The survey of 122,000 college students ranked UCSB at No. 10. The school was at No. 9 in the 2008 survey.
Coming in at No. 1 -- Penn State University.
The school known partly for its football tailgate weekends and fraternity and sorority scene stole the title from the University of Florida in the 2009 survey. Florida, last year's winner, finished second in the annual survey released Monday.
It's the first time Penn State has finished first in the dubious category. The school has been on the list the last seven years and ranked third in 2008. The listing covers Penn State's main University Park campus in State College.
"These rankings are not more than popularity contests," said university spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz. She noted that groups on the social networking site Facebook have urged members to make Penn State the top party school. "It's a badge of honor at this point. Nationwide, kids want to pump their schools in these surveys. It's not connected to reality."
The rankings were part of the Princeton Review's "The Best 371 Colleges" annual guide. On average, there were 325 respondents to the survey per school, which Mountz said amounted to less than 1 percent of the University Park campus' enrollment of 43,000 students.
Guide author Robert Franek said every school in the survey offered "great academics."
But the guide does not rank schools academically, Franek said in a statement, because the goal is to "help students find and get into the best school for them ... It's all about fit."
The annual rankings also list the country's "Stone-Cold Sober Schools." Brigham Young University in Utah topped that list for the 12th straight year.
Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula was No. 9 among the Stone-Cold Sober schools. The Catholic liberal arts schools is about 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County.
The Princeton Review is a New York company known for its test preparation courses, educational services and books and is not affiliated with Princeton University.