It's one of the most important decisions you can make in your life - picking the right place to go to college. At first glance, it seems like something that will impact four years of your life, but in reality, it will greatly shape what happens with the rest of your existence.

So which are the best states for college students and where does South Dakota rank?

The college search website Studee looked at everything from tuition rates, crime stats, incomes, population rates for ages 19-25, and even the weather and happiness rankings to determine which places in America are the best destinations for higher education.

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Overall, the Mount Rushmore State ranked a respectable 15th, despite having just one school (University of South Dakota) that the website classified as 'high ranking'. California has 15.

South Dakota's best showing was in happiness with the ninth-highest ranking overall.

Surprisingly, we also ranked in the top half in the weather category (21st) with 104 clear days each year. Thank goodness average temperature wasn't factored in.

The states' income was sightly above midpoint ($53,962), 23rd overall.

South Dakota's below-average scores came in tuition ($8,772) - 28th out of the 50 states.

Our percentage of population ages 19-25 (8.2%) is also lower than the national average (38th)

The Mount Rushmore State's worst ranking was in the Crime category, with the 20th highest in the country.


  1. Utah
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Florida
  5. New York
  6. North Dakota
  7. North Carolina
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Idaho
  10. Wyoming


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