It’s been a banner year of national recognition for Butler County’s Miami University.
The latest acclaim comes courtesy of a study cited by Forbes magazine that declared Miami's Oxford city community the nation's "Best College Town."
It's the most recent publicity for the county's largest employer and one of the most academically prestigious universities in America.
Miami’s long-standing and close relationship to adjacent Oxford may be something the nation is discovering, but it’s old news for school officials.
“Miami and Oxford have a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Miami spokeswoman Claire Wagner.
“With the excitement of academic discovery and events and the energy of college students blending in a cozy, well-managed town that cares for its residents, it’s no wonder that Oxford was recognized as the Best College Town in the U.S. We already knew that,” Wagner said.
Forbes cites data and ranking from WalletHub.com, which used 26 criteria to give Oxford the highest score overall, at 71.1, making it also the top town in the “small cities” category.
“Small cities” included those of up to 125,000 people. Oxford has fewer than 8,000 full-time residents and about 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend Miami classes at the main campus in western Butler County.
Miami also has regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown and a Learning Center at West Chester Township's Voice of America Park near the county's eastern border.
WalletHub says “analysts compared 415 U.S. cities of varying sizes based on 26 key indicators of academic, social and economic opportunities for students.” Data included cost of living, quality of higher education and crime rate.
Twenty-five points were given for living costs, such as cost of education, housing and a fast-food meal; 25 points were given for social factors including percentage of population aged 18-35 and nightlife options; and 50 points went to academic and economic opportunity areas such as quality of higher education (the largest factor overall), job growth and entrepreneurial activity.
And earlier this month Miami University moved up to No. 25 in the 2017 list of 100 best values nationwide among in-state public universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Miami also ranks 33rd on the best out-of-state values nationwide among public universities.
Miami has placed in the 100 Best Values list every year since Kiplinger began publishing the rankings in 1998. Last year, Miami was No. 50 among in-state public universities.
Earlier in 2016 Miami garnered other national recognition.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Miami University's undergraduate teachers are among the top in the nation, according to its national survey.
The Butler County university is ranked second on the specialty list following only Princeton — a private university — with Yale University at third and Brown University fourth in the of in U.S. News’ Best Colleges rankings.
And in June Money magazine listed Miami among the top 10 in the nation for producing chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies.
Miami earned the third spot nationally with four CEOs and was the only one of the 10 universities ranked to have two women alumni now holding such top corporate leadership jobs.
The Miami-produced CEOs included in the report are: David C. Dvorak (Zimmer Biomet Holdings), Lynn J. Good (Duke Energy), Kimberly S. Lubel (CST Brands) and James T. Ryan (W.W. Grainger).