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The 10 Best College Towns In America

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America's best college towns have huge student populations, loads of cultural opportunities, and a relatively low cost of living.

Thanks in part to the economic recession, towns with 250,000 people or fewer beat out mid-size cities and major metro areas as the best places to go to school on the American Institute for Economic Research's latest index of college destinations.

According to the AIER, college towns are relatively recession-proof since they are home to a high proportion of students who consistently spend money. As a result, their economies tend to be more stable than those of larger cities.

These 10 are the best of the best.

This is part of our series on The Best Colleges In America.

#10 Columbia, Missouri

Population: 172,319

Student concentration: 212.1 (per 1,000 people)

2-bedroom apartment: $666/month

Earning Potential: $36,241

Colleges: University of Missouri, Columbia College, Stephens College

Source: The American Institute for Economic Research



#9 Morgantown, West Virginia

Population: 130,288

Student concentration: 205.7 (per 1,000 people)

2-bedroom apartment: $586/month

Earning Potential: $34,412

Colleges: West Virginia University

Source: The American Institute for Economic Research



#8 Lawrence, Kansas

Population: 111,130

Student concentration: 255.5 (per 1,000 people)

2-bedroom apartment: $536/month

Earning Potential: $31,250

Colleges: University of Kansas

Source: The American Institute for Economic Research



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