Houston named one of the best college towns in America: Watch out Boston!
Houston has already been named one of the best cities for college grads, and now it's been ranked one of the top 10 major metropolitan areas in which to get a degree.
The American Institute for Economic Research listed the top 75 college destinations, split between major metropolitan areas (those with populations of 2.5 million or more), mid-size metros (population one million to 2.5 million), small cities (between 250,000 and one million) and college towns, and ranked them based on factors contributing to the academic environment, quality of life and economic opportunity.
Dallas trailed Houston at No. 10 on the major metropolitan areas list.
Houston came in at No. 9, and its improved placement (it didn't make the top 15 last year) was largely due to economic factors. No major metropolitan area (among the 15 ranked) had more "entrepreneurial activity" (the net increase in the number of businesses per 100,000 population) or more positive “brain gain or drain” (the year-over-year increase in the amount of people with a college degree living in the area).
Houston was also among the top in cost of living (No. 3), unemployment rate (No. 4) as well as fifth in student diversity and research capacity, two of the criteria for academic environment.
Boston, where nearly one in 10 residents is a college student, was the top large city in the rankings.
Other Texas cities that ranked well include Austin, which was named the No. 2 midsize city for college behind San Jose, Calif. Dallas trailed Houston at No. 10 on the major metropolitan areas list, while Lubbock and College Station both came in at No. 11 on the lists of small cities and college towns, respectively.