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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 personal finance 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

1Ann Arbor, MI67.3213128
2College Station, TX66.0318511
3Iowa City, IA63.6242719
4Provo, UT63.08141194
5Gainesville, FL61.28431330
6Pittsburgh, PA61.171421018
7Atlanta, GA61.02161915
8Austin, TX60.29124659
9Cambridge, MA60.2031211
10Columbia, MO58.70164033
11Champaign, IL58.25802736
12Cincinnati, OH58.07132457
13Berkeley, CA57.8529886
14Madison, WI57.271344428
15Houston, TX57.205818612
16Athens, GA57.17274855
17Minneapolis, MN57.061625917
18Salt Lake City, UT57.02845139
19Tempe, AZ56.72612065
20Orlando, FL56.65721670
21Columbus, OH56.635113022
22Tallahassee, FL56.51346151
23Durham, NC56.372101962
24Lawrence, KS56.33646043
25Buffalo, NY56.1147562
26St. Louis, MO56.081685824
27Davis, CA56.07273625
28Fayetteville, AR55.95214360
29Boulder, CO55.94242440
30Tampa, FL55.69882858
31Fort Collins, CO55.621523744
32Kalamazoo, MI55.5773380
33Nashville, TN55.5417218710
34Columbia, SC54.88893168
35Seattle, WA54.862502614
36Evanston, IL54.77295623
37Baton Rouge, LA54.47486364
38Syracuse, NY54.341394756
39New Orleans, LA54.191825538
40Tuscaloosa, AL54.00248450
41Albany, NY53.981031188
42New Haven, CT53.85292857
T-43Providence, RI53.702285026
T-43Pasadena, CA53.70322415
45Cleveland, OH53.3912612631
46Lincoln, NE53.219512847
47Richmond, VA53.081063976
48Knoxville, TN52.84257878
49Norman, OK52.82408671
50Rochester, NY52.731544666
51Denver, CO52.591924954
52Irvine, CA52.473023613
53Raleigh, NC52.4511016748
54Waco, TX52.2713017035
55Greenville, NC52.05207492
56Dayton, OH51.931128169
57Fargo, ND51.93118775
58Dallas, TX51.6321516220
59Bethlehem, PA51.082245649
60Muncie, IN51.07510091
61Richardson, TX50.9914018832
62Baltimore, MD50.7918814837
63Flagstaff, AZ50.6712715141
64Boston, MA50.482944523
65Lubbock, TX50.333116379
66Bloomington, IN50.23543242
67Edinburg, TX50.13130263
68Missoula, MT50.093330155
69Eugene, OR49.921787374
70Milwaukee, WI49.848521467
71Los Angeles, CA49.7326015016
72Tucson, AZ49.686013187
73Charlotte, NC49.558614277
74Washington, DC49.492785434
75St. Paul, MN49.392099652
76San Diego, CA49.332474261
77Orem, UT49.311715182
78Denton, TX49.23998381
79Las Cruces, NM49.15313698
80Santa Barbara, CA49.013012941
81Chicago, IL48.9823311142
82Reno, NV48.8811652124
83Boca Raton, FL48.722461484
T-84Fort Worth, TX48.3020732327
T-84Tulsa, OK48.3015124659
86McAllen, TX48.15917395
87Winston-Salem, NC48.1321632121
88Greensboro, NC48.0832185106
89San Francisco, CA48.023231729
90Las Vegas, NV47.9212219237
91Philadelphia, PA47.8224014645
92Grand Rapids, MI47.661029294
93Pearland, TX47.576923473
94Louisville, KY47.569720583
95Birmingham, AL47.5141220101
96West Palm Beach, FL47.2718464104
97Wilmington, NC47.0817435134
98San Antonio, TX46.9956218105
99Lafayette, LA46.6270141127
100Miami, FL46.5213538229
101Kansas City, MO46.4391208103
102Worcester, MA46.3924515253
103Riverside, CA46.2319419172
104Bryan, TX46.086114174
105Edmond, OK45.9815181113
106Lynchburg, VA45.905095170
107Charleston, SC45.9019334152
108Omaha, NE45.8867133178
109Murfreesboro, TN45.8530158139
110Indianapolis, IN45.6862274107
111Portland, OR45.6819532187
112Bellingham, WA45.5919125166
113Erie, PA45.5010101231
