Tempe outdoes Tucson on list of best college towns

Dec 17, 2014, 9:20 PM | Updated: 9:20 pm

A recent study conducted by WalletHub.com found Tempe to be a far better college town than Tucson, at least when it comes to cost of living, environment and future opportunities.

Flagstaff also made the list, ranking between the two schools.

According to the study, Tempe is the best college town in Arizona — based on the aforementioned criteria — and the 29th best in the country.

Flagstaff — home to Northern Arizona University — ranked 87th in the nation while Tucson was 152nd.

The Old Pueblo made the low 100s in both cost of living and college environment rankings, but came in at 266 for opportunities.

Tempe, meanwhile, had a ranking of 86 in cost of living and 29 in environment. It was considered 79th when it came to future opportunities.

Wallet Hub broke down its criteria in detail. For cost of living, it considered things like housing costs, average cost of a pizza or a hamburger, the cost of tuition and adjusted cost of living for young people.

For environment — or “youth-oriented environment,” as the site put it — they considered the number of students per capita, crime rate, the gender balance of students and the number of cafes, shopping centers, sports clubs and nightlife options per capita.

And for “opportunities,” the unemployment rate, job growth rate, quality of education, percentage of part-time jobs and earning potential for college-educated individuals were all weighed.

Oxford, Ohio — home to Miami University — took the No. 1 spot, thanks to a top ranking in opportunities. State College, Penn.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Corvallis, Ore.; and College Station, Texas, rounded out the top five.

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Tempe outdoes Tucson on list of best college towns