For the 99+ percent of you who aren’t even reading this and have instead skipped straight ahead to the list in search of your college town, you’re likely going to be pissed, confused, and, since we’re in the midst of spring break for a lot of you, drunk. You won’t find any heavy hitters that come to mind–like Athens, Madison, or State College–in this list of great college towns in America. Holding down the top spot is Hanover, N.H., home of Dartmouth College.
An important detail you probably glossed over in the title is that this ranking is for the best college towns to live in, both while in school and after graduation. This isn’t a list of the best places in which to get hammered, troll for trim, and skip classes.
Without further ado, here are the best college towns to live in, according to Movoto:
1. Hanover, N.H.
2. Bryn Mawr, Pa.
3. Charlottesville, Va.
4. Ann Arbor, Mich.
5. Blacksburg, Va.
6. Princeton, N.J.
7. Swarthmore, Pa.
8. Iowa City, Iowa
9. Waltham, Mass.
10. Burlington, Vt.
And how did they organize the list?
To create our ranking, we first looked at the 100 top-ranked liberal arts colleges and universities according to U.S. News, ties included, marking down the location of each institute of higher education. After this, we combined locations in which there were multiple colleges or universities. Finally, we ranked each location based on set of criteria, detailed below. Unfortunately, we were unable to find data for all the locations on our initial list. In the end, we were left with 167 diverse locations across the country, both large and small.
What were the criteria we used to judge the best college towns in America? We looked at seven unique criteria which we believe make a great place to live. The criteria we used were:
• Total amenities
• Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student-to-teacher ratio)
• Total crimes
• Tax rates (sales tax and income tax)
• Commute time
• Weather (temperature and air quality)
Once we filled our spreadsheets with numbers, we ranked each place on our list from one to 167 for each criteria. We then took the aggregate rank across our criteria. The place with the lowest overall score, in this case Hanover, was named the best college town in America.
Image via RandomSpace