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Ann Arbor is One of the Best Small Cities in America for College Students

The city of Ann Arbor is becoming a magnet for awards and recognition from various sources. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) recently named Ann Arbor to its list of country’s 75 Best College Towns and Cities for college students. Ann Arbor ranks #2 (of 20) among small cities (those with populations of 250,000 to one million residents) on the AIER’s College Destination Index. That ranking is up from #3 last year.
The Institute looks past the most frequently used factors in choosing a college, including the schools themselves, costs, academics, and athletic programs. Their criteria analyze other less used but equally important variables. Rather than focusing on the schools themselves, the AIER looked at the types of opportunities – social and economic – which are available to students and graduates in the cities themselves.

Factors considered included (among others):

  • Student Concentration: number of college students per 1,000 residents
  • Student Diversity: percentage of all students holding foreign passports
  • Degree Attainment: percent of the 25-34 year old population with college degrees
  • Cost of Living: based upon average rent for a two-bedroom apartment
  • Arts and Leisure: number of cultural and entertainment venues per 100,000 residents
  • City Accessibility: percentage of workers over age 16 who commute on foot or by public transportation or bicycle
  • Earning Potential: income per capita
  • Entrepreneurial Activity: net annual increase in total number of business establishments per 100,000 residents

According to Charles Murray, AIER’s President, “The amenities that create great college communities also make these destinations great places to visit, live, retire or locate a business.” This is clearly true, as the awards for Ann Arbor just keep rolling in. We’ve recently reported our city’s selection as one of the country’s Best Small Cities (CNN/Money magazine), Parenting magazine’s Fourth Best City for Families, and one of’s Top Ten Cities in the Country for Families.  

If you’re a recent graduate, or considering relocating to Ann Arbor, Martin Bouma -your Ann Arbor neighborhood expert – can help you find the perfect piece of Ann Arbor real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the Bouma Group can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Thinking of settling down in Washtenaw County, Saline, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Call the Bouma Group today! And don’t forget to check out our Condo Hotline (a great option for college students) – we know the Ann Arbor condominium market better than anyone!

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