Sorry Fargo and Bismarck, but Grand Forks is the best college town in North Dakota, study reveals

FARGO -- Grand Forks, the proud home of the University of North Dakota, is the best college town in North Dakota, a newly released study revealed. The study, which was conducted by the website reviews.org, compiled the results using data from the...
Special to Forum News Service

FARGO - Grand Forks, the proud home of the University of North Dakota, is the best college town in North Dakota, a newly released study revealed.

The study, which was conducted by the website reviews.org, compiled the results using data from the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Researchers with review.org analyzed a number of factors to determine the results including overall population, student population, rental costs, college education rates, transportation access, unemployment rates and last, but not least, bar availability.

Only college towns with fewer than 250,000 residents were included in the study, meaning every college town in North Dakota would be included. As of July 1, 2017, the estimated population of Grand Forks is 57,056, according to the latest census data. Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the state, trailing only Bismarck (72,865) and Fargo (122,359) in population.

Competing towns’ primary colleges include North Dakota State University in Fargo, University of Mary in Bismarck and Minot State University in Minot.

After initial analysis was done, the factors were then narrowed down even further to include cost of living, unemployment rates for 20-24 year olds and easy access to the city.

Grand Forks failed to reach the top 10 in cost of living, however, the city ranked No. 10 overall in best college towns for student employment and No. 2 overall for the best nightlife and fun.

The title for best nightlife and fun went to Williamstown, Mass., the home of Williams College, a private liberal arts college that had an undergraduate enrollment of 2,070 in 2015-16.

In Minnesota, Rochester was deemed the No. 1 college town while Madison, the home of the University of Wisconsin, took home top honors in the Badger State.