2 Texas college towns face extra economic risk due to COVID-19, says study

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Colleges, universities prepare for social distancing in fall, potential drop in enrollment
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As colleges and universities prepare for the upcoming fall semester, here's how things will be looking a bit different.

As colleges struggle with the decision of whether or not to open their campuses for in-person learning this fall, the towns in which they are located are already feeling the strain.

College towns rely on students, teachers, and staff to inject money into their local economies, and even if campuses reopen there may be a lower demand for eating out, attending sports games, and other spending activities.

SmartAsset recently conducted a study of 95 college towns (with populations of 50,000 or more and at least one four-year college or university) to see which might be in the best position to weather the coronavirus crisis this year - and which are in serious trouble.

SEE ALSO: Texas colleges and universities' fall 2020 plans

Sadly, two of the most economically vulnerable can be found in Texas. College Station, home of Texas A&M, is high on the list at No. 2. San Marcos, located about 50 miles north of San Antonio and home to Texas State University, is also on the list, coming in at No. 9.

To determine its ranking, the finance website looked at six metrics:

  • Students as a percentage of the population
  • College staff as a percentage of workers
  • Concentration of restaurants and bars
  • Concentration of entertainment establishments
  • Concentration of bookstores
  • Concentration of hotels

To read the rest of this story, visit our partners at Houston CultureMap.

RELATED: Texas A&M University announces longer school days and classes on Saturdays this fall