Fort Collins a Top-Ranked Destination for College Students

Dec 1, 2015 | Uncategorized

You may recall the ‘dueling soapboxes’ in the Coloradoan a couple of months ago about the benefit of community rankings produced by various publications and websites.  A prominent local government leader took the side that they are positive validation of a community doing things right; the opposing view was offered by a dedicated stop-all-growth-at-any-cost activist.

Well, the latter guy got another dose of (from his perspective) bad news in the form of an index published last week by the American Institute for Economic Research. AIER released its annual ranking of top U.S. metro areas for college students using 11 criteria relative to culture and economy. Fort Collins landed #5 on the Small Metro list behind 1. Boulder, Colorado, 2. Durham, North Carolina, 3. Ann Arbor, Michigan, and 4. Madison, Wisconsin.

Now, keep in mind when you look at the data that they are looking at Metropolitan Statistical Areas, not just city boundaries. In our case, it’s the Fort Collins-Loveland MSA, which is Larimer County.

Go to AIER’s  2015/2016 College Destinations Index for a full report, but the top 5 in the other categories include:

Major metros: 1. San Francisco, 2. Boston, 3. Seattle, 4. Denver, 5. Houston 

Midsize metros: 1. San Jose, California, 2. Austin, Texas, 3. Pittsburgh, 4. Raleigh, 5. Salt Lake City

College towns: 1. Ames, Iowa, 2. Ithaca, New York, 3. Iowa City, Iowa, 4. Charlottesville, Virginia, 5. Columbia, Missouri