San Diego Ranks as Top College Destination in U.S.

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There’s no doubt that San Diego is a premier vacation destination and a great place to live. The city’s weather is an almost constant, balmy 70 degrees—winter and summer. It’s also beautiful with stunning beaches, amazing wildlife and crystal clear water. However, there is one side of San Diego that isn’t often considered: it’s universities.

San Diego is home to four top-notch universities including UC San Diego, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University and Point Loma Nazarene University. And thanks to a new ranking by the 2017 College Destination Index, those universities are more attractive than ever. According to the list, which ranked U.S. cities based on culture, demographics and the economy, San Diego is one of the top college destinations in the United States—ranking #11 to be exact.

The ranking—put together by the American Institute for Economic Research—focused most on the quality of life and demographics rather than economic climate. This was particularly true for metro areas with a population of 1 million or more. However, to construct their College Destinations Index, the study measured all three dimensions:

  • Quality of Life: the important elements that make a city lively and attractive to young people including public transit, arts, entertainment, bars, and restaurants.
  • Economic Climate: elements such as youth unemployment rate, labor force participation, working-age population, and the presence of workers in science, technology, medical, and engineering fields.
  • Demographics: the racial and ethnic diversity of the city.

According to the study’s three criteria, San Diego ranked number 11 as a major metropolitan city. It was the third California city to make it into the top 11. San Francisco came in 1st for its economy and breadth of opportunities for recent college graduates while Los Angeles came in at 7th overall.

To learn more about what other cities made the list and to calculate which cities work best for you, check out the AIER’s College Destinations Tool.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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