Milwaukee named 6th best college destination

June 5, 2013

Milwaukee jumped 13 spots from last year to be named the 6th Best College Destination for mid-size metros from 2012-2013 by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) College Destinations Index.

AIER CDI includes the top 75 towns and cities in the United States for college students, based on a larger evaluation of the 227 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with student populations of 15,000 or more.

“At a time when approximately half of current college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, the pros and cons of a particular college destination should be an important factor in making a college selection,” said Julie Zhu, the AIER research analyst who oversaw compilation of the Index.

Criteria for the index included:

  • Student Concentration: number of college students per 1,000 population
  • Student Diversity: percentage of student body that are non-U.S. residents
  • Research Capacity: academic R&D expenditures per capita
  • Degree Attainment: percent of the 25-to-34-year-old population with bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Cost of Living: based upon average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment
  • Arts and Leisure: number of cultural and entertainment venues per 100,000 population
  • City Accessibility: percentage of workers over age 16 who commute on foot or by public transportation or bicycle
  • Creative Class: percentage of workforce in the arts, education, knowledge industries, science and engineering, management and other fields
  • Earning Potential: income per capita
  • Entrepreneurial Activity: net annual increase in total number of business establishments per 100,000 population
  • Brain Gain/Drain: year-over-year ratio of population with B.A. degree (it is only population with B.A degree, not all the college level) living in the area
  • Unemployment rate

See the full index here.

Milwaukee was also named a Top-10 City for College Graduates.

“Milwaukee employers are eager for young talent — so eager they’ve created an economic development initiative to attract and retain professionals. The city has an unemployment rate of just 3 percent for college graduates, and people with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make 86 percent more than those with just a high school diploma. The city’s cost of living is also a bit lower than average for a major city.” – Study: Best Cities for Money-Savvy College Grads

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