The 10 BestCollegeTowns, According to General Quality of Life

Mar 07, 2013 -- 9:17am

The 10 BestCollegeTowns, According to General Quality of Life

What makes for a good college town? Is it the number of drinking establishments? The number of late night pizza places with ranch to stumble into after closing time? The scantily-clad-coeds factor? Or is it something a little more intangible and, to be honest, mature for residents of the community, like underemployment rate, earning potential per capita, public transportation, and cost-of-living?

By virtue, college towns -- especially ones that boast big research universities -- are magnets for jobs and a fairly decent way of life. The American Institute of Economic Research crunched a number of "quality of life" factors to create the AIERCollegeDestinations Index, which ranks the "best" college towns. Here's how the sausage is made:


According to the study, here are the very best college towns. Via HuffingtonPostCollege:

10. Columbia, Mo.-- The Universityof Missouri

9. Morgantown, W.Va.-- West VirginiaUniversity

8. Lawrence, Kan.-- The Universityof Kansas

7. Lafayette, Ind.-- PurdueUniversity, IvyTechCommunity Collegeof Indiana, and HarrisonCollege

6. Champagne-Urbana, Ill.-- Universityof IllinoisChampaign-Urbana

5. Corvallis, Ore.-- OregonStateUniversity

4. Iowa City, Iowa-- Universityof Iowa

3. State College, Pa.-- PennState

2. Ames, Iowa-- IowaStateUniversity

1. Ithaca, N.Y.-- CornellUniversityand IthacaCollege

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