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Is L.A. One of the Nation's Best Cities for College Students?

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If you're a college student in Los Angeles, does the city meet your needs?

Numerous studies and reports are issued annually that rank academic institutions on how well they perform and what they have to offer their prospective students. But in partnership with the classroom and campus experience, students have to live, and often build, lives in the communities in which the school is located. The College Destinations Index (CDI), published by the American Institute for Economic Research, took a look at "222 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with student populations of 15,000 or more," to come up with the 75 best college cities and towns.

So how did Los Angeles measure up?

We came in at number seven on a list of 15 major U.S. cities. L.A. trounced the other 14 when it came to arts and leisure opportunities, but came in lower for degree attainment, and around the middle for city accessibility and cost of living.

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Marla Brill, primary reporter on the CDI companion volume, explains that the information they use isn't sourced from the schools, who typically focus on publicizing only favorable information about their campus and program. Instead, says Brill, “the CDI looks at broader regional information supplied by neutral third parties such as the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Science Foundation. The result is an independent, unbiased appraisal.”

You can download a copy of the rankings here.