KU News Release

Sept. 9, 2010
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Lawrence ranks ninth on list of best college towns

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LAWRENCE — The American Institute for Economic Research has ranked Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas, ninth on its list of the 75 best college towns.

In the institute’s annual “College Destinations Index,” Lawrence was up five spots from last year.

The locations were chosen from an analysis of 222 metropolitan statistical areas with student populations of 15,000 or more.

“College Destinations” does not rank the schools themselves. Instead, it analyzes the areas in which the schools are located, including the overall academic environment, quality of life, such as cost of living and arts and leisure activities, and professional opportunities. 
The rankings were based on an analysis of 12 criteria.
— Student concentration: number of college students per 1,000 residents
— Student diversity: percentage of students holding foreign passports
— Research capacity: academic research expenditures per capita
— Degree attainment: percent of the 25- to 34-year-old population with college degrees
— Cost of living: based upon average rent for a two-bedroom apartment
— Arts and leisure: number of cultural and entertainment venues per 100,000 residents
— City accessibility: percentage of workers over age 16 who commute on foot or by public transportation or bicycle
— Creative class: percentage of residents working in the arts, education, knowledge industries, science and engineering, management and other fields
— Earning potential: income per capita
— Entrepreneurial activity: net annual increase in total number of business establishments per 100,000 residents
— Brain gain/drain: year-over-year ratio of college-educated population living in the area
— Unemployment rate

Lawrence has received high praise from other publications and news outlets. The 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges noted that students “rave” about Lawrence, calling it the classic American college town. MSNBC also recently cited Lawrence as a top spot for students.

The American Institute for Economic Research, headquartered in Great Barrington, Mass., is a 77-year-old nonprofit educational organization.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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