Ithaca Ranks Top 10 For Best Small College Cities, We Don’t Agree
You would think getting national recognition would be something to celebrate... but this is a ranking we have to disagree with.
Wallethub has released their ranking of the Best College Towns & Cities in America. Like most of their lists, their rankings took in the consideration of many different factors. The three main ones for this included the locations Wallet Friendliness, Social Environment.
With all of this calculated, one place in New York made the list for Best Small College Cities... who was it?
Ithaca, NY - 8th
Not only did Ithaca rank in the Top 10 for Small Cities, but their overall ranking put them at 19th overall. This isn't the first time they've received a great rating like this. They also ranked 1st in Far & Wide's list of Top College Towns in New York State.
This is great and all, but let's see where they were rated in each category...
Wallet Friendliness - 290
Social Environment - 17
Academic & Economic Opportunities - 78
Right off the bat, this shows why Ithaca is a difficult place to live, especially if you're a student. Out of the 415 cities and towns on the list, Ithaca came in at 290 for Wallet Friendliness. This category factors in the cost of living, which should be one of the biggest factors for someone looking to live off campus or grow in the city.
According to Zumper, the average cost for rent in a 1-bedroom apartment in Ithaca is $1,250 a month. For a college student or young adult, this is extremely difficult to manage without financial aid or a well-paying job. Especially if you're pay for it by yourself.
As someone who lived in Ithaca for a year, I've taken-in all of this first hand. Though the social environment is fun, with tons of bars and restaurants to explore, the cost of living is still the over-arching factor.
Regardless of how beautiful and fun the city might be, none of it matters if you can't reasonably afford to live there. Prices on rent and real estate are all high because of the colleges, forcing many of those who work in Ithaca to live elsewhere (Cortland, Dryden, etc.).
So if you're a student aspiring to go to Cornell or Ithaca College, good for you. Don't let me stop your dreams of attending the college/university of your choice. But I disagree Ithaca being so highly ranked on this list when it's such an unaffordable "college city/town" to live in. Regardless if you're a student or not.