Scottsdale Named 7th-Best 'College Town' in U.S.

WalletHub recently rated the best college towns or cities in the U.S. and although several Arizona cities could have fared well, it was Scottsdale who led the way at No. 7 on the list.

To make their determinations, analysts looked at cities with at least 7,500 college students and then categorized them between population sizes from largest to smallest. From there, they used wallet friendliness, social environment, and academic and economic opportunities to measure things such as student loan debt, breweries per capita, and earning potential for graduates. 

The city, home of Scottsdale Community College and Arizona State’s SkySong campus, wasn’t just No. 7 overall but also No. 2 in the midsize cities category (between 125,000 to 300,000 people).

A trend among the highest ranked cities was that they also ranked low on affordability, and Scottsdale was no different. Though academic and economic potential soared at No. 6, affordability took a dive at No. 320. What helped average out the median was a respectable score in the social environment category (No. 36). Old Town and Downtown does not disappoint for nightlife while the Promenade is one of the most popular shopping hangouts for students. 

Tucson fared well, earning the No. 38 spot overall. The home of the University of Arizona ranked in the top 25th percentile for wallet friendliness (No. 77) and social environment (No. 51) but didn’t do well in terms of job potential for graduates (No. 198).

Tempe (No. 41) and Chandler (No. 43) are also worth mentioning, both excelling in different areas. Tempe remained in the top 25th percentile for social opportunities while Chandler graduates have a high earning potential (No. 32 overall).

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