Covering the Land of Lincoln

Here are the best college towns in Illinois, per new study

Given the tight budgets of many Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of living for college students can reach as high as $ 28,720 for a full 12-month period, according to a new report from the personal finance website WalletHub.

WalletHub compared 415 cities of various sizes based on 30 key indicators of academic, social and economic opportunities for students to find the best college towns and cities.

Of these cities, Urbana was ranked 43rd, first in Illinois. Urbana was ranked 84th in the “Wallet Ease” category and 96th in the “Social Environment” category, with the lowest score being “Academic and Economic Opportunities” at 168th. Urbana was ranked in “Lowest Brain Drain” occupied first place. Urbana was ranked 20th among small towns, Champaign 30th and Evanston 37th. St. Louis was ranked 37th among major cities and Chicago was ranked 43rd.

Evanston also took third place in the “Highest Quality Higher Education” category.

Other local college cities that made the list include Champaign at 64, Evanston at 79, Charleston at 89, Naperville at 117, St. Louis at 146, Normal at 150, DeKalb at 175, Peoria at 184, Chicago at 202, Springfield at 244, Carbondale 268, Joliet 299, Aurora 318 and Rockford 376.

Edwardsville wasn’t listed, and so was Jacksonville.

Experts have argued that a school’s geographic location is just as important to a student’s academic success and personal development as having a strong curriculum and supportive school environment. While some colleges are reducing or at least not increasing tuition fees, not all schools do. It is therefore in the interests of the students to live in a city with a reasonable cost of living that offers good study and work opportunities. The ideal city should also have a comfortable social environment that helps students deal with the stress of college.

“Students should carefully examine not only the area around the campus itself, but the surrounding area as well,” said Joseph Paris, college program coordinator at Temple University, in a statement. “The location of a college or university plays an important role in student college life. For example, students can seek internship, job opportunities, and entertainment near campus. Opportunities and experiences outside of the classroom can be just as important as the learning and development that takes place on a college campus. Many students begin their careers and life after graduation in the city or town where they attended college. “

The data, including 30 relevant metrics, ranged from the cost of living to the quality of higher education to the crime rate in the city in which the college or university was located. This data was then broken down into three dimensions, including “Wallet Friendliness”, “Social Environment”, and “Academic and Economic Opportunities”.

Cities have been categorized according to population size guidelines, with large cities being those with more than 300,000 residents, medium-sized cities being 125,000 to 300,000, and small towns being those with fewer than 125,000 residents. Only the actual city was taken into account and cities in the surrounding subway area were excluded.

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