The American Institute for Economic Research released its College Destinations Index (CDI) for 2014-15.  We usually approach with caution, but not this time.

The American Institute for Economic Research released its latest College Destinations Index (CDI) for 2014/2015. We usually approach such lists with skepticism simply because of the arbitrary and subjective nature of things like a “best college towns” list, but this one is different.

The CDI takes an objective look at 12 key criteria that impact learning experiences at universities in the U.S. Each criteria is placed into four categories – Student Life, Economic Health, Culture, and Opportunity – and the cities are ranked by type of city. For example, cities such as Boston and New York go into the “Major Metro Areas” list, whereas a place such as Boulder, CO or Lawrence, KS go into “Small Metro Areas” and “College Towns” lists, respectively.

For those looking to attract international students, this is an excellent opportunity to quantify the non-academic aspects of your university and surrounding area. We love to see places such as Lawrence, KS– home to the University of Kansas – on the list because outside the U.S. prospective students find it hard to get past the misconceptions about living in the Midwest.  For more detailed analysis, go to the AIER website and download the two-page report.

Curious about where international students are going? Check out our post from last week on top destination institutions for international undergraduate students.