The 10 Best College Towns In Nebraska For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Nebraska is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Nebraska are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Nebraska for 2019:

  1. Kearney, NE (Photos | Homes)
  2. Bellevue, NE (Photos | Homes)
  3. York, NE (Photos | Homes)
  4. Seward, NE (Photos | Homes)
  5. Crete, NE (Photos | Homes)
  6. Lincoln, NE (Photos | Homes)
  7. Omaha, NE (Photos | Homes)
  8. Fremont, NE (Photos | Homes)
  9. Hastings, NE (Photos | Homes)
  10. Papillion, NE (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Kearney, Bellevue and York - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Kearney ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Nebraska check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Nebraska?

To crunch our data on Nebraska's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 10 places in Nebraska with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Nebraska For 2019".

And it looks like Kearney placed Summa Cum Laude.

Kearney, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 33,082
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.6% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $746 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 330.0% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Kearney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kearney is a city in and the county seat of Buffalo County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 30,787 at the 2010 census. It is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The westward push of the railroad as the Civil War ended gave birth to the community.

Colleges: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Bellevue, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7.5
/10

Population: 53,040
% Undergrad Pop.: 5.3% (6th best)
Median Rent: $889 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 590.0% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Bellevue: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: Bellevue University, National American University-Bellevue

York, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,890
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.3% (5th best)
Median Rent: $636 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 260.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on York: Real Estate | Data | Photos

York is a city in, and the county seat of, York County, Nebraska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,766. It is the home of York College and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women.

Colleges: York College

Seward, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 7,124
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.6% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $666 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 190.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Seward: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Seward is a city and county seat of Seward County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 6,964 at the 2010 census. Seward is part of the Lincoln, Nebraska Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is known for its large Fourth of July celebration.

Colleges: Concordia University-Nebraska

Crete, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,079
% Undergrad Pop.: 21.4% (1st best)
Median Rent: $748 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 310.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Crete: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crete is a city in Saline County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 6,960 at the 2010 census.

Colleges: Doane University-Arts & Sciences

Lincoln, NE
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 277,315
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.6% (4th best)
Median Rent: $788 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 410.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Lincoln: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 93.46 square miles with a population of 280,364 in 2016. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 348,720 people, making it the 105th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Colleges: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southeast Community College Area, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Omaha, NE
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 463,081
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.9% (9th best)
Median Rent: $861 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 480.0% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Omaha: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. Omaha is the anchor of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, which includes Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha. According to the 2010 census, Omaha's population was 408,958, making it the nation's 44th-largest city; this had increased to 446,970 as of a 2016 estimate. Including its suburbs, Omaha formed the 60th-largest metropolitan area in the United States in 2013, with an estimated population of 895,151 residing in eight counties. The Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, Nebraska-IA Combined Statistical Area is 931,667, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 estimate. Nearly 1.3 million people reside within the Greater Omaha area, comprising a 50-mile radius of Downtown Omaha, the city's center.

Colleges: Metropolitan Community College Area, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University

Fremont, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 26,356
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.9% (8th best)
Median Rent: $731 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 450.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Fremont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fremont is a city in Dodge County in the eastern portion of the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. The population was 26,397 at the 2010 census. Fremont is the county seat and the home of Midland University.

Colleges: Midland University, La'James International College

Hastings, NE
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 24,948
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.4% (7th best)
Median Rent: $657 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 450.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Hastings: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hastings is a city and county seat of Adams County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 24,907 at the 2010 census. It is known as the town where Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927, and celebrates that event with the Kool-Aid Days festival every August. Hastings is also known for Fisher Fountain, and during World War II operated the largest Naval Ammunition Depot in the United States.

Colleges: Hastings College

Papillion, NE
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 19,478
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.8% (10th best)
Median Rent: $851 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 270.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Papillion: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: Nebraska Christian College of Hope International University

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Nebraska, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

10 Best College Towns In Nebraska

Rank City Population
1 Kearney, NE 33082
2 Bellevue, NE 53040
3 York, NE 7890
4 Seward, NE 7124
5 Crete, NE 7079
6 Lincoln, NE 277315
7 Omaha, NE 463081
8 Fremont, NE 26356
9 Hastings, NE 24948
10 Papillion, NE 19478

Best College Towns By State

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