Two Michigan Cities Named Best College Towns in America
Michigan takes higher education rather seriously, and for good reason. The University of Michigan is typically one of the top three public universities in the country and Michigan State isn't far behind and has more than enough going for it to rival the Maize and Blue in most areas.
Of course, there are smaller college towns trickled throughout the state, each with passionate support of their own.
Still, with all of the passion wrapped up in college athletics or even in which schools perform well academically, the state doesn't have to fight within. Instead, it can look outward and see how its college towns stack up against the country.
Road Snacks did just that, ranking the top 101 college towns in America. It should come as no surprise, Michigan performed very well in this study. Granting scores based on undergraduate populations, graduation rates, sports performance, rent prices and several other metrics, Road Snacks was able to name the best places in the country to live while chasing that degree.
The No. 1 spot was given to Ann Arbor, the home of the Michigan Wolverines. Anyone who has been to Ann Arbor can attest to how great of a city it is. There is plenty to do, the city is well-maintained and the campus holds a commanding presence.
About 30% of the population is undergrad, and though the city pulls in plenty of money with high rent, the crime rate is low and there's little excuse to find yourself bored as a student at Michigan. Ann Arbor is by far the largest college town in the top 10, but the city is still plenty homey for incoming students, or those who wish to stay as Ann Arbor's unemployment rate is 7th best among the 300 schools that were considered for the list.
Falling shortly behind at No. 3 is East Lansing, the home of the Michigan State Spartans. Interestingly, because Road Snacks only considered basketball for sports, Michigan State was able to score quite high on the list. The school is one of the best for athletics overall, but allowing its strongest sport to take priority certainly helped its ranking.
East Lansing's undergrad population is the complete opposite of Michigan's, with a 70% share. Though a drastically smaller city without considering the state capital, East Lansing can stand up to Ann Arbor with lower rent prices and a comparable crime rate.
Seeing as both cities hate Ohio State University, residents of both cities will be happy to know their rival city landed all the way down at No. 85 on the list. Ypsilanti, the home of Eastern Michigan University even managed to rank higher, landing at No. 83.
Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Ypsilanti were the only three Michigan college towns to make the top 101 from Road Snacks.
The Big Ten Conference performed well in the top 10. Four college towns hosting Big Ten schools landed in the top of the list, more than any other collegiate conference. The two outside of Michigan were Champaign, Illinois and Bloomington, Indiana.
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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison