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WalletHub Did The Work to Show Us the Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America

collegeWith college-application deadlines approaching and students scheduling campus visits for the spring, the website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America.

To identify the college cities and towns offering the best combination of academic, social and economic growth potential for college students, WalletHub ranked 326 U.S. cities based on 23 key metrics, ranging from the quality of higher education to crime rates to cost of living.

Key Stats

  • The cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment is three times more expensive in Irvine, Calif., than in Las Cruces, N.M.
  • The adjusted cost of living for young people in Santa Monica, Calif., is two times higher than in Edinburg, Texas.
  • The cost of higher education in Providence, R.I., is 10 times higher than in Provo, Utah.
  • Bloomington, Ind., has 9 times as many students per capita as Pasadena, Texas.
  • Boulder, Colo., has 32 times as many cafés per capita as Pasadena, Texas.
  • The number of violent crimes per capita is 46 times higher in Detroit than in Orem, Utah.
  • The percentage of part-time jobs in Bloomington, Ind., is three times higher than in Paterson, N.J.

Overall Rank

City

Overall Score

‘Wallet Wellness’ Rank

‘Youth-Oriented Environment’ Rank

‘Opportunities’ Rank

1 Ann Arbor, MI 67.32 131 2 8
2 College Station, TX 66.03 18 5 11
3 Iowa City, IA 63.62 42 7 19
4 Provo, UT 63.08 14 119 4
5 Gainesville, FL 61.28 43 13 30
6 Pittsburgh, PA 61.17 142 10 18
7 Atlanta, GA 61.02 161 9 15
8 Austin, TX 60.29 124 65 9
9 Cambridge, MA 60.20 312 1 1
10 Columbia, MO 58.70 16 40 33
11 Champaign, IL 58.25 80 27 36
12 Cincinnati, OH 58.07 13 24 57
13 Berkeley, CA 57.85 298 8 6
14 Madison, WI 57.27 134 44 28
15 Houston, TX 57.20 58 186 12
16 Athens, GA 57.17 27 48 55
17 Minneapolis, MN 57.06 162 59 17
18 Salt Lake City, UT 57.02 84 51 39
19 Tempe, AZ 56.72 61 20 65
20 Orlando, FL 56.65 72 16 70
21 Columbus, OH 56.63 51 130 22
22 Tallahassee, FL 56.51 34 61 51
23 Durham, NC 56.37 210 196 2
24 Lawrence, KS 56.33 64 60 43
25 Buffalo, NY 56.11 4 75 62
26 St. Louis, MO 56.08 168 58 24
27 Davis, CA 56.07 273 6 25
28 Fayetteville, AR 55.95 21 43 60
29 Boulder, CO 55.94 242 4 40
30 Tampa, FL 55.69 88 28 58
31 Fort Collins, CO 55.62 152 37 44
32 Kalamazoo, MI 55.57 7 33 80
33 Nashville, TN 55.54 172 187 10
34 Columbia, SC 54.88 89 31 68
35 Seattle, WA 54.86 250 26 14
36 Evanston, IL 54.77 295 62 3
37 Baton Rouge, LA 54.47 48 63 64
38 Syracuse, NY 54.34 139 47 56
39 New Orleans, LA 54.19 182 55 38
40 Tuscaloosa, AL 54.00 24 84 50
41 Albany, NY 53.98 103 11 88
42 New Haven, CT 53.85 292 85 7
T-43 Providence, RI 53.70 228 50 26
T-43 Pasadena, CA 53.70 322 41 5
45 Cleveland, OH 53.39 126 126 31
46 Lincoln, NE 53.21 95 128 47
47 Richmond, VA 53.08 106 39 76
48 Knoxville, TN 52.84 25 78 78
49 Norman, OK 52.82 40 86 71
50 Rochester, NY 52.73 154 46 66
51 Denver, CO 52.59 192 49 54
52 Irvine, CA 52.47 302 36 13
53 Raleigh, NC 52.45 110 167 48
54 Waco, TX 52.27 130 170 35
55 Greenville, NC 52.05 20 74 92
