Boulder, Colorado comes out on top as the best small metro for college students.
The American Institute for Economic Research compiled data from various metro areas across the country, comparing data on how students live there. They took information about student life, culture, economic health and opportunity. As AIER says, "The people students meet, the places they go, and the jobs they may hold are essential supplements to formal education."
Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, came in second, with high levels of academic research and development per student and percentage of workers in "innovative" fields.
In third place, Ann Arbor, Michigan reported both a high percentage of college-educated residents as well as a high student concentration.
See the full list here: