Research Group Picks 75 Best College Towns In America

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Santa Monica Beach (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Santa Monica Beach (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) says “the college experience” is more than simply attending a top-notch university.

They say the town or city where the school is located is also vitally important.

To that end, AIER recently published their 75 Best College Towns and Cities for 2012-13.

The group factored in such variables as cost of living, arts & leisure activities, earning potential, ratio of the population with BA degrees, diversity, public transportation and unemployment rate, among other things.

In major metros (populations larger than 2.5 million) Los Angeles ranked 15th, just behind San Diego. San Francisco was 4th.

In small metros (150,000 to 1.0 million people) Santa Barbara ranked 18th of 20 locations.

For a complete list of the 75 towns, click here.

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