Posted: Oct 1, 2012 10:23 AM by MTN News
GREAT BARRINGTON, MA - The University of Montana is making the grade when it comes to being a place to enjoy all that campus life has to offer.
The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) has released its "College Destinations Index, a ranking of the top 75 towns and cities in the U.S. 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," according to a news release.
Missoula debuted on this year's list in a big way, coming in at placed #20 in the ranking of the best college towns for the 2012-2013 academic year.
"At a time when approximately half of current college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, the pros and cons of a particular college destination should be an important factor in making a college selection," said Julie Zhu, the AIER research analyst who oversaw compilation of the Index.
According to a news release from, AEIR, twelve factors were 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.
"The characteristics that make up a great college destination often make a location ideal for business, retirement and tourism. A top AIER College Destinations Index ranking should be just as important to the town or city as it is to the schools located there and the families and students attending or considering them," AIER Director of Research and Education Steven Cunningham explained.
Click here to learn more about the rankings.