Forbes: Ann Arbor is No. 1 College Town, Out of 326

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on December 15th, 2015 at 10:31 AM

Of all the college-town rankings I've seen, this one if the most well-thought-out (and not just because Ann Arbor is No. 1 - well, maybe a little bit because of that). They use some interesting metrics to rank every single college town in the country. Ann Arbor is No. 1, while Paterson, N.J., is dead last at No. 326.…



December 15th, 2015 at 12:41 PM ^

I mean, I grew up in East Lansing (Okemos, actually, but right on the border) the son of two M grads and then went to UM myself (as did my sister and brother), so I have no love for Sparty, but I definitely would rank E.L. higher on that list. 

Comparing East Lansing to Columbus, E.L. is a waaaay better college town IMHO.

I look down the list and tend to be pretty onboard with most of the rankings, most especially with #1, but that is a strange mix that puts E.L. that far down. There must be some sort of "respekt" factor built into the methodology that drags them down.



December 15th, 2015 at 11:16 AM ^

I live in CS now and it is so different that A2 that it is hard to compare. For one, it is almost a commuter campus as very few students live within walking distance to class. Secondly, the town is basically a suburb of no where because there are lot's of planned neighborhoods but not much of a cultural scene.


That being said, the campus culture is great and it is a very friendly place to live.


December 15th, 2015 at 10:46 AM ^

Great.  I wonder what happens when they decide to include college towns because it seems that "actually having a college" was not one of the criteria for being a college town.  Chesapeake, VA doesn't have so much as a community college.  Neither do other towns on that list.  Meanwhile, there is no mention of Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Ames, State College, West Lafayette, East Lansing, Clemson, Blacksburg.....


December 15th, 2015 at 11:01 AM ^

Yeah totally confused on that. Murrieta CA is on the list, but I'm not aware of a college there. It also rates relatively high (meaning not last), which other than it being desert hot most of the year, I'm not really sure what would be attractive to a college student. It's basically an overgrown housing development for SD/LA/Riverside commuters.

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December 15th, 2015 at 10:48 AM ^

There was some Forbes clickbait (they seem to have a dual identity between legitimate journalism and terrible clickbait) about "best and worst college towns and cities" with terrible, terrible methodology floating around a few weeks ago. We didn't even make the list, which included EL, as well as such fantastic towns as Laramie, Wyoming and some crappy Texas towns. Point is, not sure if I put stock in these lists anymore.


December 15th, 2015 at 10:50 AM ^

Muncie, IN #22.  Not bad for Ball State: Indiana's 3rd Choice

I was going to be pissed if we weren't ahead of that hellhole West Lafayette, but beating Bloomington is a bit of a surprise. They don't call us Funcie for nothin' I guess.


December 15th, 2015 at 11:42 AM ^

Muncie's number is bolstered by the fact that it's dirt-ass cheap to live here(err..there, I don't technically live in Muncie).

It's fun to talk mess, but it's dumb to think living in one college town in Indiana is much different than living in any other.  You're still driving to Indy to do anything fun.

West Lafayette smells like a toilet though.


December 15th, 2015 at 12:07 PM ^

west lafayette does smell like a toilet.  If you think you need to drive to Indy to have fun when you live in Bloomington, you aren't doing it right.  I doubt many people wake up on saturday morning and say "hey, lets go to Muncie today," but you can be damned sure that every weekend people head down to bloomington.


December 15th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^

Lots of people in the podunk towns around Muncie go to Muncie for the weekend, lots of people in the podunk towns around Bloomington go to Bloomington for the weekend.

There is nothing in Bloomington that differentiates it from any of the other 50k-100k towns around Indiana except for IU, just the same with Muncie and Ball State.  Did you know that the National Model Aeronautics championships are in Muncie every year?  No, you didn't, because you don't care about that.  Only model airplane enthusiasts and Muncie residents care about that, just like only a niche audience and Bloomington residents care about whatever attractions you're about to list off to prove me wrong.

All the best culture, food, entertainment, whatever you like is in Indianapolis, and you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.


December 16th, 2015 at 8:19 AM ^

I actually did know that because I went to Ball State for two years.  Having lived in both Muncie and Bloomington for 2-3 years each, I can tell you without a doubt that Bloomington > Muncie for a college experience.  I forgot what we are arguing about though.  Of course Indianapolis (metropolitan area of ~2 million people) is much more cultured than Bloomington, a city with ~82k people.


Anyway +1s for everyone.




December 15th, 2015 at 10:52 AM ^


Outside my balcony last night, in downtown Ann Arbor, a band consisting of a stand up bass, a banjo, a mandolin and an accordion are playing "House of the Rising Sun."Ann Arbor kicks ass.

Posted by John U. Bacon on Saturday, March 21, 2015


December 15th, 2015 at 12:01 PM ^

I think it's a bit odd that they split Cambridge and Boston up since they're both so small and continguous if you go to school in one you have complete access to both. I haven't lived in AA in over 20 years but I went from undergrad living in Cambridge to grad school living in Ann Arbor, and at that time the former was way better. Probably a lot different now.