The 10 Best College Towns In Ohio For 2022


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our fifth time ranking the best college towns in Ohio.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Ohio is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Ohio are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Ohio for 2022.

The 10 Best College Towns In Ohio For 2022

  1. Bowling Green, OH
  2. Kent, OH
  3. Cincinnati, OH
  4. Oxford, OH
  5. Tiffin, OH
  6. Oberlin, OH
  7. Youngstown, OH
  8. Parma, OH
  9. Dayton, OH
  10. Blue Ash, OH

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Bowling Green, Kent and Cincinnati - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Bowling Green ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Finally, if you live in Salem, OH - it's officially the worst college town in Ohio. Sorry, Salem!

Read on to find out more or for more on Ohio check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Ohio For 2022

Bowling Green, OH
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 31,638
% Undergrad Pop.: 49.0% (4th best)
Median Rent: $737 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 650.3% (28th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Bowling Green: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

Kent, OH
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 29,698
% Undergrad Pop.: 59.2% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $789 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1037.9% (49th best)
Crime Rank: 17th best
More on Kent: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Kent State University at Kent, Northcoast Medical Training Academy

Cincinnati, OH
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 302,687
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.5% (20th best)
Median Rent: $760 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 732.3% (34th best)
Crime Rank: 47th best
More on Cincinnati: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Cincinnati-Main Campus, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Xavier University

Oxford, OH
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 23,192
% Undergrad Pop.: 64.5% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $841 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1126.8% (50th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Oxford: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Miami University-Oxford

Tiffin, OH
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 17,473
% Undergrad Pop.: 14.5% (12th best)
Median Rent: $678 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 489.3% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on Tiffin: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Tiffin University, Heidelberg University, Tiffin Academy of Hair Design

Oberlin, OH
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 8,252
% Undergrad Pop.: 35.2% (5th best)
Median Rent: $750 (2best)
Unemployment Rate: 681.9% (30th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Oberlin: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Oberlin College, Lorain County Joint Vocational School District

Youngstown, OH
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 64,152
% Undergrad Pop.: 17.1% (9th best)
Median Rent: $638 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1364.9% (52nd best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Youngstown: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Youngstown State University, Choffin Career and Technical Center, ITT Technical Institute-Youngstown

Parma, OH
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 78,623
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.1% (48th best)
Median Rent: $882 (44th best)
Unemployment Rate: 650.2% (27th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Parma: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Bryant & Stratton College-Parma

Dayton, OH
Overall SnackAbility
3
/10

Population: 140,444
% Undergrad Pop.: 13.0% (14th best)
Median Rent: $724 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1027.9% (48th best)
Crime Rank: 48th best
More on Dayton: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Sinclair Community College, Wright State University-Main Campus, University of Dayton

Blue Ash, OH
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 12,417
% Undergrad Pop.: 29.5% (6th best)
Median Rent: $1,196 (50th best)
Unemployment Rate: 178.4% (best)
Crime Rank: 20th best
More on Blue Ash: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Ohio?

To crunch our data on Ohio's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 45 places in Ohio with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Ohio For 2022".

And it looks like Bowling Green placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Ohio, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

If you're curious, these are the worst college towns in Ohio, starting with the absolute worst, Salem:

  1. Salem
  2. Defiance
  3. Circleville
  4. Wilmington
  5. Middletown
  6. Painesville
  7. Mount Vernon
  8. East Liverpool
  9. Springfield
  10. Portsmouth

For more reading, check out:

45 Best College Towns In Ohio

Rank City Population
1 Bowling Green, OH 31638
2 Kent, OH 29698
3 Cincinnati, OH 302687
4 Oxford, OH 23192
5 Tiffin, OH 17473
6 Oberlin, OH 8252
7 Youngstown, OH 64152
8 Parma, OH 78623
9 Dayton, OH 140444
10 Blue Ash, OH 12417
11 Athens, OH 24978
12 Berea, OH 18713
13 North Canton, OH 17244
14 Sylvania, OH 19242
15 Steubenville, OH 17882
16 Toledo, OH 275116
17 Cleveland, OH 383331
18 Marietta, OH 13551
19 Celina, OH 10498
20 Mansfield, OH 46450
21 Ashland, OH 20304
22 Newark, OH 49951
23 Alliance, OH 21671
24 Wooster, OH 26557
25 Centerville, OH 23766
26 University Heights, OH 12908
27 Kettering, OH 55271
28 New Philadelphia, OH 17485
29 Hamilton, OH 62162
30 Ashtabula, OH 18067
31 Columbus, OH 889079
32 Akron, OH 197375
33 Canton, OH 70863
34 Urbana, OH 11428
35 Eastlake, OH 18072
36 Portsmouth, OH 20094
37 Springfield, OH 58957
38 East Liverpool, OH 10632
39 Mount Vernon, OH 16684
40 Painesville, OH 19817
41 Middletown, OH 48765
42 Wilmington, OH 12444
43 Circleville, OH 13986
44 Defiance, OH 16741
45 Salem, OH 11692

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?