Orlando isn't a bad college town, but it isn't that great either, according to a recent study that names the best and worst cities for colleges across the nation.
Orlando came up as No. 64 out of 280 cities ranked in the study conducted by WalletHub, a personal finance website. The rankings were based on housing costs, available rental units, food costs, nearby shopping, nightlife, crime rates and job growth, among many other factors.
The study broke down 23 different factors taken into three categories: wallet wellness, youth-oriented environment and opportunities. Orlando ranked No. 53 for wallet wellness, which weighed costs of tuition, food, housing and other expenses. It ranked No. 77 for its youth-oriented environment, which considered the number of students per capita, gender balance, nightlife, shopping and crime. And it ranked No. 112 for opportunities, which explored the number of part-time jobs, earning potential, job growth and quality of higher education, among other factors.
Orlando was beat by Gainesville and Tampa, which ranked No. 20 and No. 45 respectively. However, it came out ahead of Tallahassee, which was ranked No. 69. Of the worst college cities, Miami and Jacksonville ranked late in the list at No. 146 and No. 246, respectively.
The top cities in the nation were Oxford, Ohio (Miami University), State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State), Chapel Hill, North Carolina (UNC, Chapel Hill), Corvallis, Oregon (Oregon State) and College Station, Texas (Texas A&M). The top 10 worst cities on the list included four Florida towns: Port St. Lucie, Hialeah, Coral Springs and Miramar.
Top 10 best cities:
1. Oxford, Ohio (Miami University)
2. State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State)
3. Chapel Hill, North Carolina (UNC, Chapel Hill)
4. Corvallis, Oregon (Oregon State)
5. College Station, Texas (Texas A&M)
6. Laramie, Wyoming (Wyoming)
7. San Luis Obispo, California (California Polytechnic)
8. Stillwater, Oklahoma (Oklahoma State)
9. Bozeman, Montana (Montana State)
10. East Lansing, Michigan (Michigan State)
271. Port St. Lucie, Florida (Barry)
272. Hialeah, Florida (Florida National)
273. Coral Springs, Florida (Nova Southeastern)
274. Newark, New Jersey (NJ Institute of Technology)
275. Joliet, Illinois (St. Francis)
276. Springfield, Massachusetts (Western New England, American International)
277. Miramar, Florida (FIU)
278. North Las Vegas, Nevada (College of Southern Nevada)
279. Bridgeport, Connecticut (St. Vincent's, University of Bridgeport)
280. Yonkers, New York (Sarah Lawrence College)
Jessica J. Saggio is the Managing Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaJSaggio or email her at JessicaS@KnightNewspapers.com