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ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

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The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Texas' Edinburg tops list for most affordable college towns

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Thursday, November 2, 2023   

A new study found Texas is home to half of the U.S. colleges located in communities deemed affordable for students.

The personal finance company WalletHub ranked Edinburg, home to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, as the most wallet-friendly college town. Located in the southern part of the state, Edinburg has a population of roughly 104,000.

Ramiro Garza Jr., mayor of Edinburg, believes the community ranks high because it has worked hard to be cost-competitive, especially when it comes to affordable rent.

"The University's also a great institution here in our community and we've been growing very rapidly," Garza explained. "Partly, it's due to the growth of the University."

In addition to Edinburg, four other Texas towns are among the top 10 ranked as the most "wallet-friendly." They include Brownsville, home of the University of Texas at Brownsville, along with McAllen, Nacogdoches and Killeen, all of which offer significant higher education opportunities.

Garza has firsthand experience with colleges on the list. Prior to becoming mayor of Edinburg, he attended what was then called the University of Texas Pan-American at Brownsville, which is part of the same system.

"I have a business degree," Garza noted. "With a concentration in finance, and I also have masters in business administration out of the university."

Edinburg's median household income is around $53,000, with rent typically less than $1,000 per month, according to the U.S. Census. To determine the most affordable college towns, WalletHub evaluated 415 cities of various sizes with a college or university population of at least 7,500 students.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

Disclosure: Lumina Foundation for Education contributes to our fund for reporting on Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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