Going to college is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. Do you stay in state, do you go out of state, do you go to junior college, university, or skip college altogether? Where you choose to go and what you decide to do can set up how your future turns out. It can determine what kind of salary you make, the friends you make for life, the career path you go down, and even who you marry. College isn't for everyone, but it is ingrained in people's brains from their early education that they have to get good grades and work hard to get into a good college to get a good job. While that isn't as true as it used to be, the benefits of going to college still outweigh the ones of not going. When it comes to what college town to live in for 4 years or more there is a lot to take into account. What college town is the best, which ones do you want to avoid, and if going out west to California, which ones should you focus on?

The Best and Worst Towns to Attend College

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There is plenty of stress when it comes to picking where to go to college and the town plays a huge factor in enjoying your new home and first time away from your parents. A study recently by WalletHub ranked the best and worst college towns across the country and used some categories to do so such as wallet friendliness, social environment, and academic and economic opportunities. Using these criteria, it was determined that Austin, Texas is the best college town, with Ann Arbor, Michigan being number two, and Orlando, Florida making up the top three. The list ranked 415 towns, and East Los Angeles was the worst college town, with Germantown, Maryland being the second worst, and New Rochelle, New York rounding out the bottom three. 

The Best and Worst College Towns in California

Credit: Paul Bradbury
Credit: Paul Bradbury
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With many in the region looking for the best college opportunities and fit for them, many are heading to California, despite the expense of being out of state. When it comes to the best college town, if looking for a good college in California, Irvine is the best college town in the state, coming in as the 24th best town in the country. The best thing going for Irvine is that it is 6 nationally in academic and economic opportunities. Barely missing the top 25, but still in the top 30 is Santa Barbara, coming in at 28 overall, which is the second-best town in California, and San Diego comes in as the third best in the state and 35 overall. As mentioned above, East Los Angeles is the worst college town in the country. Isla Vista is the fourth worst in the country, with Dale City being the seventh worst, and Compton being the eighth worst. California has four of the worst college towns in America. 

Things to Know About College Towns in California

Christopher Furlong
Christopher Furlong
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From above, it is easy to see that California offers good educational opportunities, but also has some you likely want to avoid. There are good and bad when it comes to attending college in California. The five highest towns for cost of living for students are all in California. Isla Vista is tied for the highest number of students per capita. This can affect your classes as there is only so much room in certain classes, and if you are someone who needs more interaction with a teacher, this likely won't work for you. Pasadena is the fourth highest town for higher education which works in the state's favor. 

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Picking where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions and if you are considering California, it is best to do your homework. Click on the link above to check out the full list of which schools you or your child should apply for, and which ones to not waste your time on.

Twin Falls Downtown Art Alley Project

Twin Falls Downtown Art Alley Project

Cool old art painted on the walls of an alley in Downtown Twin Falls.

Gallery Credit: credit N8 Bird

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