BYU just lost to Utah – again. This time it wasn’t on the football field or the basketball court, but in the rankings of America’s best college towns.
Both Salt Lake City and Provo made the top 10. But the home of the Utes ranked ninth, and the home of the Cougars ranked 10th when personal finance website WalletHub.com compared more than 400 cities.
Salt Lake City ranked third on the list of mid-size cities (population 125,000-300,000); Provo ranked second among small cities (population less than 125,000).
Orem, which includes the Utah Valley University campus, ranked 33rd overall and eighth among small cities. Salt Lake City, Provo and Orem all ranked considerably higher than Logan, the home of Utah State University. The Aggies’ hometown ranked 174th overall and 73rd among small cities.
Austin, Texas — the home of the University of Texas, Utah's opponent in the upcoming Alamo Bowl — topped the list.
WalletHub based its analysis on 31 “key indicators of academic, social and economic opportunities for students.” The data used included costs for housing, fitness clubs, movies and bowling along with education costs. The categories also included students per capita, percentage of single people, gender balance and the number of cafes, breweries, food trucks, shopping centers and sports clubs — along with everything from crime rates to availability of part-time jobs.
BEST COLLEGE CITIES AND TOWNS
1. Austin, Texas
2. Orlando, Fla.
3. Scottsdale, Ariz.
4. Tampa, Fla.
5. Ann Arbor, Mich.
7. San Diego
8. Las Vegas
9. Salt Lake City