“I think we have a wonderful community. Overall, our residents get along pretty well with students. There are a lot of reasons for students to come here — the social services — it’s a great community,” he said, adding that he thinks the No. 3 ranking is low. “I’d put Oxford as the top college town.”
For simplicity, WalletHub used the term “cities” to refer to both cities and towns. Cities were grouped as large, midsize and small for the report, but then all the cities in the study were combined into one overall listing.
Oxford was listed third in the small college city category behind Ann Arbor, Michigan and Provo, Utah.
Orlando, Florida was ranked at the top of the midsize city listing and Austin, Texas topped the large college city listing.
“We’re happy to get a good ranking. It just reinforces what we already know about Oxford,” City Manager Doug Elliott said. “We have a great university and a great community. This just emphasizes those points.”
In that overall listing, Oxford finished fifth with a 59.35 score, while the top overall community — Austin — tallied a score of 63.6.
Among the categories WalletHub graded, Oxford earned a first place in social environment and third in wallet friendliness.
In the most students per capita category Oxford tied with five other communities for first place.
Some of the other areas in which cities were graded included academic and economic opportunities, lowest cost of living for young people, highest share of rental units, lowest cost of education, highest share of part-time jobs, lowest brain drain and highest quality of higher education.
In order to determine the best college towns and cities in America, WalletHub examined 415 cities of varying sizes across three key dimensions: Wallet friendliness, social environment and academic and economic opportunities.
“We evaluated those three key dimensions using 30 relevant metrics, which are listed with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favorable conditions for college students,” WalletHub’s press release explained. “Finally, we determined each town and city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.”
The large college city category included Columbus at No. 8 and Cincinnati at No. 10. The mid-size city category was headed by two Florida cities, Orlando and Gainesville. In the small city grouping, in fourth place behind Oxford was West Lafayette, Ind.
Mayor Snavely noted the Columbus and Cincinnati rankings.
“At the heart of all that — Michigan, Ohio State and Cincinnati — is Oxford, so that’s good,” he said.