North Carolina Cities Named 2 of America’s Best College Cities

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Raleigh and Chapel Hill rank among the nation’s top college towns in a new report.

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Two of the nation’s best college towns are here in North Carolina, according to a new report.

Raleigh ranks # 3 among major cities and Chapel Hill is # 8 among small towns on a list of places offering the most student-friendly atmospheres in the United States, according to results released Tuesday, November 30.

To be on the list, personal finance website WalletHub said, it used data from the U.S. government and other sources to study the cities that at least 7,500 students call home. Each of the 415 eligible cities was assessed in three categories: affordability, social activities and education and employment opportunities.

Raleigh received a spot near the top of the rankings after receiving a nod for his social environment, a measure of population trends, crime rates and immunization metrics. The category also factored in the presence of Division I sports teams and places to shop, drink and eat, according to the results.

Chapel Hill received its highest score in the Education and Employment category, which weighed in on unemployment rates, the quality of academics, and other factors.

Raleigh and Chapel Hill were less successful in terms of profitability, each ranking just above average for affordability.

The two cities of the Triangle are home to several educational institutions, including Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Shaw University, St. Augustine University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and William Peace University. Among cities of all sizes, Raleigh ranked No. 14 and Chapel Hill No. 13 nationally.

Other North Carolina cities that made the list included those that housed or were near universities or community colleges. They include: Wilmington, # 35; Cary, No. 41; Charlotte, # 63; Durham, No. 69; Asheville, No. 91; Boone, No. 166; Greenville, No. 189; Greensboro, no. 261; Winston-Salem, No. 262; Highlight, No. 343; and Fayetteville, No. 352.

Earlier this year, Durham was recognized as one of the best places in the country for recent college graduates to launch their careers. To arrive at these results, WalletHub said it has studied quality of life and work trends in 182 cities.

Corn no city in North Carolina is in the top 10 on a similar ranking from SmartAsset. This list assessed entertainment, costs and jobs, McClatchy News reported.

Overall, the top ranked city in the country was Austin, Texas. The city of Compton, Calif., In the Los Angeles area, landed at the bottom of the list, according to the results.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.


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