A new ranking puts La Crosse among the best college towns in the nation. News 8’s Madalyn O’Neill can tell us why. Martha and Mike … The American Institute for Economic Research put La Crosse in the top 20 college towns in the country. Affordable rental costs, plenty of job opportunites for students and a vibrant downtown helped La Crosse make the cut. U Jacob Schimmel This is really the new epicenter of campus, is what I would call it. U It’s exciting. As one of the best college towns in the country. Chancellor Joe Gow Very friendly people, great atmosphere, outdoors, fantastic downtown. With it’s three universities . UW-L, Western Technical college and Viterbo . La Crosse ranked 19th on a list of best college towns, which includes places with a population under 250 thousand. Chancellor Joe Gow says that ranking is more than just a number — it can be a determining factor on faculty choosing to work in La Crosse. In Wisconsin, we’re not known for paying our people very competitively, So I think a ranking like this that says to folks, ok maybe the salaries are not outstanding, but the quality of life is, that makes a huge difference so we’re very grateful for that. researchers used criteria like presence of restaurants and bars, rental costs and youth unemployment rate . and as Schimmel can attest, there’s no lack of jobs in La Crosse. There isn’t much of an issue with it because they almost come to you. He says that, along with affordable student housing, extracurricular opportunities, a lively downtown and an abundance of nature . all make La Crosse a place he’s happy to call home. There’s just so many things that come together near campus to make it a special city that services the university really well. In LaX, MO, N8 Though La Crosse ranked 19 overall on the list of best college towns . we have the lowest youth unemployment rate. And even after college, the city has incentives to stay. According to Western Tech, over 80 percent of graduates find a job within the district. Madison ranked fourth on another list for small metro college destinations, or cities with a population between 250 thousand to 1 million people.