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Santa Monica Named Among Top Cities for College Students


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Santa Monica Travel and Tourism

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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

August 30, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s sun and surf, free or discounted things to do and a high-internet speed have earned it a spot on a ranking of best U.S. cities for college students. put the city by the Pacific in fifth place in its Top Five cities nationwide for students pursuing a higher education.

“This college town is vibrant and engaging with tons of free things to do, which is perfect for thrill-seeking students,” the site wrote announcing its findings.

Analysts compiled information from such databases as the U.S. Census and to assess factors students would be concerned about, like a low cost of living, access to high-speed internet, getting around by foot, a low crime rate, and a predominantly single and educated population.

Although Santa Monica rents are sky-high -- even for the ultra-costly Metro Los Angeles rental market -- the researchers gave the city a rave review in other areas.

“If you love the sun and surf, Santa Monica is the place for you,” said in an August 25 post.

“Students here can take advantage of the discounted bike share initiative or the Big Blue Bus to get around town and to the beach,” the post said.

“That means it’s easy to head out to the city’s favorite hangout spots: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, and Santa Monica Beach."

And, adding an internet-era twist to Santa Monica’s allurements: Local internet speeds reaching up to 100 Mbps

The Number One spot went to West Chester, Pennsylvania –- home to West Chester University.

In second place was Ann Arbor, Michigan (the location of University of Michigan, Cleary University, Concordia University Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw Community College).

Third and fourth on the list were, respectively, Provo, Utah (the location of Brigham Young University and Provo College) and College Station, Texas (the site of College Station, Texas A&M University).

Santa Monica College (SMC) was pleased to learn of the city’s ranking.

“Santa Monica College is one of the ‘greenest’ campuses in the state, and indeed in the nation,” said SMC spokesperson Grace Smith.

She listed options such as the College’s Big Blue Bus “Any Line, Any Time” discount program, partnerships with two rideshare companies, a free website for students to find the best commute to campus, as well as the new Expo Line and the City Breeze Bike Share system as part of an “incredible cornucopia of transportation options for students.”

“We became the first community college in California to earn a Bronze-level Bike Friendly University award from the League of American Bicyclists,” she said.

“All these, on top of our stellar reputation as a top transfer and career-preparatory college -- and the fact that we’re located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world -- make Santa Monica College a very attractive option for college students.” includes a program called “The US City You Should be Living In,” which culls data across the web, including,,, C2ER,, Kelly Norton, and Walk Score.

It adapted the program to find cities with the best environments for students. To view the findings click here.


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