High school graduates pursuing a college education have a glut of options when it comes to choosing a university. Prospective students consider the cost of tuition, school reputation, the scholarship of professors, success of alumni, personal considerations and many other factors.
But only some of what is learned in college occurs in the classroom — what the town or city has to offer is arguably one of the most important aspects of this all-important life choice.
What makes a college town appealing is obviously subjective. However, the best areas to be a college student should not be so different from the best areas for anyone else. While cities with massive student populations are certainly not necessarily the best college towns, a large body of college-enrolled residents also brings certain benefits for university students.
For example, from the perspective of a college student, a high percentage of residents enrolled in higher education institutions likely means more opportunity for diverse experiences with peers. Further, the cities with relatively large student populations are more likely to have economies — services, amenities, and infrastructure — that directly serve individuals in that group.
To identify the best college towns in America, 24/7 Wall St. considered the 250 top cities based on our most recent annual analysis of the best cities to live. That analysis took into account a range of social, economic, and health factors. Of those areas, we identified the 25 cities with the highest postsecondary enrollment.