The number crunchers at WalletHub have combed through the data to determine the Best College Towns in Minnesota, and across the U.S. for 2024.

So what matter's when ranking college towns? WalletHub looked at 415 college town across America, and considered things like wallet-friendliness, social environment, and academic & economic opportunities.

We're talking about things like housing costs, cost of living, student debt per person, and the cost of having fun. Ten add in factors like student gender balance, nightlife options, and presence or NCAA sports teams. And let's not forget the stuff like quality of higher education, earning potential for college graduates, and median income of part-time college student workers.

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So, taking all of that into consideration, let's first take a look at the top college towns in the nation according to WalletHub's 2024 review.

Top Ten U.S. College Towns for 2024

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. Tampa, Florida
  5. Scottsdale, Arizona
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada
  7. Charlottesville, Virginia
  8. Gainesville, Florida
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Atlanta, Georgia

Notice any pattern here? If it weren't for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, there wouldn't be a top-ten college town north of the Mason-Dixon Line. To be fair, the South takes a beating in a lot of these quality-of-life kind of rankings, so let's let them enjoy this one.

WalletHub divided the cities into three categories based on size, large city, medium city, small city. If you look at the top college towns in the U.S. based on size, WalletHub crowns the winners like this:

  • #1 College Town (Large City): Austin, Texas
  • #1 College Town (Medium City): Scottsdale, Arizona
  • #1 College Town (Small City): Ann Arbor, Michigan

OK, now on to the ranking of the best college town in Minnesota. We're not going to slice things up by size. Big or small, here's what Wallet Hub says it is.

Top Ten Minnesota College Towns for 2024

  1. Minneapolis (119 overall)
  2. Rochester (156 overall)
  3. Mankato (233 overall)
  4. St. Paul (241 overall)
  5. Duluth (333 overall)
  6. Moorhead (341 overall)
  7. St. Cloud (346 overall)

This report clearly doesn't take into account some of the coolest college towns in our state; the hometowns of MIAC schools like Carleton and St. Olaf in Northfield, Gustavus in St. Peter, and St. John's in Collegeville.

LOOK: The 50 best small towns to raise a family in the U.S.

Looking for the best small towns to raise a family? Stacker compiled this list of the top 50 small towns in the United States using 2023 data from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz

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