University City

How Austin stacks up among the best college cities in America

How Austin stacks up among the best college cities in America

University of Texas at Austin aerial
Austin claims a top spot among best college cities in the U.S. Photo by dszc/Getty Images

New numbers confirm what local coeds already know — Austin is one of the best college cities in the country.

The university-rich hub claims the No. 3 spot on WalletHub's ranking of the best large college cities. The financial website ranked cities based on which offer the best combination of academic, social, and economic opportunities for students.

Unsurprisingly, Austin scored well among elements that create a "youth-oriented environment." Spend a Thursday night downtown and you can see the contributing factors — large quantity of nightlife options per capita, a high number of students per capita, and the gender balance among those students — at work. 

As the report reminds us, college isn't just about parties. Austin also earned top marks for the quality of higher education, as well as the prevalence of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Where Austin failed was at "wallet wellness." The price of higher education in addition to a poor ranking for cost of living for younger residents yielded a less-than-stellar grade for the Capital City.

WalletHub also released an overall list of best college towns, regardless of size. Despite our "wallet un-wellness," Austin snagged the No. 8 spot, up from No. 13 last year. College Station beat out Austin at No. 2; the title of best college town was bestowed on Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Houston landed among the five best large college cities, sitting comfortably behind Austin at No. 4. To see the full rankings for cities of all sizes, head over to WalletHub.