It’s that time of the year when high school seniors across the country are busy with college applications. They have to think about more than just the colleges and fees. According to experts, the geographical location of a school is as important as a strong curriculum and supportive school environment to a student’s success. Personal finance website WalletHub has published its 2020 ranking for the best college cities in the United States. Let’s check them out.
The WalletHub report titled 2020’s Best College Towns and Cities in America compares more than 400 cities to help prospective college students narrow down their choices. WalletHub ranked cities on 31 different metrics of academic, social, and economic opportunities for students. The data set ranges from the quality of higher education to crime rate to the cost of living in a city.
Germantown in Maryland was named the worst college city in the country. Rounding out the bottom five were Kendall in Florida, Shreveport in Louisiana, Bridgeport in Connecticut, and New Rochelle in New York. With that out of the way, let’s look at the top 10 best college cities, according to WalletHub.
10- Provo, UT
Provo was recently named the most charitable American city by SmartAssist. The city is home to Brigham Young University, America’s best value college. Provo doesn’t offer a lot of economic opportunities to students, but it was ranked highly for “wallet friendliness.” It scored 59.75 out of 100.
9- Salt Lake City, UT
With a score of 59.93, Salt Lake City in Utah is the 9th best college city. It ranked particularly high for the social environment. Salt Lake City is home to the University of Utah, Westminster College, Eagle Gate College, and Utah State University.
8- Las Vegas, NV
The ‘Sin City’ of America also happens to be one of the best college cities with a score of 60.03. Las Vegas was ranked 4th for the social environment. It also performed well in terms of wallet friendliness. Another study has shown that Las Vegas has the most adult entertainment establishments per capita in the US.
7- San Diego, CA
San Diego has the best social environment of any city, according to WalletHub. Out of more than 400 cities compared by WalletHub, San Diego ranked 1st for social environment and 85th for academic & economic opportunities. It is one of the most expensive cities in America, meaning students won’t find it so wallet-friendly.
6- Seattle, WA
Seattle is even more expensive than San Diego for students, though it also offers much better academic & economic opportunities. The combined cost of housing, tuition, entertainment, and meals is one of the highest in the country. The Emerald City received a score of 60.5. It was ranked 7th for social environment and 24th for academic & employment opportunities. Seattle has plenty of nightlife options.
5- Ann Arbor, MI
According to WalletHub, Ann Arbor is the best small college city in the United States. Ann Arbor was ranked highly for academic & economic opportunities, and social environment. Wallet friendliness? Not so much. It received a total score of 62.64. The city is home to the University of Michigan.
4- Tampa, FL
Tampa is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It is home to the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, and Hillsborough Community College. Tampa also has some beautiful beaches nearby. It ranked among the top five for social environment, and received a score of 63.02.
3- Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is part of the Greater Phoenix area in Arizona. The New York Times once described it as the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach” as it has a buzzing hotel scene and plenty of late-night partying. It was ranked 2nd for academic & economic opportunities, and 42nd for social environment. WalletHub gave it a score of 63.13.
2- Orlando, FL
The City Beautiful has a number of institutions of higher education, such as the University of Central Florida, Valencia College, and Florida State University College of Medicine. It received a score of 65.67. Orlando ranked 3rd in the country for social environment and 73rd for wallet friendliness.
1- Austin, TX
Out of more than 400 cities, Austin has been named the best college city in America with a score of 66.49 points. Austin was ranked 2nd for social environment and 54th for academic & economic opportunities. It is also one of the hardest working cities in the country. The Live Music Capital of the World is also one of the favorite places of retirees.