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
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
#9 Morgantown, West Virginia
Student concentration: 205.7 (per 1,000 people)
2-bedroom apartment: $586/month
Earning Potential: $34,412
Colleges: West Virginia University
#8 Lawrence, Kansas
Student concentration: 255.5 (per 1,000 people)
2-bedroom apartment: $536/month
Earning Potential: $31,250
Colleges: University of Kansas
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