Releases List of Best Cities for Service-Oriented Students

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Cities with a high concentration of volunteer-minded citizens, strong environmental efforts, and sustainable colleges or universities make the list. has released a list of the best cities for service-oriented students to attend college. Presented in no particular order, the 20 cities on this list are known for their populations' volunteerism and environmental efforts, as well as their sustainable colleges. Each city provides many opportunities for students and citizens to help individuals in need, to better their communities, and to live more sustainably.

The best cities for service-oriented students:

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Rochester, New York
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Seattle, Washington
Portland, Orlando
St. Louis, Missouri
San Francisco, California
Kansas City, Missouri
Denver, Colorado
Austin, Texas
Boston, Massachusetts
Louisville, Kentucky
Chicago, Illinois
New York, New York
Riverside, California
Eugene, Orlando
Lexington, Kentucky
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Stockton, California
Greensboro, North Carolina

See full descriptions of each city:

Inclusion Criteria:
The team at compared three separate rankings in order to compile a list of 20 cities that are conducive to volunteer work or going green. Rather than look at individual colleges or universities, we looked at cities as a whole to better showcase community service opportunities that benefit a larger area. To be included, each city had to appear on each of the following ranking lists:

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service's Volunteer Rates
  • Popular Science's "America's 50 Greenest Cities"
  • Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) Report

Volunteer rate percentages were found based on the cities' total populations; this number shows how active citizens are in volunteer efforts within their communities. Those cities with low volunteer percentages may have a higher number of environmental programs either in the community or on schools' campuses, which is illustrated on the Greenest Cities list and the STARS report. Each location has at least one school listed in the STARS report.

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About is a resource to help prospective college students make educated choices about their future and get the most out of their education. Through the use of student surveys, faculty surveys, independent research, ranking systems, and the input of highly credible and authoritative sources, the site has created a database of schools to help students and families learn more about their higher education options.

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Laura Daniels
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