2022’s Best and Worst College Towns

A university’s surrounding community is a big part of the college experience. In fact, geographical location is one of the biggest factors when deciding where to go to college. Students need to feel safe. Life needs to be somewhat affordable. And without the curse of the post-30 hangover, vibrant nightlife is key.

WalletHub recently sized up more than 400 college towns and cities across America to see which ones are best (and worst). The site evaluated three key dimensions: 1) Wallet Friendliness 2) Social Environment 3) Academic & Economic Opportunities.

The first two categories carried 25 points and the third carried 50. Each city was graded on a 100-point scale.

Top 5 College Towns and Cities in America:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Ann Arbor, MI
  3. Provo, UT
  4. Orlando, FL
  5. Oxford, OH

Top 5 College Towns and Cities in California:

  1. Irvine (# 17)
  2. San Diego (# 41)
  3. Berkeley (# 55)
  4. Santa Barbara (# 57)
  5. San Luis Obispo (#75)

Compton, California ranked dead last on the list at #415. Other California cities in the bottom 10 include Carson, Richmond, Inglewood, and Glendale.

See the full list and methodology here

List and data were compiled by WalletHub and do not reflect statistics on all cities.


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