Our community is a special place

High national rankings spread the good word

By The Mercury

There’s a lot going right in Manhattan and at Kansas State University, and folks elsewhere are noticing.

It’s been a week now since K-State students learned they were among the happiest college students in America as determined by the Princeton Review. The news was good but not astonishing;  after all, given the academics, the location, the athletics and Call Hall ice cream — there are plenty of reasons to be happy.

Still, the recognition adds yet another reason to be happy. According to the results of Princeton Review’s 80-question student survey, K-State ranked No. 2 for great campus-community relations, No. 5 for student satisfaction, No. 7 for best quality of life, and highly in several other categories.

Area residents barely had time to digest the Princeton Review’s praise before Forbes magazine and Business Insider found plenty to like about the Little Apple and K-State. As a story in Tuesday’s Mercury noted, Manhattan placed third in the nation in Forbes’ list of best small places in America for business and careers.  Forbes acknowledged KSU students’ role in helping to shape the city’s culture, which was appropriate. Forbes also was impressed with the education offered in Manhattan and the city’s job growth and potential.

As for Business Insider, which draws data from the Princeton Review, it ranked K-State the 18th best college campus in America. It’s worth noting that K-State is the only Big 12 Conference university and the only Kansas institution of higher education to make the list. Forbes did, however, include both Lawrence (No. 17) and Topeka (No. 71) on its list as well as several other Big 12 Conference cities.

Clearly, word about this community’s assets is getting around. They’re being brought to the attention of businesses looking for places with good quality of life in which to expand as well as high school seniors and their parents looking for outstanding — and affordable — educations. Those are audiences all communities clamor for.

Our community is not without problems or concerns. Among them are diminishing state funding of higher education and rising property taxes. But those problems are hardly unique to Manhattan and KSU; they afflict cities, towns and universities across America.

These recent rankings don’t make Manhattan any better than it was a year or a month ago. Nevertheless, the rankings are timely reminders for residents who get caught up in daily hassles that we really do live in a special place filled with permanent residents and students who want to make it even more livable.

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