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State College Ranked Second Best College Town in United States

Soon after Penn State was ranked 52nd among international universities and the second best college in Pennsylvania, Happy Valley can add yet another accolade under its belt: State College is the second best college town in the United States, according to Wallet Hub’s 2014 rankings.

Wallet Hub examined 280 cities of varying sizes across the nation with a primary focus on each city’s “intellectual and personal development as well as a healthy billfold.” The list is comprised of three categories: “Wallet Wellness,” “Youth-Oriented Environment,” and “Opportunities.” These categories compare factors such as housing costs, number of students per capita, and percentage of part-time jobs, with a total of 23 factors influencing the rankings.

In addition to these specific factors, the full rankings list is also divided into three population sizes: large (more than 300,000 people), midsize (100,000 to 300,000 people), and small cities (less than 100,000 people), as well as an overall category.

Data used to support these rankings was taken from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. News & World Report. Wallet Hub’s website includes a more detailed breakdown of its methodology and an explanation of the weighting of each factor.

State College achieved second place in not only the small cities division, but also the overall category, earning the second best “academic, social, and economic atmosphere” of a U.S. college town. Some of State College’s notable ranked features include the highest percentage of rental units, highest percentage of part-time jobs, and second highest number of students per capita.

State College was beat out only by Oxford, Ohio, home to Miami University.

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About the Author

Jessica Myers

Jess graduated in May 2015, with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in English, and with two minors in Latin and Art History. When she says she's "shippin' up to Boston," she's not just singing the song -- she's actually attending Northeastern University this fall to pursue her master's degree. You can follow her shenanigans at her site,


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