrymore School of Montessori in Ogden, Utah. "With this on my record, I'll never make it into Brigham Young now," she said.


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