FAYETTEVILLE — With more than a third of a million residents in a two county area, Northwest Arkansas and specifically Fayetteville, Ark., ranks among the meccas of college athletics according to Forbes Magazine.
The magazine ranked Fayetteville, home to the University of Arkansas and the Razorback athletic teams, as No. 7 in its top 10 list of college towns.
“We are excited that Forbes Magazine has recognized something Razorback fans have known for quite some time, Fayetteville is one of the nation’s best college towns,” Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said.“Our outstanding University, our strong athletic program, the charm of Dickson Street and the Fayetteville Square combined with the passion of the Razorback fans makes our community stand out among the competition. The overall quality of life, including access to affordable living, quality educational opportunities and the variety of experiences offered in Northwest Arkansas makes Fayetteville a great place to call home.”
To be selected, the Forbes committee evaluated several indicators including the 2009 final standings for the Director’s Cup which evaluates a University’s total athletic program rewarding not only football and basketball success but accomplishments in all sports. Arkansas finished 25th in last year’s Director’s Cup Standings.
Other factors include quality of life. The committee used Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index which lists median four-bedroom home prices in different markets. Fayetteville’s numbers indicated that a house of this standard averages $216,125 which was deemed affordable for the median income of $40,225.
Statistics that evaluated the quality of public schools and crime rates were also considered.
The Forbes.com story had the following to say about Fayetteville: “Fayetteville is a perennial member of “best of” lists. Hog Town is laced with lakes and hiking trails, hosts a great farmer’s market and has a solid public school system.”
Fayetteville has consistently been among the top-rated college towns in Forbes Magazine and other leading publications. In addition to the Forbes ranking, Fayetteville and the University are No. 4 among Forbes Magazine’s “Best Places for Business and Career”, No. 7 in Kiplinger’s “Best Places to Live, Work and Play” and No. 9 in National Builders’ “Healthiest Housing Market” last year.
Ann Arbor, Mich., and the University of Michigan were tops on the list. The rest of the rankings in order include: Chapel Hill, N.C. and the University of North Carolina; Norman, Okla., and the University of Oklahoma; Palo Alto, Calif., and Stanford University; College Station, Texas, and Texas A&M; Austin, Texas, and the University of Texas; Fayetteville, Ark., and the University of Arkansas; Lexington, Ky., and the University of Kentucky; College Park, Md., and the University of Maryland and State College, Pa., and Penn State University.