Ranking America's Top College Towns

For its fourth annual list of the best college towns in America, Livability looked beyond the experiences of students to the relationship between colleges and the surrounding community, and to opportunities for the former to transition to the latter.
Art Bromage / flickr

"The best college towns appeal not just to potential students but to potential residents and businesses looking for strong economies and opportunities to grow," say the editors of Livability. "Sports teams, research facilities, historic buildings, and proximity to bars and restaurants create an attractive atmosphere to spend four (or five) years, but a university's off-campus impact can also shape a town's character and keep people there for a lifetime."

“The same factors that make locations attractive to students also make them attractive to businesses,” says Steven Cunningham, director of research and education at the American Institute for Economic Research, who publish their own rankings on the subject. “A growing, highly-educated population with an extensive proportion of creative people and entrepreneurs means a high-quality labor pool. City accessibility supports morning commutes. Low cost of living means less upward pressure on wages. A high student concentration suggests enthusiastic part-time labor and internships. Favorable economic measures suggest a stable business environment and local demand for goods and services produced. All of these factors are important to quality of life in the broadest sense, which is important to employees and retirees.”

Congrats to Boulder, CO, this year's winner. 

Full Story: Top 10 College Towns 2013


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.