56 Dayton, OH 51.93 112 81 69
57 Fargo, ND 51.93 11 87 75
58 Dallas, TX 51.63 215 162 20
59 Bethlehem, PA 51.08 224 56 49
60 Muncie, IN 51.07 5 100 91
61 Richardson, TX 50.99 140 188 32
62 Baltimore, MD 50.79 188 148 37
63 Flagstaff, AZ 50.67 127 15 141
64 Boston, MA 50.48 294 45 23
65 Lubbock, TX 50.33 31 163 79
66 Bloomington, IN 50.23 54 3 242
67 Edinburg, TX 50.13 1 302 63
68 Missoula, MT 50.09 33 30 155
69 Eugene, OR 49.92 178 73 74
70 Milwaukee, WI 49.84 85 214 67
71 Los Angeles, CA 49.73 260 150 16
72 Tucson, AZ 49.68 60 131 87
73 Charlotte, NC 49.55 86 142 77
74 Washington, DC 49.49 278 54 34
75 St. Paul, MN 49.39 209 96 52
76 San Diego, CA 49.33 247 42 61
77 Orem, UT 49.31 17 151 82
78 Denton, TX 49.23 99 83 81
79 Las Cruces, NM 49.15 3 136 98
80 Santa Barbara, CA 49.01 301 29 41
81 Chicago, IL 48.98 233 111 42
82 Reno, NV 48.88 116 52 124
83 Boca Raton, FL 48.72 246 14 84
T-84 Fort Worth, TX 48.30 207 323 27
T-84 Tulsa, OK 48.30 151 246 59
86 McAllen, TX 48.15 9 173 95
87 Winston-Salem, NC 48.13 216 321 21
88 Greensboro, NC 48.08 32 185 106
89 San Francisco, CA 48.02 323 17 29
90 Las Vegas, NV 47.92 122 19 237
91 Philadelphia, PA 47.82 240 146 45
92 Grand Rapids, MI 47.66 102 92 94
93 Pearland, TX 47.57 69 234 73
94 Louisville, KY 47.56 97 205 83
95 Birmingham, AL 47.51 41 220 101
96 West Palm Beach, FL 47.27 184 64 104
97 Wilmington, NC 47.08 174 35 134
98 San Antonio, TX 46.99 56 218 105
99 Lafayette, LA 46.62 70 141 127
100 Miami, FL 46.52 135 38 229
101 Kansas City, MO 46.43 91 208 103
102 Worcester, MA 46.39 245 152 53
103 Riverside, CA 46.23 194 191 72
104 Bryan, TX 46.08 6 114 174
105 Edmond, OK 45.98 15 181 113
106 Lynchburg, VA 45.90 50 95 170
107 Charleston, SC 45.90 193 34 152
108 Omaha, NE 45.88 67 133 178
109 Murfreesboro, TN 45.85 30 158 139
110 Indianapolis, IN 45.68 62 274 107
111 Portland, OR 45.68 195 32 187
112 Bellingham, WA 45.59 191 25 166
113 Erie, PA 45.50 10 101 231
114 Springfield, MO 45.49 19 176 154
115 League City, TX 45.36 74 260 85
116 Overland Park, KS 45.31 82 165 115
117 Duluth, MN 45.24 71 88 137
118 Rochester, MN 45.23 175 105 97
119 Scranton, PA 45.22 125 66 194
120 Oklahoma City, OK 45.02 44 278 130
T-121 Eau Claire, WI 44.98 105 69 153
T-121 St. Cloud, MN 44.98 83 104 109
123 Boise City, ID 44.92 117 112 128
124 El Paso, TX 44.84 45 217 190
125 Fort Lauderdale, FL 44.82 237 53 117
126 Huntsville, AL 44.77 123 211 119
127 Chico, CA 44.44 259 23 140
128 Corpus Christi, TX 44.19 93 257 129
129 Oshkosh, WI 44.15 36 57 246
T-130 Dearborn, MI 43.99 26 222 149
T-130 Missouri City, TX 43.99 78 129 180
132 Laredo, TX 43.96 23 317 93
133 Sterling Heights, MI 43.85 38 263 144
134 Plano, TX 43.75 196 171 99
135 Scottsdale, AZ 43.72 223 67 147
136 Greeley, CO 43.60 37 200 176
137 Phoenix, AZ 43.58 101 241 165
138 Jonesboro, AR 43.54 2 243 186
139 Akron, OH 43.49 55 182 253
140 Albuquerque, NM 43.49 98 286 136
141 Irving, TX 43.48 111 281 112
142 McKinney, TX 43.48 144 294 86
143 Olathe, KS 43.22 47 265 133
144 Rock Hill, SC 43.20 12 161 232
145 Arlington, TX 43.11 115 233 175
146 Wichita Falls, TX 43.10 56 194 207
147 Gilbert, AZ 43.10 189 226 96
148 Davie, FL 43.09 177 117 126
149 St. Charles, MO 43.01 165 94 177
