The Best College Towns In North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota for 2019:

  1. Minot, ND (Photos | Homes)
  2. Fargo, ND (Photos | Homes)
  3. Dickinson, ND (Photos | Homes)
  4. Grand Forks, ND (Photos | Homes)
  5. Jamestown, ND (Photos | Homes)
  6. Bismarck, ND (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 Minot, Fargo and Dickinson - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Minot ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Even though there are only 6 cities on our list, you need to remember there are another 392 places in North Dakota 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 North Dakota check out:

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

To crunch our data on North Dakota'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 6 places in North Dakota 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 North Dakota For 2019".

And it looks like Minot placed Summa Cum Laude.

Minot, ND
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 48,171
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.0% (6th best)
Median Rent: $912 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 240.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Minot: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Minot MY-not) is a city in and the county seat of Ward County, North Dakota, United States, in the state's north-central region. It is most widely known for the Air Force base located approximately 15 miles north of the city. With a population of 40,888 at the 2010 census, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state and a trading center for a large portion of northern North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. Founded in 1886 during the construction of the Great Northern Railway, Minot is also known as "Magic City", commemorating its remarkable growth in size over a short time.

Colleges: Minot State University, Headquarters Academy of Hair Design Inc

Fargo, ND
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 118,099
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.7% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $765 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 320.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Fargo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fargo is the most populous city in the state of North Dakota, accounting for nearly 16% of the state population. Fargo is also the county seat of Cass County. According to the 2016 United States Census estimates, its population was 120,762, making it the 229th-most populous city in the United States. Fargo, along with its twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as the adjacent cities of West Fargo, North Dakota and Dilworth, Minnesota, form the core of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in 2016 contained a population of 238,124. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Fargo as the fourth fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Colleges: North Dakota State University-Main Campus, Rasmussen College-North Dakota, Josef's School of Hair Design Inc-Fargo Downtown

Dickinson, ND
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 22,309
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.0% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $931 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 350.0% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Dickinson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dickinson is a city in Stark County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Stark County. The population was 17,787 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2015 population is 23,765.

Colleges: Dickinson State University

Grand Forks, ND
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 56,236
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.2% (1st best)
Median Rent: $785 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 410.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Grand Forks: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the State of North Dakota and is the county seat of Grand Forks County. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 52,838, while the total of the city and surrounding metropolitan area was 98,461. Grand Forks, along with its twin city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, forms the center of the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is often called Greater Grand Forks or The Grand Cities.

Colleges: University of North Dakota, Josef's School of Hair Design Inc-Grand Forks

Jamestown, ND
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 15,367
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.6% (4th best)
Median Rent: $675 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 130.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Jamestown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Jamestown is a city in Stutsman County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Stutsman County. The population was 15,427 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth largest city in North Dakota. Jamestown was founded in 1872.

Colleges: University of Jamestown

Bismarck, ND
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 70,536
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.0% (5th best)
Median Rent: $821 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 170.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Bismarck: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second-most populous city in North Dakota after Fargo. The city's population was estimated in 2016 at 72,417, while its metropolitan population was 131,635. In 2015, Forbes magazine ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Colleges: Bismarck State College, University of Mary, United Tribes Technical College

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

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

6 Best College Towns In North Dakota

Rank City Population
1 Minot, ND 48171
2 Fargo, ND 118099
3 Dickinson, ND 22309
4 Grand Forks, ND 56236
5 Jamestown, ND 15367
6 Bismarck, ND 70536

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?