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State College Named No. 5 College Town in America

The American Institute for Economic Research publishes an annual ranking of the nation’s top college destinations. The 2014-2015 College Destinations Index is finished, and it was just announced that State College is the fifth best college town in the nation.

The AIER uses 12 criteria in four categories when indexing America’s college towns. Those categories are student life, culture, economic health, and opportunity.

In its explanation for selecting State College at No. 5 overall, the AIER said that the town “offers ample opportunities for professional and educational growth, as it ranked highly in student concentration and research and development opportunities.” But it wasn’t simply research and education that earned our town its high ranking. The index went on to say that State College thrives economically and socially “thanks to the overwhelming influence that Pennsylvania State University has on this proud university town.”

This isn’t the typical college town ranking. It doesn’t take into account bars, frats, partying, and sports, but it’s a great indication of just how much this town is flourishing.

I know you’re wondering what four towns could have possibly beat State College. Iowa City, Iowa came in at No. 4 as home of the University of Iowa. No. 3 is Corvallis, Ore., the town that holds Oregon State University. The runner-up for best college town is Ames, Iowa, where Iowa State University resides. The top college town in the country, according to the AIER, is Ithaca, N.Y., which is home to both Ithaca College and Cornell University.

We may be fifth in the rankings, but don’t worry. We all know that State College is actually the best college town in America.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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