The Best College Towns In Nevada For 2020

Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our time ranking the best college towns in Nevada.
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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 Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada for 2020.

The 10 Best College Towns In Nevada For 2020

  1. Elko, NV (Photos | Homes)
  2. Las Vegas, NV (Photos | Homes)
  3. Reno, NV (Photos | Homes)
  4. Henderson, NV (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 Elko, Las Vegas and Reno - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Elko ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Even though there are only 4 cities on our list, you need to remember there are another 124 places in Nevada that don't even have a college. One might say you gotta be in it in to win it.

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

The 10 Best College Towns In Nevada For 2020

Elko, NV
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 20,247
% Undergrad Pop.: 14.7% (1st best)
Median Rent: $1,022 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 546.7% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Elko: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coordinates: 4050N 11546W 40.833; -115.767 Elko is the largest city and county seat of Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 18,297 at the 2010 census. The city straddles the Humboldt River.

Colleges: Great Basin College

Las Vegas, NV
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 626,637
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.5% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $1,057 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 764.3% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Las Vegas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Las Vegas, officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

Colleges: College of Southern Nevada, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Brightwood College-Las Vegas

Reno, NV
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 242,633
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.2% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $967 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 585.9% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Reno: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Reno is a city in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is in Northern Nevada, approximately 22 miles from Lake Tahoe. Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World", Reno is famous for its hotels and casinos and as the birthplace of Harrah's Entertainment. It is the county seat of Washoe County, in the northwestern part of the state. The city sits in a high desert at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows. It is named after Jesse L. Reno.

Colleges: University of Nevada-Reno, Truckee Meadows Community College, Milan Institute of Cosmetology-Reno

Henderson, NV
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 291,346
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.2% (4th best)
Median Rent: $1,226 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 632.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Henderson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Henderson, officially the City of Henderson, is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States, about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas. It is the second-largest city in Nevada, after Las Vegas, with an estimated population of 292,969 in 2016. The city is part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which spans the entire Las Vegas Valley. Henderson occupies the southeastern end of the valley, at an elevation of approximately 1,330 feet.

Colleges: Everest College-Henderson, ITT Technical Institute-Henderson, The Art Institute of Las Vegas

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

To crunch our data on Nevada'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 4 places in Nevada 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 Nevada For 2020".

And it looks like Elko placed Summa Cum Laude.

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

If you're looking for the best college towns in Nevada, 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:

4 Best College Towns In Nevada

Rank City Population
1 Elko, NV 20247
2 Las Vegas, NV 626637
3 Reno, NV 242633
4 Henderson, NV 291346

Best College Towns By State

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