150 Chandler, AZ 42.99 157 154 164
151 Lansing, MI 42.90 87 113 241
152 Temecula, CA 42.83 198 123 121
153 New York, NY 42.74 316 107 46
154 Johnson City, TN 42.73 76 156 267
155 Pasadena, TX 42.67 92 301 135
156 Redlands, CA 42.59 206 80 162
157 Abilene, TX 42.55 107 177 200
158 St. Petersburg, FL 42.51 119 304 118
159 Cedar Rapids, IA 42.45 169 209 123
160 Sacramento, CA 42.35 203 71 249
161 Amarillo, TX 42.25 66 308 131
162 Lexington-Fayette, KY 42.19 132 139 189
163 Peoria, AZ 42.13 163 235 160
164 Sioux Falls, SD 42.01 160 223 146
165 Roseville, CA 41.96 225 116 111
166 Des Moines, IA 41.94 90 197 212
167 Henderson, NV 41.90 171 221 172
168 Mesa, AZ 41.90 118 242 209
169 Newark, NJ 41.86 159 249 173
170 Murrieta, CA 41.84 185 143 167
171 Somerville, MA 41.72 314 18 114
172 Tyler, TX 41.71 35 307 159
173 Brownsville, TX 41.55 8 305 238
174 Fort Wayne, IN 41.54 79 230 220
175 Peoria, IL 41.53 104 155 248
T-176 Lowell, MA 41.28 256 135 100
T-176 San Marcos, CA 41.28 248 97 120
178 Toledo, OH 41.20 73 309 247
179 Carrollton, TX 41.14 146 252 142
180 Vancouver, WA 41.06 155 77 292
181 Flint, MI 40.92 59 198 277
182 Sunrise, FL 40.92 219 158 158
183 Glendale, AZ 40.82 100 319 204
184 Savannah, GA 40.80 133 124 271
185 Spokane, WA 40.62 114 134 280
186 North Charleston, SC 40.60 128 270 179
187 Stockton, CA 40.53 229 251 108
188 Honolulu, HI 40.52 305 12 184
189 Corona, CA 40.48 221 110 185
190 Evansville, IN 40.36 52 253 274
191 Wichita, KS 40.35 77 314 269
192 Newport News, VA 40.34 149 212 266
193 Colorado Springs, CO 40.33 164 169 235
194 Tacoma, WA 40.31 190 106 275
195 Virginia Beach, VA 40.20 205 160 225
196 Rockford, IL 40.19 22 244 250
197 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 40.16 218 190 156
198 Costa Mesa, CA 40.12 306 21 196
199 Killeen, TX 40.11 39 258 283
200 Garland, TX 40.11 120 295 169
201 Lakeland, FL 39.93 147 166 264
202 Bellevue, WA 39.90 281 82 131
203 West Jordan, UT 39.82 63 325 163
204 Grand Prairie, TX 39.76 121 297 183
205 Aurora, CO 39.70 197 284 151
206 Coral Springs, FL 39.65 226 229 143
207 Norfolk, VA 39.61 141 121 309
208 Naperville, IL 39.57 251 179 122
209 Warren, MI 39.40 138 272 255
210 Hampton, VA 39.31 173 259 226
211 Chattanooga, TN 39.30 81 237 288
212 Santa Monica, CA 39.21 313 22 198
213 Topeka, KS 39.13 29 213 293
214 Brooklyn Park, MN 39.11 150 303 193
215 Rialto, CA 39.08 176 261 191
216 Little Rock, AR 39.04 53 312 297
217 Manchester, NH 39.00 204 109 245
218 Bakersfield, CA 38.96 187 285 182
219 Hollywood, FL 38.78 201 193 251
220 Jackson, MS 38.74 28 268 323
221 Springfield, IL 38.67 143 219 278
222 Mobile, AL 38.66 49 236 321
223 Burbank, CA 38.60 300 79 148
224 Santa Rosa, CA 38.59 287 103 138
225 Cary, NC 38.54 255 255 110
226 Lakewood, CO 38.53 213 248 202
227 Orange, CA 38.49 309 68 157
228 Long Beach, CA 38.43 253 90 257
229 Elk Grove, CA 38.41 220 277 150
230 Santa Clara, CA 38.40 325 76 89
231 Alexandria, VA 38.35 275 70 252
232 Jacksonville, FL 38.33 179 264 233
233 Detroit, MI 38.29 75 322 294
234 High Point, NC 38.20 186 262 262
235 Victorville, CA 38.17 156 290 244
236 Torrance, CA 38.16 310 93 116
237 Salem, OR 38.15 181 115 279
238 El Cajon, CA 38.03 232 98 261