114Springfield, MO45.4919176154
115League City, TX45.367426085
116Overland Park, KS45.3182165115
117Duluth, MN45.247188137
118Rochester, MN45.2317510597
119Scranton, PA45.2212566194
120Oklahoma City, OK45.0244278130
T-121Eau Claire, WI44.9810569153
T-121St. Cloud, MN44.9883104109
123Boise City, ID44.92117112128
124El Paso, TX44.8445217190
125Fort Lauderdale, FL44.8223753117
126Huntsville, AL44.77123211119
127Chico, CA44.4425923140
128Corpus Christi, TX44.1993257129
129Oshkosh, WI44.153657246
T-130Dearborn, MI43.9926222149
T-130Missouri City, TX43.9978129180
132Laredo, TX43.962331793
133Sterling Heights, MI43.8538263144
134Plano, TX43.7519617199
135Scottsdale, AZ43.7222367147
136Greeley, CO43.6037200176
137Phoenix, AZ43.58101241165
138Jonesboro, AR43.542243186
139Akron, OH43.4955182253
140Albuquerque, NM43.4998286136
141Irving, TX43.48111281112
142McKinney, TX43.4814429486
143Olathe, KS43.2247265133
144Rock Hill, SC43.2012161232
145Arlington, TX43.11115233175
146Wichita Falls, TX43.1056194207
147Gilbert, AZ43.1018922696
148Davie, FL43.09177117126
149St. Charles, MO43.0116594177
150Chandler, AZ42.99157154164
151Lansing, MI42.9087113241
152Temecula, CA42.83198123121
153New York, NY42.7431610746
154Johnson City, TN42.7376156267
155Pasadena, TX42.6792301135
156Redlands, CA42.5920680162
157Abilene, TX42.55107177200
158St. Petersburg, FL42.51119304118
159Cedar Rapids, IA42.45169209123
160Sacramento, CA42.3520371249
161Amarillo, TX42.2566308131
162Lexington-Fayette, KY42.19132139189
163Peoria, AZ42.13163235160
164Sioux Falls, SD42.01160223146
165Roseville, CA41.96225116111
166Des Moines, IA41.9490197212
167Henderson, NV41.90171221172
168Mesa, AZ41.90118242209
169Newark, NJ41.86159249173
170Murrieta, CA41.84185143167
171Somerville, MA41.7231418114
172Tyler, TX41.7135307159
173Brownsville, TX41.558305238
174Fort Wayne, IN41.5479230220
175Peoria, IL41.53104155248
T-176Lowell, MA41.28256135100
T-176San Marcos, CA41.2824897120
178Toledo, OH41.2073309247
179Carrollton, TX41.14146252142
180Vancouver, WA41.0615577292
181Flint, MI40.9259198277
182Sunrise, FL40.92219158158
183Glendale, AZ40.82100319204
184Savannah, GA40.80133124271
185Spokane, WA40.62114134280
186North Charleston, SC40.60128270179
187Stockton, CA40.53229251108
188Honolulu, HI40.5230512184
189Corona, CA40.48221110185
190Evansville, IN40.3652253274
191Wichita, KS40.3577314269
192Newport News, VA40.34149212266
193Colorado Springs, CO40.33164169235
194Tacoma, WA40.31190106275
195Virginia Beach, VA40.20205160225
196Rockford, IL40.1922244250
197Rancho Cucamonga, CA40.16218190156
198Costa Mesa, CA40.1230621196
199Killeen, TX40.1139258283
200Garland, TX40.11120295169
201Lakeland, FL39.93147166264
202Bellevue, WA39.9028182131
203West Jordan, UT39.8263325163
204Grand Prairie, TX39.76121297183
205Aurora, CO39.70197284151
206Coral Springs, FL39.65226229143
207Norfolk, VA39.61141121309
208Naperville, IL39.57251179122
209Warren, MI39.40138272255
210Hampton, VA39.31173259226
211Chattanooga, TN39.3081237288
212Santa Monica, CA39.2131322198
213Topeka, KS39.1329213293
214Brooklyn Park, MN39.11150303193
215Rialto, CA39.08176261191
216Little Rock, AR39.0453312297
217Manchester, NH39.00204109245
218Bakersfield, CA38.96187285182
219Hollywood, FL38.78201193251
220Jackson, MS38.7428268323
221Springfield, IL38.67143219278
222Mobile, AL38.6649236321
223Burbank, CA38.6030079148
224Santa Rosa, CA38.59287103138
225Cary, NC38.54255255110
226Lakewood, CO38.53213248202
227Orange, CA38.4930968157
228Long Beach, CA38.4325390257
229Elk Grove, CA38.41220277150
230Santa Clara, CA38.403257689
231Alexandria, VA38.3527570252
232Jacksonville, FL38.33179264233
233Detroit, MI38.2975322294
234High Point, NC38.20186262262
235Victorville, CA38.17156290244
236Torrance, CA38.1631093116
237Salem, OR38.15181115279
238El Cajon, CA38.0323298261
239Fayetteville, NC37.99109232299
240San Bernardino, CA37.91136289268
241Joliet, IL37.89199250211
242Chino Hills, CA37.84263178168
243Fontana, CA37.83211291217
244Fresno, CA37.74153203298
245Anaheim, CA37.72270108215
246Oakland, CA37.58269149201
247Aurora, IL37.58243240197
248Oceanside, CA37.58244207219
249North Las Vegas, NV37.57148311265
250Chino, CA37.54221216223
251Pembroke Pines, FL37.46239224205
252Buena Park, CA37.25291125161
253Whittier, CA37.2228499206
254Escondido, CA37.17235174236
255Memphis, TN37.1546320316
256Mesquite, TX37.12166316259
257Rio Rancho, NM37.1265269303
258Pomona, CA37.08236228216
259Vacaville, CA37.04266172181
260Montgomery, AL36.97113298296
261Chula Vista, CA36.93257189218
262Fremont, CA36.91308120125
263Miramar, FL36.85230299203
264Clarksville, TN36.76129227300
265Huntington Beach, CA36.6831572188
266Quincy, MA36.52299118171
267Augusta, GA36.4596313308
268Santa Ana, CA36.44254199256
269Allentown, PA36.43231122302
270Macon, GA36.4194324287
271San Jose, CA36.41318138102
272Sunnyvale, CA36.3632512790
273Fullerton, CA36.2130489208
274Gresham, OR36.21170266290
275Modesto, CA36.17180273263
276Moreno Valley, CA36.12208283272
277Santa Clarita, CA36.11265254192
278Ontario, CA36.08217247285
279Hayward, CA35.88274168214
280Downey, CA35.88277164213
281Hawthorne, CA35.79272180222
282Jersey City, NJ35.78280175224
283Shreveport, LA35.76108279315
284Hartford, CT35.75183132320
285Portsmouth, VA35.63158306307
286Palmdale, CA35.50249293234
287Westminster, CA35.38297102239
288Chesapeake, VA35.27214315273
289Port St. Lucie, FL35.16145296281
290Stamford, CT35.02317137145
291Hialeah, FL34.99167310306
292Columbus, GA34.86137288314
293Lancaster, CA34.84227225304
294Lakewood, CA34.74290183228
295Antioch, CA34.72261292210
296Garden Grove, CA34.66293153240
297Miami Gardens, FL34.51212300301
298Concord, CA34.26282195254
299Norwalk, CT34.2031191258
300Danbury, CT34.18307145227
301Simi Valley, CA33.82289239221
302Vallejo, CA33.76241282286
303Salinas, CA33.75258202282
304Anchorage, AK33.74286210260
305Alhambra, CA33.27288206270
306Daly City, CA33.19321147195
307West Covina, CA33.16279192289
308Elizabeth, NJ33.11234231313
309Springfield, MA32.93200280305
310Norwalk, CA32.86267245291
311Thousand Oaks, CA32.69320144230
312Glendale, CA32.68303157276
313Oxnard, CA32.63276287243
314Visalia, CA32.61202275319
315Newton, MA32.51319184199
316Albany, GA32.5068238325
317Inglewood, CA32.31262276295
318Baldwin Park, CA31.92252201312
319El Monte, CA31.21264215317
320Carson, CA30.59268204322
321Compton, CA30.01238318311
322Arlington, VA29.86296140324
323Bridgeport, CT28.37285271318
324Germantown, MD27.74271326310
325Yonkers, NY27.18324256284
326Paterson, NJ25.70283267326
Source: WalletHub

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