St. Charles, Mo., is the best small college town in the state and the second-best in the U.S., according to a new ranking.
Preply, an online language tutoring company, recently ranked St. Charles the best college town in Missouri and the second-best nationally in its comparison of 200 U.S. cities.
The ranking considered affordability of popular purchases, including a restaurant meal, gym membership, apartment rent and beer. Preply evaluated social environment factors such as diversity, crime rate and cafes, parks and nightlife per capita.
Other metrics included average monthly net salary, unemployment rates and more. Information was sourced from Numbeo and TripAdvisor, according to Preply.
Lindenwood University, Lewis & Clark Career Center and St. Charles Community College are all located in St. Charles. Preply cited a low crime rate and an average monthly rent of $925 as reasons it is one of the best small college towns in the country.
Preply gave St. Charles an overall score of 72.43 out of 100 for favorable conditions for college students, including a 25.88 affordability score, 18.90 social scene score and 27.65 out of 33.33 for economic opportunities.
According to Preply, the average net monthly salary for a St. Charles resident is $4,500, compared to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national average of about $2,949. St. Charles has a population of 70,650, Preply reports.
“St. Charles was founded in 1769 as Les Petites Côtes (“The Little Hills”) by Louis Blanchette, a fur trader from Canada. To this day, placenames like Bellevaux and Les Mamelles are a reminder of the French-Canadian heritage of St. Charles. The town’s history includes associations with explorers Lewis and Clark and frontiersman Daniel Boone,” Preply’s article reads.
How does the rest of the country stack up?
Ann Arbor, Mich., had the highest score for favorable conditions for college students at 73.96 and Greenville, N.C., had the lowest at 28.62.
St. Charles was the only city in Missouri to crack the top 50 best small college towns. Colombia, Mo., landed in 71st place. Here are the top 50 small college towns in the U.S., according to Preply:
Ann Arbor, Mich.
St. Charles, Mo.
La Crosse, Wis.
Grand Forks, N.D.
West Lafayette, Ind.
Coral Gables, Fla.
Stony Brook, N.Y.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
State College, Penn.
Green Bay, Wis.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Bowling Green, Ohio