Scottsdale, not Tempe or Tucson, rated as Arizona’s best college town
PHOENIX – Sorry, Sun Devils and Wildcats, the best college town in Arizona isn’t Tempe or Tucson.
According to WalletHub, Scottsdale is the best place for college students to live in the Grand Canyon State.
In fact, the personal finance website rated the home of the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes as the ninth-best college town in the country.
“Scottsdale did really well just because of its overall economic climate,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday, when the rankings were posted. “It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country right now.”
The Northeast Valley suburb checked in at No. 2 in the rankings for midsize cities.
WalletHub compiled its rankings by comparing 415 cities and towns in 30 metrics across three key categories: wallet friendliness, social environment and academic and economic opportunities.
“We looked at everything from the average cost of pizza and burgers to, obviously, tuition and student loan debt per person,” Gonzalez said.
“We also looked toward the future to see what the unemployment rates and entrepreneurial activity are for these cities.”
Scottsdale’s strong showing can be attributed to its performance in academic and economic opportunities, where it ranked third overall.
Tucson got the state’s second-best rating at No. 28 overall. The home of the University of Arizona was ranked 13th among the 64 large cities that were analyzed.
Tempe was next in Arizona at No. 45 in the nation. The Arizona State University base was No. 10 on the midsize city list.
All the municipalities included in the rankings had a college population of at least 7,500 students.
The other Arizona cities on the list were No. 73 Mesa, No. 85 Flagstaff, No. 104 Chandler, No. 121 Phoenix, No. 126 Peoria, No. 146 Gilbert and No. 148 Glendale.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report.