College can be a particularly tricky period of your life to find a place to live. For starters, your location is dictated by the school you attend or vice versa, on top of which you have to navigate both the housing market and potential employment prospects. Good news, though: If you're looking for the best city to live in during college, The American Institute for Economic Research just released a new report that found out just that. A spokesperson for the instute told Fortune that the data was cgathered to help students "weigh the value of the wider community” when looking to choose a school — and it might just give some ideas about where to live even if you aren't in school, too.
In order to compile the list, AIER looked at 11 different factors, like the price of rent, accessibility of public transportation, the cost of living minus rent, diversity, and availability of arts and entertainment. The size of the cities was also considered as well, with rankings being assembled in several different categories: Major metropolitan cities, midsize metropolitan cities, and college towns. We're going to take a closer look at the top rankings for major metropolitan cities, but if you're curious to see the results of the smaller city sizes, head over to the American Institute for Economic Research.
So! Where are the best major metropolitan areas for college students? Here are the top 10 picks, according to the AIER's analysis.
10. New York City, NY
New York City — which, by the way, is where Bustle HQ is located — came in 10th place. While it's true that there are a lot of entertainment options and employment opportunities there, the high cost of living and rent prices might be a deterrant for some.
9. San Diego, Calif.
If you're looking to head West, you may want to check out schools located in San Diego. The warm weather is also a plus!
8. Dallas, Texas
This Texan city came in eighth place. Having been to Dallas myself, I can attest to the amount of fun activities to do there, the low cost of living, and all the hot, sunny weather.
7. Washington, D.C.
Our nation's capitol ranked number seven on the list, which isn't surprising when you consider how much opportunity lies there in the fields of politics, government, activism, and social science. Plus, it's home to prestigious colleges like American and Howard Universities, which will have you in good company.
6. Minneapolis, Minn.
If you're a Midwesterner at heart like myself, perhaps you should consider attending college in Minneapolis. If Midwestern sensibility isn't enough to sway you, perhaps considering the very low cost of living will sway you.
5. Houston, Texas
Another Texas city made the top 10 list, making the state the place to be for college students, it seems!
4. Denver, Colo.
Denver, Colo. is known for having a large arts community, cultural diversity, a lot of mountains, and more beer than any other city in the country. Hmm, perhaps we all need to consider moving to Denver!
3. Seattle, Wash.
This Pacific Northwest city came in third place, and having spent some time there myself, I can see why the picturesque nature, liberal-minded people, and quirky culture would be perfect for college students. But if you're thinking of heading to Seattle, just be prepared for the astronomical living costs!
2. Boston, Mass.
If you love the Northeast and are looking for a place to move for college, Boston may be the city for you. The city certainly has no shortage of entertainment or clubs and restaurants, as well as extremely accessible public transit.
1. San Francisco, Calif.
The number one best city for college students to live in is... drum roll, please... San Francisco! Even though the cost of rent is so high there, it made the number one slot because of its number bars and restaurants, its diversity, its accessibility, and its economic activity. If you can afford it, San Francisco is the place to be as a college student.