With better job prospects than college graduates from the previous several years, almost half of 2013’s grads have a job waiting for them after they walk across the stage. The rest of the graduates ask these burning questions:
“Where will I live?”
“Where will I work?”
“How will I pay off my student loans?”
The personal finance site NerdWallet studied dozens of U.S. cities and ranked the best places for college grads to live based on criteria like the percentage of population in their age bracket, the median cost of rent, the number of bars (seriously), and the availability of jobs within the town’s economy. Here are the Top 5:
- Boston, MA
- Seattle, WA
- Denver, CO
- Baltimore, MD
- Philadelphia, PA
If none of those cities are a good fit for the grad, smaller towns across the country that are concerned about dwindling and aging populations are now creatively trying to attract youthful, educated professionals to bring back the energetic atmosphere their communities once had. Offers to pay off student loans and other dangling carrots may some day change the definition of “cool” cities for planting roots after graduation.
50 years ago, the population of Niagara Falls, NY was roughly 100,000. Now it’s half that number. Beginning with the Class of 2013, the town kicks off its incentive program by offering graduates up to $7,000 ($3,500 a year for two years) toward their student loan debt in exchange for buying or renting a home in a designated downtown area. With these offers, the city hopes to benefit by seeing revitalized neighborhoods and an upturn in their aging population.
So after four (or more) long years of late-night study sessions and profs that pushed them to their limits, here’s hoping that the 2013 graduates and the new lives they’re starting will have a long and prosperous future together – with few unanswered questions.
So what are your plans for life after college?