2016’s Best & Worst College Towns & Cities in America
With college-application deadlines approaching and students scheduling campus visits for the spring, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst College Towns & Cities in America.
To help college students evaluate their future home for the next several years, WalletHub’s analysts compared 415 U.S. cities based on 26 key indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential. The data set ranges from “cost of living” to “quality of higher education” to “crime rate.”
|Best Large College Cities*||Best Midsize College Cities*||Best Small College Cities*|
|1||Atlanta, GA||1||Gainesville, FL||1||Oxford, OH|
|2||Austin, TX||2||Cincinnati, OH||2||East Lansing, MI|
|3||Pittsburgh, PA||3||Buffalo, NY||3||West Lafayette, IN|
|4||New Orleans, LA||4||Orlando, FL||4||Athens, OH|
|5||Columbus, OH||5||Salt Lake City, UT||5||Amherst Center, MA|
|6||Minneapolis, MN||6||Tempe, AZ||6||Clemson, SC|
|7||St. Louis, MO||7||Madison, WI||7||Ann Arbor, MI|
|8||Tampa, FL||8||Tallahassee, FL||8||Newark, DE|
|9||Cleveland, OH||9||Fort Collins, CO||9||Charlottesville, VA|
|10||Houston, TX||10||Durham, NC||10||College Station, TX|
*For simplicity, we used the term “Cities” to refer to both cities and towns.
Best vs. Worst
- Johnson City, Tenn., has the lowest cost of a two-bedroom apartment rental, $657 per month, which is 4.6 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $3,018 per month.
- Edinburg, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index for young people, 75.24, which is 2.4 times lower than in Stanford, Calif., the city with the highest at 184.03.
- Grand Forks, N.D., has the lowest cost of higher education, $4,965 per year, which is 10.6 times lower than in Medford, Mass., the city with the highest at $52,430 per year.
- Stony Brook University, N.Y., has the most students per 100,000 residents, 944.4, which is 20.5 times more than in Cape Coral, Fla., the city with the fewest at 46.1.
- Asheville, N.C., has the most breweries per 100,000 residents, 35.72, which is 100 times more than in Newark, N.J., the city with the fewest at 0.36.
- Princeton, N.J., has the lowest violent crime rate per 1,000 residents, 0.43, which is 42.6 times lower than in St. Louis, the city with the highest at 18.17.
- Stony Brook University, N.Y., has the highest percentage of part-time jobs, 95.9 percent, which is four times higher than in Pearland, Texas, the city with the lowest at 24.1 percent.
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