For the second year in a row, Fayetteville was named as one of the best college towns in the nation.
Livability.com this week released its annual list of the Top 10 Best College Towns, which ranked Fayetteville as No. 4.
The website, which provides data for small- and medium-sized cities, also compiles annual best-of lists based on the data it collects throughout the year. It lists Fayetteville with a population just shy of 76,000 and a median income of $37,383.
This is the fifth year Livability.com has published its best-of list for college towns. It’s Fayetteville’s second appearance on the list. The city was named No. 9 in 2013.
Livability.com‘s ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population.
1. Ames, Iowa
2. Logan, Utah
3. Oxford, Ohio
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Tempe, Arizona
6. Charlottesville, Virginia
7. Champaign, Illinois
8. Moscow, Idaho
9. South Bend, Indiana
10. Hattiesburg, Mississippi
This year, cities were divided up by their college’s Football Bowl Subdivision conference and then ranked within each group before compiling the list. That means Fayetteville beat out all other SEC college towns, and was then ranked as the fourth-best in the nation.
Ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population.
After livability aspects were calculated, the list was skewed toward measuring the impact each college and university has on its cities and what would make life better for college-aged people.
A close look was given at cities with a high concentration of degree-holders and of 25-to-34 year-olds to see if they were the kinds of cities that students would want to stay in once they graduated.
Finally, the website counted the number of restaurants, music venues, bike trails, parks and festivals in each city, and included any partnerships that exist between the colleges and towns.
“From its hip strip of shops, bars and restaurants to the bike paths and walking trails that snake through the city, Fayetteville, Ark., greatly accommodates the college lifestyle,” wrote the website. “Southern charm meshes with a modern arts scene and innovative businesses to create a place that draws young families who crave a unique yet traditional small-town vibe.”
Fayetteville was the only city from last year to make the list in 2014, but not every city is new to the series. Oxford, Ohio made the list in 2011 and 2012; Champaign, Ill. and Logan, Utah made it in 2012; and Charlottesville, Va. charted in 2010.