There are already plenty of questions to consider when deciding where to go to college. Which school is the best for your program? How much can you afford to spend? How far from or close to home do you want to be?
Though those may cover the basics, some consideration should also be given to what kind of place your college or university is in. Are you looking for a quaint, quirky college town? Or are you looking for a little city within a big city kind of feel with your campus?
Tons of options are out there, and the choice can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the folks at the personal finance site WalletHub have created a list of the best and worst college cities and towns in America. They reviewed 280 cities across 23 different metrics like quality of higher education, crime rates, cost of living, and average monthly cost of purchases students are most likely to make.
Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University, takes the top spot on the list. According to WalletHub, Oxford has one of the highest percentages of students per capita, an abundance of part-time jobs for students, and a low occurence of brain drain (an annual change in the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher as students come and go throughout the year.)
On the opposite end of the list is Yonkers, New York, which ranked low in number of opportunities for students and youth-friendliness of the town’s environment.
Rounding out the list are towns and cities from across the country.
Best College Cities
1. Oxford, Ohio – high number of students per capita, high number of part-time jobs, low brain drain
2. State College, Pennsylvania – high percentage of rental units, high number of students per capita, high number of part-time jobs
3. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
4. Corvallis, Oregon
5. College Station, Texas
6. Laramie, Wyoming – lower cost of higher education
7. San Luis Obispo, California
8. Stillwater, Oklahoma
9. Bozeman, Montana
10. East Lansing, Michigan
Worst College Cities
1. Yonkers, New York
2. Bridgeport, Connecticut – higher cost of living
3. North Las Vegas, Nevada – low number of students per capita
4. Miramar, Florida – lower number of nightlife options per capita
5. Springfield, Massachusetts
6. Joliet, Illinois
7. Newark, New Jersey – high percentage of rental units
8. Coral Springs, Florida
9. Hialeah, Florida – lower number of nightlife options per capita
10. Port Saint Lucie, Florida – low percentage of rental units, lower number of nightlife options per capita
Remember, as with all rankings when it comes to colleges, this list isn’t the end all, be all of your college search. Just because a city doesn’t rank as highly as you might want doesn’t mean it is a bad choice. Ultimately, you want to choose the best college, and college town, for you.
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