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Austin takes the crown as the best college city in the US – report

best college city in the US
The best college cities in the US are located in the South. Source: Shutterstock

High school graduates who are planning to continue their studies in the US may want to shift their gaze towards the country’s south. 

Choosing an institution for its curriculum strength and supportive learning environment is on the forefront of people’s minds, but experts argue that a school’s geographical location is equally important to a student’s academic success and personal development, notes WalletHub

Source: WalletHub

Where you choose to study can greatly affect your finances, be it an urban, rural or suburban setting. Each affects your cost of living, including your monthly accommodation, grocery bills and utilities. With the cost of living contributing to a big chunk of your expenses, deciding where to study should not be taken lightly.

“As student living expenses can reach up to US$27,200 for a 12-month period, students should try to find the most bang for their buck,” said the personal finance website.

WalletHub’s latest report – 2020’s Best College Towns & Cities in America – compares 415 US cities of varying sizes based on 31 key indicators of academic, social and economic opportunities for students. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favourable conditions for college students. These were then ranked according to three categories: Wallet Friendliness, Social Environment and Academic and Economic Opportunities.

Based on their findings, these are the 10 best college towns and cities in the US:

RANK CITY TOTAL SCORE WALLET FRIENDLINESS RANK SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT RANK ACADEMIC AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES RANK
1 Austin, TX 66.49 196 2 54
2 Orlando, FL 65.67 73 3 91
3 Scottsdale, AZ 63.13 309 42 2
4 Tampa, FL 63.02 179 5 103
5 Ann Arbor, MI 62.64 245 49 25
6 Seattle, WA 60.55 376 7 24
7 San Diego, CA 60.2 341 1 85
8 Las Vegas, NV 60.03 94 4 249
9 Salt Lake City, UT 59.93 136 43 105
10 Provo, UT 59.75 10 112 121
Source: WalletHub

Academic and Economic Opportunities holds the heaviest weightage – 50 points – and assessed factors like the quality of higher education, the median income for part-time workers, and entrepreneurial activity. Wallet Friendliness included factors like housing costs, an adjusted cost of living for “young people,” the cost of higher education, and loan debt per person were assessed. To assess Social Environment, WalletHub looked at factors like students per capita, nightlife options per capita, share of population aged 18 to 35, and festivals per capita.

Austin (Texas) takes the crown as the best college town in the US, according to the personal finance site’s report. A close second is Orlando (Florida); followed by Scottsdale (Arizona). 

Some of the most expensive locations to study in the US are located in California and Massachusetts. 

By order of “wallet friendliness”, expensive cities in the US include: Stanford, Somerville, Medford, New York City, Thousand Oaks and Newton.

Academic and Economic Opportunities holds the heaviest weightage – 50 points – and assessed factors like quality of higher education, median income for part-time workers and entrepreneurial activity. Wallet Friendliness included factors like housing costs, an adjusted cost of living for “young people,” the cost of higher education, and loan debt per person were assessed. To assess Social Environment, WalletHub looked at factors like students per capita, nightlife options per capita, share of population aged 18 to 35, and festivals per capita.

Germantown, Maryland was ranked as the worst college town. The other cities rounding up the bottom five are Kendall, Florida; Shreveport, Louisiana; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and New Rochelle, New York.

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