You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

Ann Arbor ranked as a top college town, again

By Kellie Woodhouse


Ann Arbor's Main Street

File photo

Ann Arbor has once again been ranked as one of the nation's top college towns. ranked Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, No. 9 in its third-annual list of top college towns.

Last week the Princeton Review ranked Ann Arbor as the tenth-best college town in its annual rankings list.

"Nearly one out of every two residents here is a student, making it a true college town," the Livability ranking states. "But you don't have to be a student to enjoy what the university has to offer. There is a range of musical, theater and dance productions that anyone can attend."

Bloomington, Ind., is ranked No. 7 on the Livability list, Champaign, Ill., is ranked No. 4 and College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, is ranked 1st.

Read about Livability's methodology here.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

I lived in Champaign, Illinois for 3 years and spent a fair amount of time in Bloomington, Normal. Neither are any comparison to Ann Arbor. Illinois State University is comparable to EMU. But Bloomington, Normal while having the population of Ann Arbor, has the demographics of Ypsilanti/Township. Champaign, Illinois was flat, extremely windy and in the spring when it finally warmed from the Southerly winds would soak the entire campus in the smell of the hog farms to the south of Veterans Stadium. The amount of drug dealing, homelessness, violent gang activity directed toward people just walking down the street was significant 20 years ago and was the result of low income housing projects on the north edge of campus. It was also very wet in Champaign and would flood due to the natural acquifer under the city. There were also a number of factory jobs and skid row hotels on the West side of town, so a lot of inmates would select Champaign as the city to be paroled. If the job didn't work out, they would panhandle on Green street (think Liberty Street) without the charm. The reason that these city's are on the that the cost of rent or a single family home......half of what it is in Ann or below Ypsilanti. You just have no idea how fortunate you are.

Blue Marker

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

I must admit I've seen many of these lists and have never seen Bloomington or Champaign listed let along higher than towns like Madison, Austin or Ann Arbor.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

There are alot of lists now-a-days. Tomorrow there will be a list for the most _____ city to have a ______ in.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Flipping through numbers 1 to 8 I saw at least twice "low cost of living." There is something for A2 to work on.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Could anyone live here if we had no UM students in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

Sure, you bet! No problemo at all.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

so ... Ann Arbor -university of Michigan was also ranked as one most dangers out all the schools.

Blue Marker

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Does Shakespeare have a link to this supposed ranking?

Rod Johnson

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Try again, in English this time.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

I'd say from the attitude of the comments below, moving would be beneficial for most of you.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

number nine... number nine... number nine... Anyone??

Blue Marker

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

You're dating yourself with Beatles references.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 11:07 a.m.

Oh,, now that matters! #181,697 rank of US websites for traffic per


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

I think my old AOL home page had a higher ranking than that.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 9:16 a.m.

Yes, number 9. They have seen the increase in the number of UofM haters in town on this board, so the rating has fallen accordingly. Continue tearing down Ann Arbor and UofM and maybe next year we will fall out of the top ten.....


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 5:42 a.m.

Sounds good to me... eat the rich! Fava beans w/ a nice chianti! Ummm!

Blue Marker

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Where was East Lansing on the list?


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Eh, unmentioned in these rankings is the amount of effort that goes into educating these college students about things like grocery shopping. Some (not a majority) barely know how to use a credit card (unbelievable but true). Just saying: a lot of retail personnel take the time to show these "young adults" how to do things their parents did for them until they arrived (sans parents) in Ann Arbor. I'd say that's a lot of voluntary labor contributing to Ann Arbor's reputation. (And a few underage youths "thank" retailers by using false ID to buy alcoholic beverages - getting the retailer and the "guilty clerks" hefty fines , possibly jail time, possibly loss of employment. ) I've witnessed two such incidents: wherein Michigan Liquor Control Cops send underage "buyers" into a store to try to buy beer. The cops sit in their car outside - while the underage buyers use tactics designed to either distract / intimidate or persuade the unsuspecting (and sometimes harried) clerks. This is considered "occupational hazard" and no sympathy is given to clerks who may earn just above poverty wages. Some better way must be found - the working class can be held responsible just so far and then there'll be a breakdown none of us will like.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

College station over austin? Have they actually been to College station?

Blue Marker

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Maybe Austin being the capitol they decided it wasn't "college town" enough. I've visited Austin many times and love that city. The music scene in that town is amongst the best in this country. Blues at the Continental Club, you gotta love it!


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

I'm with you! Being from Texas, and having spent time in both College Station and Austin (much more time in the latter and for good reason), I can't believe College Station ranks over Austin. I suppose only in that College Station is almost entirely a college town and would not exist without it whereas Austin has much more to offer and thus what a great place to be in college. A bigger Ann Arbor with nicer weather, lol.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Not the leaders and best? Behind Bloomington and Champaign-Urbana. Totally unacceptable and just goes to show that they really are legends in their own minds.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Michigan and Ann Arbor (ranked 9th) are not leading the Big Ten in Livability or Football! "Bloomington, Ind., is ranked No. 7 on the Livability list, Champaign, Ill., is ranked No. 4 and College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, is ranked 1st.

Ed Kimball

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

When did Texas A&M join the Big Ten? Did I miss a story?


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

Its Football season! Besides, President Obama will join the ranks of the un-employed soon.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Why can't you relate this to Obama or the Democrats? You're slipping.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

Leave it to to find the one publication that lists Ann Arbor as #1 and feature it on their website. I've been to a lot of college towns. Some of them I liked better than Ann Arbor, some of them I liked less. Trying to numerically rank them is just ridiculous, as it's a matter of personal taste.

An Arborigine

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

I have a brilliant idea for my new book "The Big Book of Ann Arbor Lists", highlighting all the wonderfully meaningless lists that our fair city ranks on. Best Seller? I think not! Who cares?


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

who's buying these people?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

From the rankings: "If there's anything bad about Ann Arbor it's that parking spots, especially around campus and in downtown, can be hard to find. " Underground garage haters: please stand up and be counted.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Yes, "" has spoken!


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Rah, Rah, Rah... it's a another big college town. There is life after college... really!