San Francisco: Tops for College Students

by Edward Carpenter

The University of San Francisco’s hometown is where it’s at for college students, according to an independent analysis by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) of 222 cities with student populations of 15,000 or more.

San Francisco ranked No. 1, beating out New York, Washington D.C., and Boston, among others, in AIER’s rankings of the 75 best cities or towns to live in for college students based on 12 criteria, including diversity, arts and leisure, research capacity, and entrepreneurial activity.

“Being at the heart of the best city for college students is the ideal location for USF; this is where Jesuit universities were meant to be, so that they could have maximal influence on society,” said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J.

Salvador D. Aceves, USF vice provost and an associate professor of accounting, called San Francisco’s No. 1 ranking an affirmation that the city is a vibrant, entrepreneurial, and dynamic place where faculty and students can solve problems and contribute to San Francisco’s success.

AIER’s College Destination Index uses third-party data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Science Foundation to go beyond college and university rankings to analyze the areas in which the schools are located, the overall academic environment, quality of life, and professional opportunities.

“Deciding what school to attend should involve more than what the school itself has to offer,” said Keming Liang, AIER’s lead researcher on the project. “Where to attend college is just as important because like the colleges themselves the towns and cities in which they are located vary widely in the opportunities they offer students and recent graduates.”