The college lifestyle of meeting new friends and trying different things might be the best part of the college experience for some. But you know what’s even better? Graduating college and getting your life started right out of the gate, which isn’t as simple as it seems. The hassles of college are certainly challenging, but they pale in comparison to the hassles of adult life. Getting a job? Finding insurance? Scheduling regular appointments at the doctor or dentist or wherever else appointments are required? That stuff is brutal and its always going to be brutal.
But we did find a few towns where maybe the tribulations of adulthood can be offset by some good things, like like-minded folks and a good paying job. We analyzed some data and found the twenty best college towns for grads to settle down in once they’re done getting degrees.
In order to determine the best towns, we decided to look at a few different categories:
1. The unemployment rate for those between 25-29
You’re going to need a job after college. We know, we know, it sounds horrible, but it’s a lot better than the opposite. Being stuck out of work sounds like a dream, but it’s a nightmare when the rent check is due every month. We measured how likely new college grads were to get a job by looking at unemployment rates among the newest set of college grads.
2. The benefit of having a bachelor’s degree compared to those without in the town
We looked at median income for those with a bachelor’s degree and subtracted the median income of those without to figure how valuable a bachelor’s degree is in each town.
3. Percentage of 25-34-year-olds also with a bachelor degree
It’s good to be around people like you. Diversity is good too, but towns that are full of young, recent college grads are pretty great towns for college grads to be in.
Also of note, the definition of a college town we’ve used is the town’s population must be less than 5x the enrollment of the given colleges.
4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA)
Unemployment Rate for 25-29: 4.40%
Median Salary With A Bachelor’s Degree: $31,432
% of 25-34 With A Bachelor’s: 10.12%
Popularly referred to as Virginia Tech and home to the Hokies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University calls Blacksburg, VA home.
The city has a population of 42,620 which is dominated by the student population. It’s been hailed as one of the best places in the U.S. to raise kids and one of the best college towns in the south. Dog lovers enjoy the dog parade during Summer Solstice Fest as the end of summer winds down and people come from around the state to enjoy Steppin’ Out, the annual street fest. Some of the top employers in the city include Moog, Wolverine Advance Materials, United Pet Group and Luna Innovations.