Turns out, the rankings for best college towns depend on way more than how many bars are featured in each town square and how many half-smoked cigarettes litter the gutters come Monday, the Huffington Post reports. The American Institute of Economic Research pulls data from a host of federal agencies — the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, National Science Foundation and Small Business Administration — to create the “AIER College Destinations Index,” or AIER CDI for short.
“The characteristics that make up a great college destination often make a location ideal for business, retirement and tourism,” said Steven Cunningham, director of research and education for AIER. “A top AIER College Destinations Index ranking should be just as important to the town or city as it is to the schools located there and the families and students attending or considering them…”
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