Unfortunately, Austin just lost a round in the ongoing rivalry with College Station. According to a recent study from WalletHub, the Aggies beat the Longhorns when it comes to the best college cities in the United States.
College Station claims the No. 5 spot on "2014′s Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America," based on a variety of factors such as tuition fees, crime rates, cost of living and nightlife options. Austin ranks the next best in Texas, coming in at No. 13 on the list. We earn a mid-range score in the "Wallet Wellness" category, but rank No. 2 for "Opportunities," which considers things like earning potential and job growth rate.
You may be surprised that College Station trumps Austin as the best college city in the state (because we can probably all agree that Austin is better, right?), but College Station reeks of all things college related. From sizable student discounts at dozens of institutions to a Whataburger that was only allowed to remain orange if it included a maroon stripe, the influences of student culture can be seen almost everywhere in the Texas town.
Austin does, however, get a consolation prize. In the ranking of large cities, Austin comes in at No. 1, followed by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Ohio. Other Texas cities that fare well on the overall list are San Marcos at No. 33, Waco at No. 37, and Denton at No. 41. Laredo has the lowest ranking in the Lone Star State, No. 263 (out of 280).
According to the study, the three best college cities in the country are Oxford, Ohio (Miami University); State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State University); and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (University of North Carolina). Interestingly, four of the top five cities either have (or had) "college" in the name, or were originally founded to serve a specific school.