When it comes to being a great college town, the home of Middle Tennessee State University surpasses its neighbor Nashville and dozens of other larger cities and towns across the country, according to a popular consumer online ranking service.
WalletHub.com, a digital information resource for consumers and small businesses, ranked 280 municipalities across the nation as part of its recently released “Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America” listing.
Murfreesboro came in at No. 49 in the overall rankings, the highest-rated college town in Tennessee and among the top 20 percent of ranked cities. The next closest city in the state was Knoxville at No. 56, followed by Nashville at No. 89.
Cities and towns also were ranked separately on “wallet wellness,” youth-oriented environment, and opportunities. The survey’s top-ranked city overall was Oxford, Ohio, home to Miami University; you can find the complete rankings here.
In a sub-ranking for medium-sized cities with populations of 100,000 to 300,000, Murfreesboro, with a population of almost 125,000, came in at No. 11 out of 149 cities. That beat cities such as Wilmington, North Carolina; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Madison, Wisconsin.
According to WalletHub.com, the company analyzed 23 metrics, such as the quality of higher education, crime rates and the cost of living, to find the cities and towns “that promise the best or worst combination of academic, social and economic atmospheres.”
For its study, WalletHub limited its selection of cities and towns to those with a university or college population of at least 10,000 students.
With an enrollment of nearly 23,000 students, MTSU and its 500-acre main campus, located 1.5 miles east of Murfreesboro’s busy Public Square, enhances the community’s quality of life with brainpower, community partnerships and educational and cultural activities available to the public.
“MTSU has been an integral part of the city of Murfreesboro for many years, not only providing an affordable high-quality education for students but also producing many alumni who choose to stay in the city and region to start their careers and families,” said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services.
“We’re pleased by rankings such as this, because they reflect the value we believe this university provides beyond our campus borders.”
WalletHub.com financial writer Richard Barnardo said it’s important for a prospective student to not only look at an institution’s intellectual environment but also the city or town the student will call her home away from home for several years.
“Academic success depends on more than just the quality of a program,” Barnardo wrote. “Also important is an area that is safe, affordable and conducive to personal development through a diversity of cultural and professional experiences.”
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)