The Best College Towns In Rhode Island For 2020

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

The 10 Best College Towns In Rhode Island For 2020

  1. Providence, RI (Photos | Homes)
  2. Newport, RI (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 Providence, Newport and every other college town - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Providence ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Even though there are only 2 cities on our list, you need to remember there are another 34 places in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Rhode Island For 2020

Providence, RI
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 179,435
% Undergrad Pop.: 15.4% (1st best)
Median Rent: $972 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 883.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island in the early 1900s it was the most visited place, founded in 1636 and one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Colleges: Johnson & Wales University-Providence, Rhode Island College, Brown University

Newport, RI
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 24,762
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.4% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $1,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 467.5% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The City of Newport is located approximately 37 miles southeast of Providence, 21 miles south of Fall River, and 74 miles south of Boston. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its mansions. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and a major United States Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and also contains a high number of surviving buildings from the colonial era of the United States.

Colleges: Salve Regina University, International Yacht Restoration School

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

To crunch our data on Rhode Island'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 2 places in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island For 2020".

And it looks like Providence placed Summa Cum Laude.

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

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

2 Best College Towns In Rhode Island

Rank City Population
1 Providence, RI 179435
2 Newport, RI 24762

Best College Towns By State

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