San Luis Obispo is one of the nation’s top college towns, according to a new study, but living in one of the country’s best college cities doesn’t come cheap.
Personal finance company WalletHub examined 23 metrics to determine its rankings, including city size, housing costs, cost of living, number of students per capita, nightlife, earning potential for degrees, unemployment rates and the percentage of part-time jobs. The metrics were split across three categories: youth-oriented environment, opportunities and wallet wellness.
SLO ranked No. 7 overall among the 280 cities in the study and took 11th and 12th place in youth-oriented environment and opportunities, respectively, scoring well for having activities and entertainment that appealed to a college-age crowd, and providing those students and graduates with jobs.
This is the second study this month that has listed San Luis Obispo among its top 10 college towns: Travel + Leisure magazine ranked San Luis Obispo No. 9 on its list of Best College Towns this year.
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The WalletHub study wasn’t all good news for the city, however.
San Luis Obispo ranked 167th for wallet wellness — which ranked factors such as housing costs, the adjusted cost of living for young people, percentage of rental units, average monthly fitness club fee, average pizza and burgers cost and the average cost of higher education. (Logan, Utah, which ranked 83rd on the overall list, was chosen as the No. 1 city for wallet wellness.)
Oxford, Ohio, snagged the top spot on the overall list, followed by State College, Pa.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Corvallis, Ore.; College Station, Texas; and Laramie, Wyo.
The lowest ranked cities were Yonkers, N.Y.; Bridgeport, Conn.; North Las Vegas, Nev.; Miramar, Fla.; and Springfield, Mass.
The full list of rankings is available at http://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-college-cities-and-towns-in-america/8974/.