Portland ranked best college town in Maine

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By: Nicholas Schleh, Staff Writer

Portland has been ranked the best college town in the state of Maine by Reviews.org. With a natural splendor and a bustling port, Portland has topped 20 college and university towns in Maine.

Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Reviews.org found the most accessible and best suited towns for college students looking to escape the commotion of a big city. Every town on their list has fewer than 250,000 residents. Reviews.org’s analysis included student population, rental costs, college education rates, transportation access, bar availability and unemployment rates for people between the ages of 20-24.

USM is also ranked the best college in Maine by Niche.com. Niche’s reviews discuss the friendly community that Portland has to offer and the affordability of USM.

With the new USM METRO contract with the city, students can get around the Portland affordably, conveniently and in an environmentally conscious manner. The Husky Line also caters to students residing in Gorham but needing to get to class on the Portland campus or to simply enjoy time in the city. For the residents that enjoy two wheels and no engine, bike lanes are present on most roads that service major neighborhoods.

Portland is home to a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants to provide students with entertainment outside of the university.

Bon Appetit named Portland the 2018 restaurant city of the year in early August. With the staggering number of restaurants per-capita and the ability to get everything from pho to matzo ball soup and of course, lobster – it’s no surprise Portland is ranked so highly amongst foodies.

It’s a city for beer lovers as well, always ranking high in lists for the cities with the best craft brew culture. Portland is home to breweries like Allagash, Bissell Brothers, and the increasingly popular Shipyard, with new ones popping up all over the city.

Reviews.org also has Portland ranked as the best town in Maine for college education rates. USM offers affordable prices for a secondary education. Per-credit hour charges for in-state undergraduate students is $271. USM also offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid programs.Portland fosters a community of people who love to learn, with the beautiful Maine Law building towering over Deering Ave.

Portland is home to mountain lovers as well. Mainely Ski and Ride, a Portland based company, offers a day-trip service where skiers and snowboarders can be shuttled to the mountain and don’t have to worry about the long drive home after a day on the slopes. Coffee, bagels and the chance to meet new friends are included in their package.

With mountains to the west and the coast to the east, Portland offers natural beauty around every corner. Art Walks are hosted regularly on Congress Street, the State Theater and Maine State Pier have headlining acts regularly and the beautiful Casco Bay islands are only a ferry ride away. Whether you want to enjoy a night out, or experience the modern art museum, Portland will keep you busy.

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