Out of 222 metropolitan areas studied, State College recently won an award for the third best college destination in the United States from the American Institute for Economic Research.
Jim Rosenberger, a council member of the State College Borough Council,, said he was very pleased to see the ranking and said if people were reluctant to come to State College, this statistic could persuade them to trek to Happy Valley.
“It’s always good news to get rankings like that,” Rosenberger said. “We have a high-quality town. It’s a good place to live, and when it actually shows up in the numbers, that’s something we can celebrate.”
He said some of the factors he thought influenced the decision were Penn State’s pedestrian and bicycle friendly community as well as the low crime rate.
Rosenberger also said having a high-quality and livable town is good for businesses, though he said he was not sure whether the award had any immediate impact on them.
According to the AIER website, the research was focused on different aspects of college towns with a student population of 15,000 or more. The study focuses on overall academic environment, quality of life, arts and leisure activities and professional opportunities, according to the website.
AJ Madden, general manager of Indigo, 112 W. College Ave., said the award could help contribute to the popularity of State College businesses.
Madden said State College should have been ranked as No. 1, because no college town has faced more adversity.
“Because of the quality of students that Penn State attracts and the resilience that the students have shown in light of the last year’s adversity, I think that it’s inspiring for me what the student body has done and how they’ve moved forward,” he said.
Council President Don Hahn said this award exemplifies Penn State’s high quality of life.
“We’re striving to keep a high quality of life for borough residents, and that includes students,” Hahn said. “I think this ranking is certainly a reaffirmation of those efforts and it confirms that we’re on the right course.”
He said this award indicates Penn State is still a great place to receive an education and State College is a great learning environment.
“I think that it’s part of the reason we have a great bunch of students, too,” Hahn said. “They contribute a lot to the school, in terms of not only spirit, but also charitable works. The community efforts that they do have certainly helped contribute to the ranking.”
Likewise, Chinyere Ihunnah (senior-biobehavioral health) said she agreed with the ranking
“We have such a strong family feeling, a really close-knit community,” Ihunnah said. “Everyone here shows support to each other.”