Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Amherst given an A for intelligence

By Sam Butterfield

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Give yourself a pat on the back if you live in Amherst, you live in one of the 10 smartest college towns in the country – at least according to online news source The Daily Beast.

With one of the highest percentages of adult residents with graduate level degrees, clocking in at 43 percent, Amherst falls into the top echelon of highly educated locales.

The Beast lauded Amherst and the Pioneer Valley at large for its heavy student presence, creating a student-dominated setting conducive to, well, students.

While the Beast’s review gives Chapel Hill, NC and Ann Arbor, Mich., top ranks for their high proportion of educated professors and livability, Amherst does not clock in too far behind, and in fact boasts a higher percentage of residents with graduate degrees, although its population is less than those two cities.

Other municipalities which scored high marks on The Daily Beast review included Boulder, Colo., Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, Calif., Madison, Wisc., East Lansing, Mich., State College, Pa. and Ames, Iowa.

The site praises Amherst, which checked in at number 10 and scored a grade of B, for having “one of the most significant student populations,” as well as its “five school educational network that dominates the local atmosphere.”

Checking in near the bottom of the list were Athens, Ga., Kent, Ohio, South Bend, In., Norman, Ok., Champaign-Urbana Ill., Lawrence, Ks., College Park, Md., Auburn, Al., and Gainesville, Fl.

The Daily Beast is a news and opinion site published by Tina Brown.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “Amherst given an A for intelligence”

  1. Ed on December 10th, 2009 10:07 am

    Folks, “best educated” and “smartest” are NOT the same thing! The distinction is the same between “spent lots of money on fancy clothing/gear” and “gifted athlete.”

    If you take the true measures of intelligence, things like ability to (a) apply knowledge to unfamiliar situations/problems, (b) research the knowledge of humanity toward specific ends, and (c) ability to convey knowledge coherently to others unfamiliar with the subject — in all of this, Amherst fails miserably. Go to a meeting of the Amherst Select Board or Amherst Regional School Committee, sure there may be some intelligent people there, but as to the collective IQ of the room, no way….

    There are a lot of people in Amherst who think they are quite smart, a lot of them have pieces of paper that say they are, but there are really damn few who really are…


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