San Francisco has been named the top large city for college students, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Institute for Economic Research.

The annual report ranks the 75 best cites and towns to live in for collegians. The institute, located in Great Barrington, Mass., looked at the cities’ academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities.

According to the study, San Francisco ranked first in earning potential but also in cost of living. The city also scored high marks for diversity; arts and leisure venues per capita; accessibility for walking, biking or by public transportation; the percentage of the population working in creative fields; and the percentage of the population having college degrees.

San Francisco ranked first overall among major metropolitan areas, edging out New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston and Seattle in the top five.

San Jose ranked first overall among mid-sized cities of between 1 million and 2.5 million residents.

Boulder, Colo. was first among small cities in the rankings, and Ithaca, N.Y. first among college towns.

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  • John Murphy

    This is bizarre. San Francisco is smaller than San Jose, but is sorted in the category that is larger than San Jose. And while I give plenty of props to SF State and USF, how can it compare to Harvard, Northeastern, BC, BU. Even if you decide to count Berkeley, MIT is one T-stop from Boston, along with a host of other schools.

    Is this top large city for college grads or college students?