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AIER Names 75 Best College Towns and Cities for 2012-2013

What does it take to be a great college town? While Buffalo may have missed the boat when it came to retaining University at Buffalo in the city, in recent years there has been a slew of major growth and investment accomplishments in the entire higher education category, as they relate to the city. 
Not just that, college towns are also ranked according to amenities that surround the various campuses – public parks, commercial districts, affordable housing, etc.  So how exactly does one grade a college town, and where does Buffalo rank for that matter? According to the latest research* from The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER):
“In creating the Index, a dozen factors are evaluated using the most current data available from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, National Science Foundation, and Small Business Administration to provide a snapshot of each community’s overall academic and cultural environment, quality of life and employment opportunities in the area.” – AIER
These cities topped the AIER* College Destinations Index based on the destination’s performance across the following 12 areas:

-Student Concentration: number of college students per 1,000 population
-Student Diversity: percentage of student body that are non-U.S. residents
-Research Capacity: academic R&D expenditures per capita
-Degree Attainment: percent of the 25-to-34-year-old population with bachelor’s degree or higher 
-Cost of Living: based upon average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment
-Arts and Leisure: number of cultural and entertainment venues per 100,000 population
-City Accessibility: percentage of workers over age 16 who commute on foot or by public transportation or bicycle
-Creative Class: percentage of workforce 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 population
-Brain Gain/Drain: year-over-year ratio of population with B.A. degree (it is only population with B.A degree, not all the college level) living in the area 
-Unemployment rate
*The AIER CDI includes the top 75 towns and cities in the United States for college students, based on a larger evaluation of the 227 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with student populations of 15,000 or more. 

Lead image: The Peddler flea market on Elmwood Avenue

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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