Where are Gen Y students most likely to find jobs? If you guessed New York or San Francisco, you'd be wrong.

There was quite a shake up on this year’s College Destinations Index, a ranking of the nation's healthiest economies for Gen Y students to live in, produced by the American Institute for Economic Research.

Despite all the hype surrounding the major metros, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco were all knocked out of the top 10 on this year’s list for college towns. The list is determined based on overall economic health, measuring unemployment rate, entrepreneurial activity, and arts and leisure considerations.

And this year, small towns led the way as larger cities were more susceptible to economic downturns and only ranked outside of the college towns division on the index. As the report suggests, many small towns are essentially recession-proof since they house a consistent population of spenders. Here’s a look at the top 10 college destinations for 2012-2013:


2010-2011 Top College Town Destination

2012-2013 Top College Town Destination


Ithaca, N.Y.

Ithaca, N.Y.


State College, Pa.

Ames, Iowa


Boulder, Colo.

State College, Pa.


Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa


San Francisco, Calif.

Corvallis, Ore.


Ames, Iowa

Ann Arbor, Mich.


New York, N.Y.

Champaign-Urbana, Ill.


Washington, D.C.

Lafayette, Ind.


Boston, Mass.

Lawrence, Kan.


Ann Arbor, Mich.

Morgantown, W.Va.