Amherst again ranked among nation’s top college towns
Berkeley, Boulder, Ann Arbor, Austin…. Amherst?
The former locales are routinely hailed as some of America’s premier college towns, but Amherst, with three colleges nestled in an idyllic valley and ample cultural offerings in the surrounding area, can now be formally added to that list, as it has been ranked among America’s best college cities twice since May.
On August 27, the national Hotels and Travel Reservations site lauded Amherst, along with cities like Lawrence, Kan., Madison, Wis., and Athens, Ga., for sharing resources among members of the Five College Consortium, calling Amherst “one beauty of a college town.”
In May, prominent college advisor Katherine L. Cohen, the founder of Ivywise, a college search service, ranked Amherst the number one college town in the country on MSN.com, citing the range of academic and social opportunities present within the area schools and the collaboration between the Five Colleges, as well as offering passers-by a tip on where to find cheap pizza, Antonio’s, or a fine meal, Judie’s. Cohen’s ranking actually put Amherst ahead of such perennially heralded towns as Washington, D.C., Boston, and Berkeley, Calif.
“It appears the nation is figuring out what we’ve known all along – that Amherst is a great place to live and learn,” University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate admissions director Kevin Kelly said in a release. “We’re excited to share this spotlight with our friends in the Five College Consortium.”
Executive Director of News and Media Relations Ed Blaguszewski said the recognition helps bolster UMass’ profile both in-state and out, and will help the university in recruiting students and faculty.
“It’s a wonderful set of endorsements,” he said. “It highlights what a terrific setting we have here in Amherst and by association at UMass, and the setting where you live, work and play is important to us all, so I think it will be a positive tool in getting people to take a harder look at our school.”
Blaguszewski added that he believes the ranking will put UMass higher on many prospective Eastern Massachusetts students’ list, as he said, such students might otherwise overlook schools in Western Massachusetts, He furthered that he feels the exposure will generate more interest in the university from out-of-state students, as it will make the school seem more attractive based on the positive reviews.
Students at campus center were also enthused at the news of the high marks.
“It’s exciting, you know, it renews a spirit of education to hear that your school is one of the best,” said junior Danillo Sena. “UMass Amherst is definitely the one the most students are looking towards (out of the UMass system).”
Sam Butterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.