As a University of Northern Iowa alum, it's very easy to tell people that I loved my time in Cedar Falls as a student. I made way more friends in college than I expected I would, I got involved in almost every opportunity I could for my future career and with my church, and I made so many great relationships that I fully believe will last the rest of my lifetime.

I spent some time there the summer after I graduated and returned to the Cedar Valley twice following a stint in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as Madison, Wisconsin. Cedar Falls is home to me.

That's why it's slightly annoying to see another town in the state of Iowa make Strategistico's "10 Most Livable College Towns in America – 2022 Edition."

How was this determined you might ask?

Strategistico considered these eight factors when they cultivated their list:

  • Cost of Living
  • Arts & Culture
  • Dining & Entertainment
  • Outdoor Amenities
  • Walkability
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Crime Rate
  • Overall Atmosphere

Notice "Eliot's Biased Opinion" isn't among the eight factors. I can't believe they would do such a thing without asking me first.

The living and travel site references the following as to why it placed Ames on its list:

"It features a lively downtown with a historic main street that offers over 50 locally-owned shops and restaurants.

It also houses many cultural points of interest, including the Ames History Museum, the Brunnier Art Museum, and Octagon Center For the Arts, as well as an extensive public parks system."

On top of all of the entertainment and shopping options, Ames offers housing prices that are seven percent lower than the national average, according to AreaVibes.com.

The other nine college towns (and universities that accompany them) are listed as follows:

  • Athens, Georgia (University of Georgia)

  • Bloomington-Normal, Illinois (Illinois State University)

  • Burlington, Vermont (University of Vermont)

  • College Station, Texas (Texas A&M)

  • Columbia, Missouri (University of Missouri)

  • Frederick, Maryland (Mount. St. Mary's and Hood College)

  • Harrisonburg, Virginia (James Madison and Eastern Mennonite University)

  • Ithaca, New York (Cornell and Ithaca College)

  • Stevens Point, Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point)

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