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LOGAN — Cache County is home to one of the nation's top three most livable college towns, a new ranking shows.
According to a new Top 10 list released by Livability.com, Logan, home of Utah State University, is the third best college town in America, offering "exceptional quality of life for both student and permanent residents."
The listing was based on key factors that make a college town livable as defined by the Princeton Review's Senior Vice President Robert Franek: good location, weather and public transportation, a beautiful environment, friendly people, access to and availability of career opportunities, fun things to do off campus and good college-community relations.
Logan had the lowest cost of living of any other city on the list, saying that "people spend about 10 percent less than the rest of the nation on housing, groceries and clothing."
College students make up a large portion of the population, too, with a ratio of one student to every three permanent residents. The total city population is 48,174.
"I love it here, and I actually love it so much that I stay here, even when I'm not in school," said student Ashley Berret. "I live here during the summers as well."
Further, Logan, like other college towns, offers permanent residents an enriched environment where medical facilities are top-notch, among other rich cultural and entertainment activities and opportunities. The Cache Valley Transit District makes it easy to get around to those amenities, as the service is free for residents, although walking was made easy by the city's maintenance of sidewalks and walking paths.
"College towns are appealing to all demographics because universities bring a host of quality of life amenities, such as arts and cultural activities, top-notch medical facilities, and nightlife, as well as economic development assets, such as research and development, continuing education and workforce training," said John Hood, spokesman for Livability.com.
The site's findings show that Logan is attractive to a wide variety of demographics, like Anas Ansobeh, who brought his small family here from Jordan.
"I heard a lot about Logan especially, and Utah before coming to here, and that encouraged me to come here," Ansobeh said. "Because it's a safe place, it's a good place for families."
Locals might add that the town has some unique traditions that add to its appeal, like True Aggie night: a tradition that leads college students to kiss while standing atop the "A" block at midnight under a full moon.
Another tradition, one that families can get in on, is Aggie Ice Cream.
"I think it's better than regular ice cream, and I eat a lot of it, so I would know," said Berrett, who is also an employee of the creamery.
It's one piece of the university that has grown over the years to serve the public, and has helped their reputation; a reputation that many students say is the reason they chose to attend the school.
Other cities that make the cut were College Station, TX at number one, followed by Oxford, MS. The website says that this is the first year a Utah town has made the list.