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State College Ranked Third Best College Town

In a 2012-2013 college destination index done by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), State College ranked third in “Best College Town and City” in the under 250,000 residents category.

The home of the Penn State campus beat out other top college towns like Iowa City (ranked 4th) and the perennially high-ranking Charlottesville, VA (ranked only 13th). State College falls right behind Ithaca, New York who ranks first, and Ames, Iowa who takes second.

The towns were judged on twelve different criteria ranging from student diversity and research capability to earning potential and unemployment. City accessibility, cost of living, and student concentration (the number of college students per 1,000 population) were also contributing factors.

Researchers pulled data from recent Census Bureau findings, as well as the National Science Foundation and the Small Business Administration information. They then combined their findings to achieve their final ranking of college towns and cities.

Steven Cunningham, AEIR Director of Research and Education, stated in the AIER article that: “the characteristics that make up a great college destination often make a location ideal for business, retirement and tourism. A top AIER College Destinations Index ranking should be just as important to the town or city as it is to the schools located there and the families and students attending or considering them.”

We don’t need a survey to tell us how great State College is, but it definitely doesn’t hurt knowing we live in one of the best areas for student growth as well as educational and occupational development. Just when you think Penn State can’t amaze you anymore..

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