The City Beautiful. Home to world-class entertainment, advancements in technology and innovation, and a place where opportunity is boundless. Most recently, Orlando earned a new title: No. 1 Best College City in America among midsize cities and No. 4 overall, according to WalletHub.
The annual ranking is frequently used by high school seniors to help decide where to go for college. Using 30 key indicators, the study compares more than 400 cities across the U.S. to determine the best college towns and cities in America.
WalletHub’s metrics include categories like wallet friendliness, social environment, and academic and economic opportunities. Each category is further broken down into individual factors that make a city an ideal place to live — from cost of living to the number of students to job growth and earning potential. A city’s overall score is then determined by taking the weighted average of all metrics. Within the top 30 overall ranking, Gainesville was ranked sixth, Tampa 12th and Miami 27th.
Location is an important factor when choosing a college. Students are looking for a place to call home that offers a vibrant environment where they can get involved and meet new people, while earning an affordable, high-quality education.
“It’s in students’ interest to live in a city with a reasonable cost of living, as well as one that provides good academic and work opportunities,” says WalletHub. “The ideal city should also provide a fun social environment to help students deal with the stress of college.”
Earlier this year, Education Reform Now ranked UCF No. 2 in the nation for social mobility impact and U.S. News & World Report recognized the university as one of the top public universities for social mobility, graduate indebtedness, and graduation and retention. The social mobility scores looked at graduation rates, number of first-generation students, tuition costs and other factors.