The site BestCollegeReivews.org has made a living out of ranking everything to do with colleges across the U.S., ranging from the party atmosphere to academics, and anything else you can practically think of to do with a school.
They even rank student unions, rec centers and cathedrals.
But in their latest list of the top 50 college towns in America, they were relatively unkind to the home of the Georgia Bulldogs.
The good news – Athens ranked in the Top 50 college towns in America.
The bad news – BestCollegeReviews.org ranked them at 39th.
Thirty. Ninth? Are you kidding me?
Look, I’m not under any delusion that Athens, Ga. is the greatest college town in the world. The city has its pitfalls and problems just like anywhere else. But I’ll be damned if I don’t believe that Athens is at the very least in the Top 15, if not 10 college towns in the country.
The brief synopsis the site gives could have been pulled from any Wiki-like page.
Athens is home to the University of Georgia, has lower rent than the nation’s average, and has many venues, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that cater to an intellectual environment. Thanks to a devoted student and community fan base, and some talented Athenians, a number of national music acts have come out of Athens, including Neutral Milk Hotel, Danger Mouse, Widespread Panic, and R.E.M. While the University of Georgia is the largest employer in the town, healthcare and heavy industry feature heavily on the largest employers list.
Now in the introduction to the piece, the writer states that the following factors were taken in to consideration in their rankings; livability, student-to-resident ratio, cultural offerings, school presence, large employers. I would put Athens in the top twenty in the country in practically every one of those categories.
Given those factors, here is the “Top 10″ ranked by the author (some of which aren’t disagreeable).
10. Corvallis, Or.
9. Iowa City, Ia.
8. State College, Pa.
7. Chapel Hill, N.C.
6. Berkeley, Ca.
5. Ames, Ia.
4. Ithaca, N.Y.
3. Madison, Wi.
2. Ann Arbor, Mi.
1. Boulder, Co.
I can read two things in to that list. First, the author is in love with the “ideal American small town”. Second, he’s a Big Ten fan.
There are at least 3-4 on that list that I would rank below Athens on its worst day.
I’ll leave the rest of the rankings for you to sift through and rip apart. To me, it’s an absolutely invalid list.