STATE COLLEGE, Pa., (CBS) – State College, Pa. ranks the third “Best College Town” in the American Institute for Economic Research’s 2012-2013 “AIER College Destinations Index.”

The home of Penn State University Park campus held the third spot behind first place Ithaca, N.Y. and second place Ames, Iowa.

The towns’ rankings were determined by evaluating 12 different factors including student diversity, research capacity, earning potential and unemployment rate.  Student concentration, cost of living, and city accessibility were also considered.

Researchers also evaluated data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Science Foundation, and Small Business Administration to rank the locations.

In the “Major Metros” category, Philadelphia, Pa. ranked eighth out of fifteen cities. Boston, Mass. claimed the top spot.

For “Small Metros,” Trenton, N.J. held the ninth position out of 20 locations. Ann Arbor, Mich. ranked first.

You can read the full Index here.

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