Story at a glance

  • Utah was found to be the best place for students to attend college, largely due to low tuition costs and a high percentage of young people.
  • California, Texas, Florida and New York also made the top five.

College students in Utah may be enjoying their experiences more than the average U.S. student, according to the results of a new survey

The Beehive State ranked as the No. 1 state for students based on data collected by the educational organization Studee. Its rankings were developed by comparing the cost of tuition, room and board or rent, the weather patterns of each state and the World Population Review’s Happiness Index.  

Demographic information, like the portion of the population that is between the ages of 19 and 25, as well as the average salary and crime rates, were also noted.

Katie Maundrell, a spokesperson for Studee, noted that the index incorporates factors like the residents’ emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community aspects when scoring each state.

The cumulative scores of these categories for each state were then compared. Top scoring states included Utah, California, Texas, Florida and New York. 

In Utah, tuition is notably more affordable than in comparable states, and it boasts a countrywide-high of 10.9 percent of its population being younger students in the 19 to 25 age range, despite having only one high-ranking college.

“Utah is the second happiest state in the USA and boasts five national parks, making it a great place overall for students,” the report reads. 

Outside of the top five states, midwest state North Dakota scored highly as well for university students, with a young population despite having reportedly zero top colleges in the state. 

“The tuition costs and cost of a room in North Dakota are below average. The population is young and some of the happiest in the land,” the report notes. “The crime rate is low too, making it a solid choice for students looking for a great college experience without a high price tag.”

Some of the states that did not score as well include Alaska, West Virginia, Delaware and Vermont. 

Studee’s list comes as the subject of student loan debt is still hotly debated in the U.S. Capitol. President Biden recently stated during CNN’s Town Hall that he does not intend to back the initiative to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower, despite having backing within his own party.

Biden did, however, extend the payment deferral period due to the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that places many people in a difficult financial predicament. 

Published on Feb 24, 2021