Back Releases Rankings Showing the Best College Towns in America
November 7, 2019
The Midwest comes out on top using data from the U.S. Census, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --, a definitive source for education information, today released its ranking of the 20 best college towns in the country. To be ranked, each city had to have a population under 150,000 people, have affordable rent and display a learning-friendly environment and culture that could draw and maintain a college-aged crowd.

Since where a school is located can impact the success of a student's college experience, experts carefully considered its ranking procedure. It turns out that the Midwest has a clear advantage over other geographical regions. Out of the 20 towns selected for the list, 12 of them lie in the Midwest, with four alone being located in Eastern Wisconsin.

"We were careful to evaluate college towns using a variety of diverse and relevant factors," explains Corrine Evanoff, site editor for "One thing that stood out in our research is that low crime statistics and unemployment rates can lift a town and foster a positive learning environment. Our research also factored in a short commute time, should potential students end up settling in their college town for a time, post-graduation."

The top 10 ranked college towns are:

  1. Oshkosh, Wisconsin – population: 66,668
  2. Fargo, North Dakota – population: 123,590
  3. Portland, Maine – population: 66,878
  4. Bloomington, Illinois – population: 77,941
  5. Eau Claire, Wisconsin – population: 69,835
  6. Waukesha, Wisconsin – population: 72,483
  7. Rochester, Minnesota – population: 115,733
  8. Greenville, South Carolina – population: 68,223
  9. Conway, Arkansas – population: 65,790
  10. Cambridge, Massachusetts – population: 113,631

To rank the top college towns,'s experts used the most recent, publicly available government data and analyzed the information using factors like cost of living, commute options, student population, and crime and unemployment rates.

The full analysis, a description of the ranking's methodology, and the complete list of the 20 selected college towns can be found here:

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For over two decades, has connected current and prospective students with the tools, resources, schools, career info and more that they can use to find the right degree program for their educational goals and career plans. Using rankings that analyze community colleges, four-year schools, and other kinds of programs, students can use to enroll in on-campus or online schools and find the best colleges in the U.S.

Twitter: @schoolsEDU 

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