Select Page

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a British company specializing in higher education and study abroad.   Aside from its widely read QS World University Rankings, it also published many other rankings for international students’ reference.   The “QS Best Student Cities” – which means “the best cities for college students”-  is one of them.

In 2019, the top 10 Best Student Cities in the U.S. are

#10 San Diego, CA
#9   Pittsburgh, PA
#8   Atlanta, GA
#7   Washington, D.C.
#6   Philadelphia, PA
#5   Chicago, IL
#4   San Francisco, CA
#3   Los Angeles, CA
#2   New York, NY
#1   Boston, MA

Compared with the same data of 2015, one can see that the rankings for U.S. best student cities remain very much the same.


“The QS Best Student Cities index combines data relating to universities, student community, affordability, quality of life and employer reputation, to highlight 50 of the world’s best locations for students.”    Please note that the “universities” that QS refers to are all world universities.

Let’s take a look at which U.S. cities are most recommended by QS for college-bound students in 2015.   The list below is the ranking and city of the world’s best locations for students.

In terms of overall Rankings:

  • 4. New York City
  • 6. Boston
  • 9. Chicago
  • 16. Philadelphia
  • 26. Los Angeles
  • 30. Washington DC
  • 35. Pittsburgh

In terms of Student Mix:

  • 15. Boston
  • 22. San Francisco
  • 25. New York City
  • 25. Chicago
  • 29. Pittsburgh
  • 33. Los Angeles
  • 34. Washington DC
  • 39. Philadelphia

In terms of Employer Activity:

  • 2. Boston
  • 3. San Francisco
  • 13. New York City
  • 18. Los Angeles
  • 24. Chicago
  • 31. Philadelphia
  • 35. Washington DC
  • 45. Pittsburgh

In terms of Affordability:

  • 21. Pittsburgh
  • 29. Washington DC
  • 29. Philadelphia
  • 29. Boston
  • 32. Chicago
  • 34. San Francisco
  • 37. Los Angeles
  • 45. New York City

Related reading –
The 20 Most Popular Cities Among International Students