Great College Destinations: College Towns (Fewer Than 250,000 Residents)

According to the American Institute for Economic Research, these are the best towns for college students. Ratings are based on social or cultural factors including cost of rent, city accessibility, arts and entertainment, culture, bars and restaurants, diversity, and cost of living minus rent, and four work opportunities: youth unemployment, percent of residents who are college-educated, economic activity, and workers in technology.

* Highlighted schools are featured

List produced by the Experts

  • 1. Ames, IA
  • 2. Ithaca, NY
  • 3. Iowa City, IA
  • 4. Charlottesville, VA
  • 5. Columbia, MO
  • 6. Santa Fe, NM
  • 7. Corvallis, OR
  • 8. Missoula, MT
  • 9. Fargo, ND
  • 10. Lafayette, ID
  • 11. Manhattan, KS
  • 12. Bloomington, IN
  • 13. College Station, TX
  • 14. Rochester, MN
  • 15. Lawrence, KS
  • 16. Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • 17. State College, PA
  • 18. Morgantown, WV
  • 19. Blacksburg, VA
  • 20. Mankato, MN
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Source: American Institute for Economic Research, The AIER 2016 College Destinations Index (

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more here.

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