239 Fayetteville, NC 37.99 109 232 299
240 San Bernardino, CA 37.91 136 289 268
241 Joliet, IL 37.89 199 250 211
242 Chino Hills, CA 37.84 263 178 168
243 Fontana, CA 37.83 211 291 217
244 Fresno, CA 37.74 153 203 298
245 Anaheim, CA 37.72 270 108 215
246 Oakland, CA 37.58 269 149 201
247 Aurora, IL 37.58 243 240 197
248 Oceanside, CA 37.58 244 207 219
249 North Las Vegas, NV 37.57 148 311 265
250 Chino, CA 37.54 221 216 223
251 Pembroke Pines, FL 37.46 239 224 205
252 Buena Park, CA 37.25 291 125 161
253 Whittier, CA 37.22 284 99 206
254 Escondido, CA 37.17 235 174 236
255 Memphis, TN 37.15 46 320 316
256 Mesquite, TX 37.12 166 316 259
257 Rio Rancho, NM 37.12 65 269 303
258 Pomona, CA 37.08 236 228 216
259 Vacaville, CA 37.04 266 172 181
260 Montgomery, AL 36.97 113 298 296
261 Chula Vista, CA 36.93 257 189 218
262 Fremont, CA 36.91 308 120 125
263 Miramar, FL 36.85 230 299 203
264 Clarksville, TN 36.76 129 227 300
265 Huntington Beach, CA 36.68 315 72 188
266 Quincy, MA 36.52 299 118 171
267 Augusta, GA 36.45 96 313 308
268 Santa Ana, CA 36.44 254 199 256
269 Allentown, PA 36.43 231 122 302
270 Macon, GA 36.41 94 324 287
271 San Jose, CA 36.41 318 138 102
272 Sunnyvale, CA 36.36 325 127 90
273 Fullerton, CA 36.21 304 89 208
274 Gresham, OR 36.21 170 266 290
275 Modesto, CA 36.17 180 273 263
276 Moreno Valley, CA 36.12 208 283 272
277 Santa Clarita, CA 36.11 265 254 192
278 Ontario, CA 36.08 217 247 285
279 Hayward, CA 35.88 274 168 214
280 Downey, CA 35.88 277 164 213
281 Hawthorne, CA 35.79 272 180 222
282 Jersey City, NJ 35.78 280 175 224
283 Shreveport, LA 35.76 108 279 315
284 Hartford, CT 35.75 183 132 320
285 Portsmouth, VA 35.63 158 306 307
286 Palmdale, CA 35.50 249 293 234
287 Westminster, CA 35.38 297 102 239
288 Chesapeake, VA 35.27 214 315 273
289 Port St. Lucie, FL 35.16 145 296 281
290 Stamford, CT 35.02 317 137 145
291 Hialeah, FL 34.99 167 310 306
292 Columbus, GA 34.86 137 288 314
293 Lancaster, CA 34.84 227 225 304
294 Lakewood, CA 34.74 290 183 228
295 Antioch, CA 34.72 261 292 210
296 Garden Grove, CA 34.66 293 153 240
297 Miami Gardens, FL 34.51 212 300 301
298 Concord, CA 34.26 282 195 254
299 Norwalk, CT 34.20 311 91 258
300 Danbury, CT 34.18 307 145 227
301 Simi Valley, CA 33.82 289 239 221
302 Vallejo, CA 33.76 241 282 286
303 Salinas, CA 33.75 258 202 282
304 Anchorage, AK 33.74 286 210 260
305 Alhambra, CA 33.27 288 206 270
306 Daly City, CA 33.19 321 147 195
307 West Covina, CA 33.16 279 192 289
308 Elizabeth, NJ 33.11 234 231 313
309 Springfield, MA 32.93 200 280 305
310 Norwalk, CA 32.86 267 245 291
311 Thousand Oaks, CA 32.69 320 144 230
312 Glendale, CA 32.68 303 157 276
313 Oxnard, CA 32.63 276 287 243
314 Visalia, CA 32.61 202 275 319
315 Newton, MA 32.51 319 184 199
316 Albany, GA 32.50 68 238 325
317 Inglewood, CA 32.31 262 276 295
318 Baldwin Park, CA 31.92 252 201 312
319 El Monte, CA 31.21 264 215 317
320 Carson, CA 30.59 268 204 322
321 Compton, CA 30.01 238 318 311
322 Arlington, VA 29.86 296 140 324
323 Bridgeport, CT 28.37 285 271 318
324 Germantown, MD 27.74 271 326 310
325 Yonkers, NY 27.18 324 256 284
326 Paterson, NJ 25.70 283 267 326
Source: WalletHub

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