Looking for a great school that also happens to be in an amazing town?
If you live in Illinois you won't have to pack up your bags and move to another state because apparently, three of the best college towns in America are in the Land of Lincoln.
Who knew, right?
I kind of thought we'd have at least one because national blog sites seem to love Champaign-Urbana.
However, Wall Street 24/7 has different ideas with their list of the 30 Best College Towns in America. It looks like Illinois residents have a few good reasons to avoid paying out-of-state school tuition.
In order to get a ranking, Wall Street 24/7 looked at the population enrolled in the college, how many schools are in the area, how many have a diploma, the unemployment rate, and most importantly, how many bars and restaurants are in that town.
All that said, let's check out the three that made the list from Illinois.
First, not far from where I live, DeKalb, home of Northern Illinois University, was named the 30th best college town in America.
It might be because Wall Street 24/7 says 30% of the town's population are people enrolled in college. It might also have something to do with the number of bars in town.
The research shows DeKalb has nearly 163 bars and restaurants per 100,000 people. That seems like a lot of options.
Right in front of DeKalb, ranked 29th, is Normal. Of course, home of Illinois State University.
Normal might be ranked pretty high because there are even more bar and restaurant options (nearly 169 per 100,000) and a very low unemployment rate of 2.9% according to Wall Street 24/7.
The last one on the list is the darling of all bloggers nationwide, Urbana.
Ranked a shockingly low 18th overall, the home of the University of Illinois is in that spot, per Wall Street 24/7, because over 60% of people in town have their bachelor's degree, but employment is slightly over the national average at 6.4% which may have hurt their normal high spot on other lists.
The most surprising thing about the study, Madison, Wisconsin was completely left off the list of Best College Towns in America.
I didn't know it was even possible to create a "best of college towns" without mentioning Madison.