Study: Norfolk one of 2018’s worst midsize college cities in America

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk is one of America’s worst midsize college cities, according to WalletHub’s “2018’s Best College Towns & Cities in America” study published Tuesday.

The personal finance website compared more than 400 U.S. cities based on 28 key indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential. The data set ranges form cost of living to quality of higher education to crime rate.

The Mermaid City ranks No. 391 overall and No. 142 among medium-sized cities. Hampton and Portsmouth ranked slightly lower at No. 397 and No. 402, respectively, while Chesapeake came in at No. 367. Newport News had the highest ranking of the Hampton Roads cities at No. 277, followed by Virginia Beach at No. 289. Suffolk was not ranked.

The following is a list of where Norfolk ranks on notable factors that are typically considered when prospective students are deciding where to attend college:

  • 234th – Cost of Living for Young People
  • 270th – Quality of Higher Education
  • 105th – Cost of Higher Education
  • 155th – Nightlife Options per Capita
  • 214th – % of Part-Time Jobs
  • 210th – Brain Drain
  • 137th – City Accessibility
  • 291st – Crime Rate
  • 104th – % of Rental Units
  • 143rd – Students per Capita

So which city ranked No. 1 on WalletHub’s list? That honor belongs to Ann Arbor, Michigan, also known as the home of the University of Michigan. The rest of the top five include: Orlando, Florida; Rexburg, Idaho; Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas.

Only two Virginia cities placed within the top 100: Charlottesville at No. 20 (University of Virginia) and Blacksburg at No. 96 (Virginia Tech).

Click here to read the full study.