Orange County is Middling When it Comes to Best College Towns in U.S.

As students head off for winter break, it's a good time to assess whether they are studying in good college towns. According to national rankings, you have to drop all the way to No. 52 to find an Orange County city. It's Irvine, home of the University of California, Irvine.

Personal finance website WalletHub used 23 metrics to crunch the numbers from 324 U.S. cities and towns to arrive at “2015’s Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America.” For instance, Irvine scored 302nd is “Wallet Wellness Rank,” 36th in “Youth Oriented Entertainment Rank” and 13th in “Opportunities Rank.”

The next OC place to pop up on the list is Costa Mesa, home over Vanguard University and everyone's favorite international school Orange Coast College, way down at No. 198. Orange of Chapman University fame is at No. 227. Anaheim—is there a college in Anaheim other than Disney University?—is at No. 245, while Buena Park—is there a college other than Knott's Berry Farm University?—falls to No. 252.

The preceding paragraph should be an embarrassment to Fullerton, home of Cal State Fullerton, which at No. 273 not only ranks below those cities but No. 265 Huntington Beach, home of Golden West College, and No. 268 Santa Ana, home of Santa Ana College. Ah well, at least the Titans have bragging rights over Westminster at No. 287 and Garden Grove at No. 296.

Long Beach, of Cal State Long Beach fame, is at 228.

According to the WalletHubbers, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the best college town in the land and Paterson, New Jersey, is the worst.

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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