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Ames No. 7 on list of top college towns

Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 10:42 a.m. CDT

AMES (MCT) — The Ames community has another national ranking to add to its collection.

In a recent report from SmartAsset, a financial advisory service, Ames was ranked No. 7 on a list of best college cities to live in.

The study looked at areas such as affordable living, income, amount of entertainment and recreation, unemployment and violent crime.

Ames placed behind cities such as Boulder, Colo.; Fargo, N.D.; and Madison, Wis., in the rankings.

According to the study, Ames is described as a “hotbed of agriculture, design, engineering and veterinary research.”

“The home of Iowa State University is a great, safe place to live with just a 3.2 percent unemployment rate and top-10 rankings for both property and violent crime safety,” the study said. “Ames’ population is highly educated and dedicated to its university with a 57 percent degree attainment rate.”

Dan Culhane, president and CEO at the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, said Ames has been named to similar lists fairly often for the last several years, and he credited the success to both ISU and the “robust Ames and Story County and central Iowa economy.”

“These things never get old,” he said. “We appreciate the high marks and as a community, I think we can take pride in these things.”

Culhane said Ames has been named to lists ranging from topics like “best place to start a business” and “best university community” to “best place to get a first job out of college.” One of the larger titles Culhane has seen Ames win is Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” survey. But even smaller titles are an important way to showcase the college town and Story County as a whole, Culhane said.

“We take those very seriously because they do mean something. Ames is on a lot of people’s radar, from a student recruitment standpoint, but also for businesses to grow and expand,” he said. “All these things bode well for both.”


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