The College Town: An Economic Analysis of a College's Effect on its Environment

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. John Lunn, Hope College

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There is something unique and different about college towns. This difference can be found in the types of stores that line Main Street, the nightlife, and the sorts of people one would find on the sidewalk at any given time of day (or night). Towns like Oxford, Ohio or Chapel Hill, North Carolina surely have something the standard city lacks, but is that difference economic? This paper will seek to answer that question. It will explain what it takes to be classified as a college town, find the relationship between college student population and per capital income, and differentiate between the value of an undergraduate student and a graduate student.

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