By Natalie Wise
Finding the right place to go to college or send your kids to college can be a challenge. A new study found the 20 best mid-size metros for college.
Mid-size metros are categorized as cities with 1 to 2.5 million residents. The rankings themselves are based on academic and lifestyle factors, and professional opportunity in the city.
San Jose, Calif., is top on the list, despite having the highest cost of living. The city makes up ground by having a very strong academic environment and high earning potential. San Jose also boasts a high percentage of creative jobs: 48 percent of the workforce is in a creative job.
No. 2 on the list is Austin, Texas, the city with the highest concentration of college students. No. 3 is Pittsburgh, home to nearly 40 colleges and universities, including University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Buffalo, N.Y., is the No. 4 metro, with one of the smaller populations on the list, but a high concentration of college students.
Southern mid-size metro Raleigh, N.C., comes in at No. 5, featuring a bustling economy packed with entrepreneurs. No. 6 is Nashville, Tenn., a town offering many opportunities for exploring the arts and culture.
No. 7 is Hartford, Conn., with a higher concentration of college students than some city on the list, and high earning potential despite higher living costs.
Portland, Ore., ranks No. 8 and is by far the most accessible city for college students without a car. Salt Lake City is No. 9 on the list.
Several Ohio metros made the list of great mid-size metros for college students. Columbus came in at No. 10, but Cincinnati and Cleveland also made the top 20.
The rest of the top 20 is as follows:
11.) Rochester, N.Y.
12.) Oklahoma City
13.) Providence, R.I.
17.) Richmond, Va.
18.) Charlotte, N.C.
19.) New Orleans