Montana State University

Bozeman named one of best college towns for 2015

November 5, 2015 -- MSU News Service

Aerial view of Bozeman, Montana (campus archive)

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The city of Bozeman has been ranked number four on a list of the 25 best college towns in which to live. Bozeman, home to Montana State University, was the highest-ranked town in Montana on the list.

The second annual rankings were made by SmartAsset, a financial technology company that aims to provide research to help individuals make big financial decisions. The company’s rankings are based on rates of crime and unemployment, median incomes, housing costs and the local availability of dining and entertainment amenities, according to Nick Wallace, the study’s author. Each community was ranked according to the overall highest quality of life as determined by the researchers.

In its write-up about the rankings, SmartAsset also recognized the appeal of college towns as “charming yet vibrant places to live” and noted that colleges and universities tend to drive local economies by providing stable, well-paying jobs.

Citing its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, SmartAsset reported that “Bozeman is the perfect college town for those who love the outdoors.” In addition to a low unemployment rate and a “booming economy,” the study also noted Bozeman’s close proximity to some of the country’s best fly-fishing, skiing, backpacking and mountain biking.

Additionally, Bozeman offers walking trails, parks and playgrounds, a vibrant downtown area and a variety of cultural opportunities, including a local symphony, opera, theater and ballet companies.

There are also several museums, including the Museum of the Rockies, which houses a paleontology research facility, as well as one of the most important dinosaur fossil collections in the world, according to the website. MOR is affiliated with MSU and the Smithsonian Institute and is a federal repository for fossils.

Other cities making the top 10 include Princeton, N.J.; Kearney, Neb.; Boulder, Colo.; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Cambridge, Mass.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Ames, Iowa; and Madison, Wis.

Missoula, home of the University of Montana, tied with Norman, Okla., for the 21st spot on the list.

For more information on the SmartAssest study, see For more information on Bozeman see

Contact: Anne Cantrell, (406) 994-4902 or