2020’s Best and Worst College Towns and Cities in America

News

Ann Arbor has been voted the best small-city college town, according to a recent Wallet Hub study.

The cities’ rankings were released in preparation for high school seniors’ applications to universities.

In total, the study compiles more than 400 U.S. cities categorized by size and based on 31 indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential.

The data set ranges from the cost of living to the quality of higher education to crime rate.

Here’s the list of the best college cities by size. For the full, comprehensive list, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/e/best-worst-college-cities-and-towns-in-america/8974/

Best Large College Cities:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Tampa, FL
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Las Vegas, NV
  6. Pittsburg, PA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Minneapolis, MN
  9. Atlanta, GA
  10. Denver, CO

Best Midsize College Cities:

  1. Orlando, FL
  2. Scottsdale, AZ
  3. Salt Lake City, UT
  4. Reno, NV
  5. Gainesville, FL
  6. Cincinnati, OH
  7. Henderson, NV
  8. Madison, WI
  9. Tempe, AZ
  10. Durham, NC

Best Small College Cities:

  1. Ann Arbor, MI
  2. Provo, UT
  3. Rexburg, ID
  4. Charleston, IL
  5. Stevens Point, WI
  6. West Lafayette, IN
  7. Charlottesville, VA
  8. Orem, UT
  9. Cambridge, MA
  10. Santa Barbara, CA

** Wallet Hub used the term, cities, to refer to both cities and towns.

Other highlights from the study included:

Best vs. Worst

  • Johnson City, Tennessee has the lowest cost of a two-bedroom apartment rental, $702 per month, which is 4.8 times lower than in San Francisco and Daly City, California, the cities with the highest at $3,339 per month.
     
  • Edinburg, Texas was found to be the most affordable college city. It has the lowest cost-of-living index for young people, 77.18, which is 2.9 times lower than in Stanford, California, the city with the highest at 221.91.
     
  • Savannah, Georgia, has the lowest cost of higher education, $17,255 per year, which is 4.3 times lower than in Evanston, Illinois, the city with the highest at $74,649 per year.
     
  • Stony Brook University, New York, is among the cities with the most enrolled students (per 1,000 residents), 947, which is 22.5 times more than in Cape Coral, Florida, the city with the fewest at 42.

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